The different faces of job burnout

The different faces of job burnout
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The term “job burnout” emerged in the 1970s. At first, it was used to describe the mental condition of employees who felt emotionally overloaded after tense conversations with customers. Nowadays, professional burnout is a defensive reaction of the body.

When you devote yourself to your work, you begin to experience stress, which gradually becomes chronic. The body begins to sabotage your efforts, telling you that you can’t go on. As a result, you feel constant fatigue, lose interest in everything that used to bring you joy, and see no prospects for yourself.

Professional burnout – symptoms

We can divide the symptoms of professional burnout into three groups. The first brings together psychosomatic symptoms, the second – interpersonal and psychological, and the third – institutional. Let’s take a look at all of them separately.

Psychosomatic symptoms

  • Constant fatigue and delayed reactions;
  • Physical and emotional exhaustion;
  • Failure to respond in the face of a real threat to life or health;
  • Drowsiness during the day and lack of sleep at night;
  • frequent headaches and gastrointestinal complaints;
  • sudden weight loss or sudden weight gain;
  • trouble seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting or feeling;
  • shortness of breath.

Interpersonal and psychological symptoms

  • Apathy;
  • depression;
  • irritability;
  • nervous breakdowns;
  • Anxiety and suspiciousness;
  • constant resentment and guilt;
  • fear of not meeting their responsibilities on time;
  • negative vision of the future.

Institutional symptoms

  • A feeling that work is becoming more difficult and you will soon lose the ability to do it;
  • Boredom at work and trying to make schedule changes on your own – you may start coming into the office later and leaving early;
  • taking work home, even when you don’t need to, and resisting doing it;
  • feelings of being useless;
  • Avoiding making responsible decisions at work;
  • indifference to the results of one’s work;
  • failure to complete important tasks and focusing on trivial details.

With professional burnout, people almost completely abandon physical activity, cut off from loved ones, stop developing their passions. Not infrequently they also fall into addictions – for example, they escape from stress into alcohol. Often a person blames his mental condition on “bad” work, and yet attempts to change the sphere of activity do not help him. After some time, all the symptoms return, and even join them more.

Professional burnout – how to avoid it?

If you want to avoid professional burnout and work effectively, drawing pleasure from work at the same time, take to heart some of the following recommendations of psychotherapists.

  • Create specific rituals for yourself each day, for example, meditate in the morning or in the evening before going to bed. This way you will energize yourself with positive energy.
  • Listen to music, for example, during breaks at work and at home in the evening. Music lifts your mood, allows you to release stress and achieve a state of inner harmony.
  • Don’t take on too many responsibilities. Take care of urgent matters and then, when you have the strength and time, help another person.
  • Plan your workday.

If your job doesn’t bring you satisfaction, try changing your attitude toward it. By completing even simple, routine tasks, you benefit other people. Talk to your workmates – even short conversations will help you overcome monotony. When you feel overtired, take a few days off. This will keep you mentally healthy and in tune with yourself and those around you.

main photo: unsplash.com/Andrew NeelHire

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