Experiencing burnout? Here's how to beat it
It was recently officially recognized as a workplace crisis
Burnout is a state of mental, emotional, and physical exhaustion characterized by feelings of depletion, detachment, cynicism, and a reduction of efficacy. In May 2019, the World Health Organization recognized burnout as a syndrome stemming from "chronic workplace stress."
The syndrome essentially drains the joy out of your life, making problems seem insurmountable while also making it difficult to muster up the energy to care about anyone or anything, let alone take care of yourself. It can threaten your job, your relationships, and your health, and it’s an increasingly prevalent issue that only gets worse without the knowledge to fix it.
We’ve all encountered stress and unhappiness at work, but we’ve been trained to believe that taking a vacation will "recharge" us. More and more, however, people’s burnout worsens when they return and find that nothing has changed, despite spending all that money. Unfortunately, burnout is deeper than temporarily feeling overwhelmed.
Many factors can cause the excessive and prolonged stress that leads to burnout, whether it’s your profession, caring for family, working long hours, or witnessing upsetting news every day. There are so many reasons to be stressed, and we often accept that as the norm. We’re taught that we have to work harder than everyone else if we want to succeed, and we’re encouraged to value career success over our own well-being. But it’s catching up to us.
With a prevailing workaholic culture and with our shifting modes of work (i.e. freelance, social media, etc.), there is less time for life. Many office habits can also accelerate the syndrome, like eating lunch at your desk, sitting all day, or working late into the night.
What makes it even more difficult is that burnout isn’t always easy to spot. Plus, it doesn’t go away on its own and, if left untreated, it can lead to serious physical and psychological illnesses like depression, heart disease, and diabetes.
But don’t get stressed out by this! Check out the following gallery to see warning signs and effective techniques for both preventing and handling burnout.
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