This blog post was written by Pooja Shah, PsyD.
Burnout is something that can happen to any and all of us. Let’s face it, our lives are busy and always on the go. Often we forget to stop and smell the roses and this can lead to burnout. When we reach the point of burnout that is our bodies telling us that you have pushed yourself to the max and that there is not much more you can take. Burnout often includes depersonalization, emotional
exhaustion, and a reduced sense of personal accomplishment. Most people will experience burnout related to their job. If you are having difficulties both at work and at home that will increase your chances of experiencing burnout.
Common symptoms are:
- Increased feelings of frustration, impatience, anger
- Increased boredom or lack of focus
- Hoping appointments/meetings will get cancelled.
- Increased fatigue or illness
- Decreased motivation
- Decreased fulfillment and enjoyment from work
- Note: Men are more prone to depersonalization, while women are more likely to exhibit emotional exhaustion
People at greatest risk include those that:
- Do not like their job.
- Do not feel safe at work.
- Work at public agencies.
- Feel as they do not have independence at work.
- Feel overworked.
- Feel isolated.
- You are new to the field and feel overwhelmed.
- You have a history of trauma.
- You are single or divorced.
When it comes to burnout, because it can happen so easily to most of us, it is important to regularly check in with yourself and take time for yourself. Try new things to help make the workday seem shorter, such as taking a walk during breaks and lunch. Also try these activities to help you regularly reflect on your feelings and experiences: meditating, journaling, engage in therapy, creating weekly and monthly goals for yourself.
Involve yourself in work related activities that do not necessarily have to do with your day-to-day role such as networking and joining professional organizations. Review and recreate your boundaries with co-workers and colleagues. Often unhealthy boundaries or a negative workspace will increase the intensity of your experience of burnout.
Sometimes it helps to rearrange or redecorate the workspace. Engage in non-work related activities in the evenings and weekends, such as taking fun classes, rock climbing, hiking, reading, etc.