Burnout is something that lots of people are fighting, but many don’t even realize it. They feel extremely stressed at work and so pressured that they start to become ill, but they shrug it off as just as inevitable part of life. Jobs are stressful. They’re also unavoidable for most, so why waste time complaining about them?
Well, this is not strictly true. Yes, a certain degree of stress can be expected from most roles, but should never be so intense that you start to feel physically and emotionally drained on a regular basis. This is what we call ‘burnout’ and, ultimately, it indicates that you need a change or the stress will start to affect your health.
This guide to recognizing the signs of burnout, brought to you by Oz mattress, will help you find some effective techniques for managing and solving it.
Difficulty Falling Asleep
You could have the most luxurious
mattress in the world, but if you can’t switch your brain off when you hit the hay, you’re going to find it hard to sleep. Insomnia is one of the classic signs of burnout, because the body is very tired, but the mind is constantly in overdrive.
To try and solve this, don’t go to bed immediately after you’ve engaged your brain. Do something relaxing before you head off to sleep. This means no television and no mobile phones; they are one of the main causes of insomnia. Take a bath, cuddle a pet, or enjoy a hot drink instead. Whatever else you do, resist the temptation to check work accounts.
Near Constant Procrastination
If you find yourself doing anything but concentrating on the task at hand while working, you could be in the early stages of burnout. We all sneak a look at funny cat videos on YouTube during office hours sometimes, but if you really feel like you can’t stop yourself, there could be a problem.
The great irony of burnout is that, even though it is caused by overwork, the quality of the work suffers anyway. You might be putting more hours in, but if you’re not operating at full capacity, it could end up being a waste of time. If you’re procrastinating a lot more than usual, try to take a few days out from technology, the internet, and digital screens.
Ill Will towards Colleagues
Sometimes, burnout can manifest itself in the form of general annoyance and ill will towards colleagues. For example, you might find yourself feeling a little more mean spirited than usual when hearing office jokes or gossip. Clearly, this can turn into a problem if left unaddressed, so it’s important to recognise the issue and take steps to solve it.
While you don’t have to worry too much about apologies if you’ve mostly kept your thoughts to yourself, if you have let your mood slip a few times, it could be worth taking to your workmates. Ask for some time off to rest and recharge and let your colleagues know the reason. Everybody has tough times and most (if not all) will understand and sympathise.
A General Sense of Futility
You might start feeling like your job doesn’t ever end with any rewards or achievements. This is not an entirely healthy way to think. All work, even roles which are fairly high pressure, should be broken down into clearly delineated tasks and objectives.
Burnout causes feelings of futility and obscures these smaller achievements, until it feels like the work is one big job that never comes to an end. Sometimes, the solution will be to find a more rewarding position, but more often than not, it is a matter of taking a step back. Enjoy a little time off and get some perspective back on the work you won’t regret it.
Reluctance to Take Time Off
As already mentioned, lots of people don’t realise that they’re burning out until they’ve had a mini meltdown or other incident at work. So, most won’t agree with the opinion that they should take some time. In fact, it’s very common for those who are most at risk of burnout to have never taken any time off work at all.
This is not advised nor is it the best way to become a great employee, even if it seems like it’s what a manager or supervisor wants. Your career is supposed to be a test of your skills, not your health. There is no triumph in refusing to take paid time off work and making yourself ill in the process. So, if you can’t remember the last time you took a holiday, organise one today.