Most of us occasionally suffer from stress. This is only natural, and not necessarily a health issue.
But such complaints have a way of gradually become more prevalent, until they are part of your ‘normal’ state of mind.
When you experience unhealthy levels of stress continuously for long amounts of time, and little or no relief in between, then you may be headed towards a burnout.
This training course will help you to recognize the warning signs and do something about them.
It is highly advisable that you follow this burnout training course if you are presently dealing with burnout or with unhealthy amounts of stress. But those of you who are not suffering from a burnout at this moment, and who simply want to keep it that way, will also benefit from it.
The training course includes
– All you need to know about the symptoms and properties of burnout;
– An overview of the ways of treating burnout;
– Exercises for dealing with the effects of burnout.
This training course was created and published by European Health Foundation in cooperation with experts from Phoenix Burn-out centrum and Praktijk Meta. The English-language course is partially based on existing Dutch-language materials, still available in stores as well as online.
Mental Burnout: What Can You Learn From It?
After completing higher-level education, most individuals feel passionate and ready to make a significant impact in the world. After gaining employment, these individuals work so diligently and give every task their best eforrt. However, after a few years, these individuals change: they start dreading their work, frequently calling in sick, and look miserable and devastated.
Such symptoms are not abnormal: they are signs of mental burnout. This article discusses mental burnout, and what one can learn from it.
What exactly is Mental Burnout?
Essentially, burnout is a mental or physical collapse caused by stress or too much work. Although most countries lack specific legislation that addresses the vice, it is fatal. In countries such as France and China, workers have committed suicide due to work-related stress while European employees have retired early or taken sick days more frequently than usual.
Burnout also affects teenagers. According to a survey conducted in the United States, 83% of the teens reported that school was their number one source of stress. Other factors included being admitted to a good college and financial worries for their families.
3 Things That You Can Learn From Mental Burnout
Burnout and depression are exceedingly related
Burnout is mostly work-related while depression is broader – it affects all spheres of life. However, the effects of the two are similar: despair, fatigue, agitation, disinterest in work-related activities, etc. Consequently, people suffering from any one of the two crises become overburdened by everyday activities like work. In such circumstances, work per se is not the problem, but a contributing factor to further damage.
Burnout gets worse with time
It is easy to assume that burnout will heal with time – it doesn’t. Unless its underlying causes are addressed, the condition only gets worse. The only way to get rid of mental burnout is to start the recovery process as soon as possible. Although the recovery process is slow, it is the only way to address the problem and move on with your life.
Some personality traits can contribute to burnout
How you view the world, your work, and yourself determines whether you become fatigued. People who pay too much attention to detail can feel stressed if their fellow workmates underwork: they may perceive this as intentional sabotage to their input. In addition, individuals who view everything around them in a negative light are more likely to become stressed and lose focus in life because nothing motivates them to keep working or try to better themselves.
The Bottom Line
People love their jobs because it is their main source of identity and self-worth. It is, therefore, not a wonder that the same jobs can completely destroy an individuals’ well-being. Many factors cause exhaustion; learning from what one goes through after a period of mental breakdown is as important as knowing how to cope with the vice.
3 Ways to Prevent a Burn-Out That Actually Work
Do you constantly dread going into work? Or feel exhausted the majority of the time, to the extent that you feel you don’t even have the energy to clean your home? These are some of the most prominent symptoms of a mental burn out and if they apply to you, you might be about to find out the hard way how draining a burnout can be.
The last thing you want is to have to put up a fight against a mental burnout, which is why it might be a better strategy for you to prevent yourself from being sucked into one. These three methods are crucial in helping you reboot and refresh your mind to find renewed strength even when the going is getting increasingly tough.
1. Structure your time.
One of the best ways that you can keep your mind sharp and ensure that you remain productive is knowing what needs to be done and when. When structuring your time, make sure that you split the time into two parts. One should be for work and the other for home or quality time. It is vital to make sure that the two parts never collide and that in your home you have time for yourself. This allows you to prioritize the activities of the day and know what you ought to focus your mind on. This leaves your brain with plenty of time to reboot in between as you switch tasks. Ensure that once you get to your relaxing time, the first thing you do is change into you casual clothes. This helps your brain to associate with a new setting with different requirements.
