Everyone experiences stress in their own unique way. Job burnout refers to the stress related to work. It involves a loss of personal identity and a sense of reduced accomplishment. A person going through this condition may go through a state of physical or emotional exhaustion. Job burnout isn’t a medical diagnosis.
Rather it is composed of several individual factors, including family life, personality traits, and experiences at work. In a worst-case scenario, you might have to consult a Mental Health Rehab facility. They have designed programs that are specifically tailored to help clients heal from job burnout. Burnout is currently not recognized as an official medical condition in most countries, including the United States of America.
Symptoms of Job Burnout
Job burnout can have a drastic effect on your physical and mental health. It feels like an unbearable weight that robs any spark of energy. You feel like you’re constantly in a state of extreme emotional depletion. Even the most mundane things can feel like a hectic task, including driving in traffic, showing up for work on time, filing an expense report, and meeting with clients/patients and colleagues. In extreme conditions, job burnout may also trigger physical symptoms due to increased cortisol levels. These symptoms include headaches, high blood pressure, muscular tension, and digestive complications.
The more exhausted you are, the more isolated and detached you feel from the outside world. Due to a lack of patience and grumpiness, you might experience conflicts with your coworkers. You might find it extremely difficult to maintain an optimal level of motivation at work. As a result, your productivity might be impacted as it requires stamina and energy. A poor performance at work may trigger low self-esteem, self-doubt, and even imposter syndrome in you.
Causes of Job Burnout
There are various factors because of which job burnout can occur:
Unclear Job Expectations
You can experience burnout if your job requirements constantly change and you’re unclear about your workplace expectations. An unclear degree of authority is also one of the biggest stressors at work since it makes you uncomfortable working in a team.
Toxic Workplace Environment
Malicious coworkers, a hot-tempered boss, lack of acknowledgment, or an unreasonable workload can lead to negativity in the workplace environment. This ultimately contributes to job burnout and can significantly affect your mental health. You might end up lacking enthusiasm and motivation for your work. An environment that is not aligned with your beliefs or values can be a risk factor for burnout.
Long Working Hours
Long working hours are directly correlated with burnout. Workers who are constantly subjected to excessive work and responsibility can be affected by this condition. At times, some employees may be forced to work extra time to make ends meet. In more extreme cases, long working hours can contribute to depression and suicidal tendencies in young employees.
An unhealthy work-life balance is also one of the biggest causes of job burnout. To avoid stress and depression, it is crucial for you to take time off from work.
Consequences of Job Burnout
Exhaustion, cynicism, and inefficiency are the three main components of job burnout. Physical exhaustion is the first reaction to work-related stress. When you feel that you have exceeded his limit of endurance, emotionally or physically, you feel exhausted and unable to recover the energy to face new projects and challenges.
Another consequence is cynicism, a negative and detached attitude towards your job task and the people you meet at work. The feeling of inadequacy, incompetence and professional ineffectiveness grows with physical exhaustion and emotional detachment.
Recovery from Job Burnout
Job burnout will only worsen if you don’t address the underlying issues that are causing it. The most important step in the process of recovery is recognizing burnout. You can prevent burnout from occurring in the future by learning how to identify it properly. While scientific evidence on evidence-based burnout treatment is still ongoing, much research suggests that some cognitive behavioral therapy strategies effectively manage burnout symptoms and alleviate people’s suffering. Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is a psychotherapy that focuses on developing skills to change a patient’s negative or harmful thought patterns and learning new positive behaviors. Following are some tips that can help you recover from burnout:
- Identify your stressors
- Track your stress levels
- Practice mindfulness and meditation
- Involve yourself in physical activities
- Adopt new hobbies
- Follow a healthy diet
- Create a healthy sleep schedule
- Learn stress management techniques
- Create work-life balance
- Build a support network
- Maintain a journal
Burnout specifically refers to phenomena in the work context and should not be applied outside of work-related stress. The earlier you identify it, the better. The recovery from burnout is a slow journey, therefore, you shouldn’t rush through this process. You can overcome the effects of job burnout by making small changes in your habits and daily routine.