Guest post by Segba Eseoghene Keva Laya a content writer with extensive experience in the field and with her own blog. In the future, she hopes to become a life coach and continue sharing ideas on her own website. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in History and International Studies from the University of Uyo.

Due to the lockdown, burnout at work has been on the rise among employees in the workspace. The real issue is that most workers do not even know they are experiencing burnout simply because they do not know what the symptoms are or how to even deal with them.

What is Burnout?

Burnout is work-related stress. It is increased mental distance from one’s work and also a state of physical and emotional tiredness that involves a sense of reduced achievement and loss of personal identity.

Signs of Burnout

Burnout is rarely detected early because most of the signs are simply exaggerated versions of everyday feelings. Some of the signs of burnout you should note are listed below.

Anxiety

Anxiety is a common cause of burnout. A person suffering from burnout will often find that the feeling occurs a lot for them and it is much more pronounced. The anxiety affects them to the point where it becomes impossible for them to even perform tasks that used to be second nature to them.

Fatigue and Lack of Sleep

Sleep deprivation and exhaustion are two factors that can have a negative impact on your physical and mental health. Fatigue is one of the symptoms of burnout. A rough night now and then is perfectly normal, but when it becomes a habit, you know you’re suffering from burnout.

Lack of Creativity

It is normal for people to experience some type of block at some point, but people suffering from burnout tend to experience it more frequently than others because they begin to feel they are not creative after a while.

Emotional Numbness

Emotional numbness is commonly misdiagnosed as depression. However, depression is a sense of emptiness, and it involves experiencing more than one emotion. Emotional numbness leads to poor work ethics and makes a worker give less priority to completing tasks well.

Cynical Outlook

Most of the time, it is difficult to be optimistic about what we do for a living, so a little cynicism is acceptable for laughs, but it is a sign of burnout when it becomes a regular occurrence. A person with burnout will feel exhausted but will find it difficult to quit their job, even if they are overworked.

Causes of Burnout

Lack of Control

Constant shifts in priority make it seem like you have no control over the job because it prevents you from working on desired projects. Also, a feeling of lack of trust in your ability may seem like the job is beyond your power.

No Appreciation

Job rewards are one of the benefits of working, and when rewards become scarce, it affects workers’ feelings of appreciation, leading to burnout.

No Feeling of Togetherness

Finding rewarding relationships at work is what makes a workspace comfortable and will also increase employees’ output. So, working in a place where there is a lack of support among colleagues would lead to burnout.

Work-life Imbalance

When work consumes so much of your time that you have little time for friends, family, or even yourself, and when you rarely find time to do things you enjoy, it is likely that you will experience burnout.

Dysfunctional Workplace Dynamics

When you work with a bully or are surrounded by people who undermine your efforts or make you feel inferior, it can lead to anxiety, which can cause burnout.

Effects of Burnout

Insomnia

Sleeplessness is a response to burnout. People who are burned out tend to have more insomnia problems than average people.

Fatigue

Burnout leads to exhaustion. When you feel exhausted, it is difficult to work effectively. You may lack motivation, have trouble concentrating, and experience mood swings.

Sadness

Burnout does not only affect your work life but also your personal life and your relationships with other people, thereby leading to sadness.

Mood Swings

Burnout causes emotional distress, which in turn leads to alienation and constant change in mood. 

Irritability

Over time, irritability develops as a result of the aggravation caused by a sense of ineffectiveness and low productivity.

Dealing With Burnout in the Workplace

Work Away from Your Desk

A little change in scenery has never done anyone harm. Most companies will let you work remotely from time to time, especially when you need inspiration. Working away from your desk also means working away from your home because when you are experiencing burnout, working at home would compound the problem and make it harder.

Take a Vacation

Explain why you need to take a break to your superior. Not a two-day break, but rather a break from work; in simpler terms, a vacation. A vacation will not only rejuvenate you but also eliminate burnout.

Take a Break from Alcohol and Caffeine

Many people cope with stress by drinking alcohol, caffeine, smoking, or even eating. While all of these may be soothing in some situations, they can quickly become addictive, and addiction leads to dependency. Consider taking up a new hobby, going for a walk, or simply learning to sit still.

Quit Your Job

If you realize your job is too demanding and is beginning to affect you too much, you should quit as a last resort. Most people are concerned about not having another job if they quit their current job, so they would prefer to stay, but when it comes down to choosing between your job and your mental health, you should choose your mental health and look for better opportunities.

Change Your Career

Another career path may be the solution to your burnout because some careers do not provide you with motivation. A career in technology would be an excellent choice. A tech career would be a good career path to venture into. You could enrol in a coding boot camp to acquire in-demand skills. Examples of coding boot camps you can attend include Thinkful, Coding Dojo, and Springboard.

Can You Recover From Burnout?

Yes, you can recover from burnout. As bad as burnout sounds, you can recover from burnout quickly as long as you take caution and take steps to rectify it. The estimated period to get over burnout is approximately eleven weeks.

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