2. Quit the pointless meetings.
Most people hate meetings as they are. Attending a pointless one only drains your productivity faster and more drastically. If you are not looking forward to your contribution to a particular meeting, chances are, you will end up wasting 2 or more hours of your time sulking and feeling useless. Make yourself more productive by opting for a variety of other tasks instead. This helps to keep you feeling important and gives you the drive to continue moving in the right direction.
3. Throw out the structure once in a while.
While it might make sense to have a great structure to run your day, once in a while on the weekends it might do you more good than harm to go without the structure. Following the same routine, day in and day out can be quite exhausting. You have to be able to look forward to days where you are able to reset and sleep in. This allows you to always have a reset point and that way, you will never get to the point of a burn out.
Prevention has always been said to be better than a cure and this is definately the case when it comes to burnout. The consequences of such an ordeal can sit heavily on your chances of prosperity, which is why you ought to make sure that you are well armed to prevent blindly falling into the pit.
10 Signs That You’re Burning Out
Lack of motivation; when you lose enthusiasm about anything that you do or you do not have the internal motivation to do it, then there is a good chance that you are experiencing a burnout. Some other signs may be finding it hard to get going or having difficulties waking up in the morning.
Feeling exhausted; if you feel tired all the time, then that is a clear sign of burnout stress. This can manifest itself as emotional, physical or even mental exhaustion. It is the feeling of not having the energy to do something. You may start a job with complete focus, but somewhere along the line you feel tired and just stop it.
Frustrations and negative emotions; do you feel that what you are doing does not matter anymore? Or are you disillusioned with everything that you are doing? Or are you feeling pessimistic with what you are doing? While everybody experiences some negative emotions, when this becomes abnormal, you need to be worried.
Slipping performance at work; if you are not sure that you have a burn out you should compare your job performance now with previous years. Since a burnout tends to take a long time to manifest, taking a long-term review might reveal to you whether you are in a temporary slump or you are experiencing a serious burnout.
Decreased satisfaction; if you have the tendency to feel less happy about everything taking place around you or what you are doing then chances are you might have burned out. You might feel dissatisfied even with what is taking place in your own house, in the community or even in social activities.
Experiencing health problems with no clear causes; over a long period of time, stress caused by this might manifest itself in you in the form of health problems. These may include digestive issues, obesity, depression, and heart diseases. Before you seek any medical attention you should first check whether what you are experiencing it is mental.
Preoccupation with work at home; you might not be working at that particular time, but if you are spending time thinking about work, then your work is interfering with your ability to recover from the stresses of the day. For you to recover you should take time off work when you can and get a rest without thinking of anything concerning work.
Being careless with yourself; if you are not taking care of yourself, you might be experiencing burnout already. Some of the signs of these are drinking too much, smoking excessively, eating a lot of junk food or leading a sedentary life. Besides these, you might be relying on sleeping pills in order to sleep.
Personal problems at home and at work; if you at having too many conflicts with people at work and at home, then there might be a more serious underlying issue. Apart from this you might not be feeling like talking to anybody at home or at work.
Lacking ability to concentrate; burnout may also interfere with your ability to concentrate. For instance, when you are burned out, your mind focuses only on negative elements. You might also be more forgetful and hence find it difficult to remember the simplest things.
Discover The Stages Of Burnout
By discovering and learning about the different stages of burnout, you’ll be able to spot them and help stop them before it spirals out of control. The first phase of burnout is the Physical, Mental and Emotional Exhaustion stage.
At this point, somebody who would normally be on top of things can suddenly start to feel like they have too much to do yet not enought time and resources to get the job done. He or she might have so much responsibility yet little or no authority to handle the task at hand. The result is that the person tries to juggle a schedule that is not even manageable. Consequently, things begin to take a toll on the individual. He or she feels like their brain is under strain, and they experience constant feelings of exhaustion.
Anybody who has ever gone through a burnout and looked back onit will realize that the second phase of exhaustion is Shame and Doubt. An individual no longer has the confidence that they once had. Although the person might want to handle the tasks in front of them, the voice inside their head will be in disagreement. It is not a logical process but rather a psychological one, which makes the person discount their past accomplishments, feels lousy in the present and becomes heitant about their future.
