How to recognise burnout and get out of it

Mindletic

3 min read

Stress in the workplace is widely recognized as a recurring problem. The ongoing pandemic only facilitated the issue. Results from the 2021 Harvard Business Review survey1 show, that 89% of those surveyed report a decline in their workplace well-being. Also, 56% of participants report an increase in workload. These figures are noteworthy, given that prolonged work-related stress is a key predictor of burnout.

What is burnout?

Burnout is a syndrome conceptualized as resulting from constant workplace stress that hasn’t been successfully managed2. It is characterized by three main components:

-Feelings of energy depletion or overwhelming exhaustion.

-Feelings of scepticism, cynicism, or detachment from work.

-A sense of ineffectiveness and lack of perceived accomplishment.

Let’s go into more detail with each component. Exhaustion can be experienced as a loss of energy, depletion, debilitation, fatigue, and being worn out. Overall, it represents drained psychological and physical resources. The cynicism dimension can also be described as negative or inappropriate attitudes, detached concern, irritability, loss of idealism, and withdrawal. Mainly regarding interpersonal relationships and attitudes toward work. The third component refers to a lack of productivity or capability, low morale, and an inability to cope.

Despite burnout being defined as a work-related phenomenon, outcomes may negatively affect our personal life. There is substantial evidence that burnout is associated with a heightened risk of future hospitalization due to mental and cardiovascular disorders, increased anxiety and depression, decreased job satisfaction, and rise in turnover.

What causes burnout and how we can prevent it?

Researchers identified six key areas which are predictive of burnout.

-Inadequate workload

-Perceived lack of control

-Insufficient reward

-Lack of social support

-Lack of fairness

-Conflict between values

Understanding in which areas mismatches lie, can not only prevent burnout but also help one to recover from it. When dealing with burnout it’s essential to focus both on the job environment, and the person within it. Since changing the workplace culture isn’t easy, here are some actionable guidelines you could do.

.Socialize 

It’s important to share praise, comfort, happiness, and humour with colleagues. Becoming more involved in the community and developing interpersonal connections with people you work with greatly increases job engagement and satisfaction. However, if socializing in the workplace feels uncomfortable, try talking to the people you trust. Family, friends, and partners can help you feel understood, connected, and accepted.

.Prioritize self-care

Take time to care for yourself. Go out, treat yourself, practice mindfulness, exercise, meditate, eat a balanced diet, start journaling. There is no single way. Find whatever helps feel more balanced and integrate it into your daily life.

.Address workload issues

Communicate with your manager about your workload. It’s best to be honest with your supervisor when they give you more projects. A manageable workload provides opportunities to practice existing skills as well as exploring new areas of activity and interest.

.Ask for help

During stressful times, it’s important to reach out for help. We have a number of great professionals who are ready to talk to you.
If asking for assistance feels difficult, consider developing a self-care ‘check-in’ with close friends and family members so that you can take care of each other during trying times.

Exercises

#1 // Try progressive muscle relaxation

Relaxation helps counter the physiological effects of stress and anxiety. To practice this skill, sit comfortably with your eyes closed. Working from your legs upward, systematically tense and relax each major muscle group. Hold the tension for 10 seconds; release tension for 20 seconds. Each time you release muscle tension, think ‘relax’ to yourself. You can also try muscle relaxation exercise in Mindletic App.

#2 // Establish boundaries

Establish some work-life boundaries for yourself. That might mean making a rule of not to check emails from a certain hour or ignoring the phone during dinner. Let yourself be unavailable at a certain time.

#3 // Share your feelings with coworkers

Try talking openly about your struggles. It might have the added benefit of allowing others to offer help. If it feels too challenging, you can start by talking in Mindletic community rooms.

#4 // Take a walk

Walking is a good way to put physical and mental distance between you and the stress-causing environment. Even a short bout of walking lasting just 10 minutes can improve your mood.

#5 // Make appointments with yourself

Start by scheduling some ‘me time’. Whether it’s reading a novel, taking a bath, or playing games, make sure to set time aside for the things that bring you pleasure. So once you’re back, chances are you’ll be more focused, collected, and ready to give it your best.

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