For some people, identifying a burnout can be challenging. After all, it is easy to brush off the red flags as signs of justifiable stress every person has to face, attribute these signs to a particularly busy time at work or blame it on the pandemic and think you’ll be fine when it passes.
Ignoring burnout can ultimately be detrimental to your well-being. You should acknowledge and be equipped to address a burnout to avoid it snowballing into a bigger problem.
Here are three telltale signs you may be suffering from a burnout.
#1 You’re Unexcited About Work
No one is excited about work 100% of the time. However, if you’re constantly dreading the start of a workday and find yourself counting down the minutes till the anguish ends, it can become very unhealthy.
Your work is a big part of your life – in terms of the number of hours you spend on it each day, the social circle you build, and even as a part of your identity. Your lack the drive to do your best and an evaporation in any sense of work fulfilment can lead to bigger problems in your life.
#2 You Do the Bare Minimum
Not only are you unmotivated by what you do, but you may also be actively distancing yourself or decreasing your involvement in projects you’re working on.
Your level of productivity has also significantly decreased, with increasing errors in your work. You may only put in the bare minimum into what you do instead of trying to achieve the best results.
You’re (Always) Exhausted
You are mentally and physically exhausted. You feel drained, lack focus and are generally unable to cope with work (no matter how much or little you have on your plate). Headaches have become a daily routine and you feel anxious and suffer from a loss of appetite. These are red flags to look out for, especially over a prolonged period of time.
What You Can Do About Work Burnout
Unplug From Work: It is important to completely disconnect from work – by refraining from checking emails or returning work-related calls.
You can make use of your annual leaves to do this. However, it can be doubly hard to completely unplug as work-from-home arrangements and inability to travel means work is always a click away.
You should engage in activities that genuinely relax you, such as taking a walk in the park or treating yourself to a spa day. This can help immensely in re-energising and motivating you as you return to work eventually.
Find an Outlet: Relieve all the (pent-up) stress by taking up a hobby (especially a physical activity) that can also boost your health. Otherwise, confide your stress and frustrations to a trusted family member or friend. However, strive to maintain a balance between expressing your frustrations and complaining all the time, as the latter is not a constructive way to deal with your existing problems but might further entrench your negative sentiments about work.
Change Your Work Environment: Working in a different environment can help with breaking the monotony and encourage new perspectives and productivity.
This doesn’t have to mean finding a new job, and you can even benefit from the flexibility of work-from-home rather than be bogged down by it. You can try changing your working environment at home by switching the layout of your room so that you’re more comfortable. You could even enhance your workspace at home by equipping it with an ergonomic chair, standing desk, better home broadband, bigger monitor screens and more.
Read Also: 10 Most Affordable Standing Desks You Can Buy For Your Work-From-Home Office Set-Up
Reassess Your Work Scope: Entrepreneurs and small business owners facing a manpower crunch and other unsettling business crises, especially in these uncertain times and COVID-19 office shutdowns are likely to feel overwhelmed by work.
You can take a step back to reassess the scope of your work. Look at areas you can get outsourced help with or things that can be delegated.
Take Care Of Yourself So You Can Go The Distance
To cope with an overdose of work, you as a business owner can try to disseminate work amongst the team. If your manpower budget permits, have a new hire on board to avoid overstretching.
If you are an employee, you should not be afraid to reassess current work scope with your superiors in order to make adjustments to existing responsibilities.
Most importantly, never be embarrassed to acknowledge a burnout. Rather, you should try to identify a burnout in its early stages to prevent its subsequent detrimental effects. The best bet is to avoid brushing off warning signs and remember to take a breather every once in a while!
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