An individual who is in the third phase of burnout is in a stage of Cynicism and Callousness. They experience prolonged feelings of insecurity, vulnerability, and they develop a “number one” attitude. The person puts on a heavy armor in order to shield themselves from others. Some people even become accommodators, where they try to accommodate, be too friendly and fair with everyone else even when it is at their expense. All this eventually adds to the person’s stress levels, and the person begins to feel frustrated and angry. It becomes unhealthy as the emotion turns into anger and suspicion. If not addressed it might lead to cardiovascular complications.
The last stage of burnout is the Failure, Helplessness and Crisis stage. An individual in this phase feels like all is caving in around them and regardless of what action they take, they are helpless. Whether they take action, or they don’t, whether they stay or leave, they are still damned. It is the infamous “Catch-22” where one feels disoriented, and their psychological defenses get worn out. The coping structures and references that the person used to depend on, seem to come-off-at-the-seams. The person becomes highly irritable, and slight things appear to get them upset.
How Can You Spot A Burnout In Advance?
Burnout is a kind of job stress that is often common with career people classified as high-achievers. It often leads to both physical and emotional fatigue which is harmful to one’s health. Most people who are at the peak of their careers are often extremely passionate about their jobs and since they are over-confident in what they do, it never occurs to them that they could experience burnout.
They therefore never watch out for any signs of burnout and instead continue increasing the pressure on themselves to achieve higher than they currently have. It is possible to spot a burnout in advance and take the necessary action. Some of the symptoms are as follows:-
In the beginning the loss of work enjoyment is mild, you might feel like not going to work and being very eager to go home at the end of the day . Sometimes you might find yourself looking at the clock wondering when the day will come to an end or frequently calling in “sick”. Failure to deal with this loss of enjoyment at the workplace might result in its extension to other major areas of your life such as relationships and so on.
You will at first feel a mild resistance when it comes to wanting to socialize. You might do things like, not wanting to go to lunch in order to avoid people or occasionally closing your door to keep people out. You might also find yourself coming in early or leaving late in order to avoid interacting with people. This feeling of wanting to isolate yourself usually comes from you feeling disconnected from your work environment. When not dealt with, this symptom might develop to stages where you have anger outbursts when anyone tries to simply speak to you.
Poor Performance At Work
You might be putting in long hours at work but find yourself stressed and not as productive as you were before. This feeling might result in non-completion of projects and an endless list of things to do. If you find yourself not making any progress when it comes to being productive, that is a very major symptom of burnout.
This too starts as mild irritability that usually comes about from feeling unimportant, ineffective and simply useless. Irritability often times jeopardizes professional and personal relationships. When not dealt with it has been known to destroy careers and relationships completely.
Lack Of Concentration
It starts as mild forgetfulness, a lack of focus on tasks at hand and then later it develops to a stage where you actually can’t get anything accomplished. This results in a pile-up of work which will never be done.
Having poor sleep patterns with most of the nights spent awake is another major symptom. You will find yourself very exhausted and despite that you will not be able to sleep.
There are more symptoms of burnout but the above are some of the major ones. As soon as you can manage the stressors causing them and if you have to, simply quit the job or career and look elsewhere for more interesting opportunities.
How To Improve Your Work-Life Balance
Are you having a difficult time balancing your work and personal time? You aren’t alone, it happens at some point in everyone’s career. In today’s fast-paced world, it can be daunting to achieve a healthy work-life balance. Studies reveal that an unhealthy work-life balance doesn’t only result in high levels of stress, but it can also result in diminished productivity and unhappiness in the long-run.
But the good news is that you can achieve a healthy work-life balance as long as you are well-versed on how to go about it. If you aren’t, here a couple of tips that can help improve your work-life balance and change it for the better.
1. Schedule some downtime
If you are overworking yourself, it can be almost impossible to get some time to have fun with friends or to be with your family. Over time, this can lead to a poor work-life balance. As such, start scheduling some downtime with family and friends when planning your week. Find time to involve yourself in activities that will help you recharge at the end of the week.
2. Delegate some duties
In as much as you think you can do as many things as possible , the reality of the matter is that you can’t do everything by yourself. And if you try, you will be robbing yourself of your personal time. As such, start delegating some duties to your subordinates or ask someone to help you whenever you feel overwhelmed. Delegating duties will help get things done quickly, and at the same time spare you time to take a rest after those grueling working days.
3. Protect your personal time
However hardworking, ambitious or talented you may think you are, you can never work throughout the day. If you find yourself working long hours to the point where you are always running short of time to run your personal errands, then it is clear that you are allowing work to take away your personal time. This can also lead to an unhealthy work-life balance over time. As such, protect your personal time so that you can have plenty of time to rest and time to run your personal errands as well. In other words, work when it is time to work and take a break when it is time to do so. In as much as it is incredibly important to value your work, you should however not do it at the expense of your personal time.
With these tips on how to improve your work-life balance right at your fingertips, there is nothing that can stop you from enjoying a healthy work-life balance despite the fact that we’re living in a fast-paced world.
Job Burnout – What Action Should You Take?
There probably isn’t a person alive who hasn’t come home from a stressful day, sat down on the coach and disappeared inside their head with a blistering headache and a sweltering distaste for everything work related. So ask yourself, how often does this feeling occur? If it is every week then you certainly have company and everybody can relate one way or the other. This sounds like a classic case of job burnout but the question you have to ask yourself is, what are you going to do about it?
Recent studies have cited that 4 in every five people suffer from job burnout at some point in their life. The research also mentioned that 86% of millennials have made reports that they have dealt with burnout at work.
Burnout stress is a totally different kind of stress, because when you suffer that kind of stress from work, the consequences can actually be dangerous. The reason why job burnout presents itself as something entirely different than any other traditional stresses is because it is the perfect blend of physical, mental and emotional stress. This particular type of stress also has more likelihood of heading in the direction of alcohol abuse, insomnia, high cholesterol and depression.
Stop Assuming More Than You Can Do
These same studies also have pointed out that those who multi-task really aren’t rewarded and when it is activated it can lead to draining ones energy and of course that leads the person smack-dab into the bullseye of job burnout. Also, one of the most pivotal keys is to do your best to set time aside in order to have quality production time. Then, try to stray away from distractions like the web and even overly chatty co-workers who somehow always forget they happen to be on the job.
Try Taking it Easy for a Few
Make time for both mental and physical breaks and with the types of jobs that entail mundane, repetitive tasks, it becomes even more imperative. It is better that way because if you don’t, job burnout will lead to a person giving up on the job altogether.
Give Credit Where Credit is due
A true symptom of job burnout is when a person becomes cynical and they simply cannot muster any desire or satisfaction for their job. If this so happens to be you, take a second to congratulate yourself and tell yourself that you are doing a great job. Take some time nightly to jot down a list of everything positive that you have done that day. If in the event that you are suffering burnout due to the lack of appreciation from your co-workers then the thing to do, is to do it yourself.
Top 3 Tips To Help You Recover From Burnout
Have you been working too much and you are now feeling too stressed and overwhelmed to the point where you are almost losing interest in everything?
If that is the case, there is a high chance that you are having a burnout. There are lots of people out there who love what they do so much that it is hard for them to stop or have a break. Whereas burnout can adversely affect your quality of work and also reduce your productivity as well, the good news is that you can get back on track and overcome a burnout.
Below are top 3 tips to help you recover from burnout, that are worth reading especially if you, a coworker or someone you know is dealing with burnout.
1. Re-evaluate your priorities
At times, all you need to do in order to get yourself back on track when dealing with burnout is to simply take a step back, and then look at the big picture. In other words, re-evaluating your priorities is vital when it comes to dealing with burnout. What matters most in your life, and where have you dedicated most of your time to? If you are able to answer these two questions, then it will be easier for you to identify where to shift your attention to. For instance, if you find out that you are working too much to a point where you have little time to spend with your family or the people who matter most in your life, then it is prudent you find time in your busy schedule to be with your family.
2. Just take a long vacation
Whereas this tactic has worked well for some people, it has at the same time failed for those who don’t take measures to ensure their vacation is completely work-free. However, a long vacation can be a great way to refresh as long as you have measures in place to ensure that it is work-free. But prior to your vacation, take some pre-vacation steps so as to keep things running smoothly while you are away. Taking pre-vacation steps will also get you back into the groove once you return from your vacation.
3. Rest as much as possible
Burnout can make you physically and emotionally tired, especially if you haven’t been getting enough sleep for a long time. If you don’t have money to take a long vacation or you are feeling too stressed to have one, sleeping can be an excellent way of recovering from a burnout. Sleep as many hours as possible for a week or two.
With these 3 tips on how to recover from burnout, there should be nothing to stop you from getting yourself back on track.
What Is Burnout and Why is it so Dangerous?
Mental burnout occurs when a person becomes emotioally, mentally and physically exhausted from the pressures of home or work life. This situation affects someone’s level of motivation, well-being and energy. They feel frustrated, drained, fatigued, hopeless and powerless, which is the body’s natural response to so much pressure. This situation is not an overnight issue, so you need to recognize its signs and symptoms early in the process so that you can take measures and stop it quickly.
There are many physical sings that tell you something is going wrong with you. Lethargy, insomnia, muscle aches and headaches are some common symptoms of mental burnout. This situation may also lead to loss of appetite, gastrointestinal problems, migraines and lowered immunity to disease and sickness. The body’s chronic stress might bring about frequent headaches, sleep problems, and so on.
When reaching the point of burnout, you might tend to react differently in some social situations. You might start to blame others for your problems and feelings and even withdraw from your tasks at home or work. People might start using drugs, drinking alcohol as a form of mental outlet. People then start to make poor decisions at work due to their high levels of stress. Then they start to procrastinate, ignore responsibilities, skip work or arrive late.
Emotinal and Mental Signs
Burnouts can affect people’s emotional well-being a lot. They will reduce their ability to concentrate and focus, decreasing activity and memory power. Then they might develop self-doubt, isolation, feeling of failure and even sadness. Moreover, they might start to develp a negative outlook on life and work, signs of detachment, loss of motivation, and depersonalization.
How to Deal With Mental Burnout
Relaxation: You need to take relaxation seriously if you want to get rid of your mental burnout. Reading a book, meditation, listening to music, taking a walk and related things will help you deal with your mental burnout.
Rich non-work life: Finding something that is challenging and gets you going will help you keep a mental burnout at bay. Volunteering in your community, finding a new hobby, or practicing a new sport will make your mind, spirit and body feel much better. The goal is to turn your self off and participate in non-work, rewarding activities throughout the day.
Unplug: Communication technology has also added up stressors to our life, so you need to unplug and turn off these devices from time to time.
What is the difference between stress and burnout?
Burnout may be as a result of excessive stress but they do not mean the same thing. Burnout is a cycle of negative emotions, paralysis and withdrawal. It is the body’s response to putting too much effort into something without taking in what you require to restore yourself. It is mental, emotional and physical exhaustion that leads to diminished interest in performing tasks.
Physical symptoms of burnout include having low energy, headaches, muscle tension, digestive disorders, frequent colds and changes in one’s sleep patterns. Its mental symptoms include feeling sad, inadequate, frustrated, unappreciated and irritable. These symptoms can result in withdrawal, accidents, increased sick days and crying. One may increase their consumption of food or alcohol to soothe themselves.
Stress on the other hand, involves too many pressures that demand too much from you either physically or psychologically. Stressed people though can still see a light at the end of the tunnel, they just often can’t figure a way to get to it.
Stress is just a day-to-day experience but burnout is a more serious consequence of the build-up of too much stress which causes the individual person to shut down.
If stress persists on a full scale for a long period of time, there are increased risks of burnout. Although stress is an essential pre-requisite for burnout, burnout is not necessarily the result of too much stress. For burnouts to occur there must be an additional psychological factor.
People who are stressed can often still function and do all that the tasks or jobs required of them. This is due to the fact that different people can bear different levels of stress for different lengths of time. This is quite a contrast to people experiencing a burnout. Burnout most times leads to a total shutdown of all systems in the body and it causes a person to become completely nonfunctional. Burnout causes people to experience long-term exhaustion and diminished interest in life as a whole.
· It is characterized by disengagement
· The person’s emotions are blunted
· It gives one a feeling of helplessness and hopelessness
· It makes one lose motivation, ideals, and hope
· It leads to detachment and depression
· Its primary damage is emotional
· It is characterized by over engagement
· The person’s emotions are over reactive
· It gives one a feeling of urgency and hyperactivity
· It leads to loss of energy
· It leads to anxiety disorders
· Its primary damage is physical