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August 30, 2021
Let’s Talk Burnout

It is likely that at one point in your life or another, you have experienced burnout. Burnout is real and it is a serious matter. Did you know that it is now classified as a mental illness caused by unmanaged stress at work? Once you tip over the edge and fall into it’s trap there is no easy or defined way to recover. It can take weeks, months, or even years to recover. Burnout can have serious repercussions. That’s why it is so important for employees and employers alike to be able to spot the signs early and possess the ability to respond to these signs. 


What does burnout look like?


Burnout is the result of chronic stress in the workplace. While everyone can respond differently and show unique symptoms, here are some common ways burnout manifests in a person. One might experience exhaustion, cynicism, lack of identification and satisfaction with her job, or feelings of professional inadequacy. One may exhibit more physical symptoms too such as headaches, nausea, or sleeping difficulties.

What causes burnout?


Lack of control: when one lacks the ability to make decisions related to their job (assignments, schedules, workload, etc) 

Unclear job expectations: this leads to a lack of comfort at work. When one is unclear about their level of authority they tend to burnout at a higher rate. 

Dysfunctional dynamics or environments: if you have to face a workplace bully or a micromanaging boss, then stress is more likely to be present. 

A lack of work-life balance: If you feel that work is taking up so much of your time that you can’t spend time with your friends or family you might develop guilt and stress which ultimately (if prolonged) leads to burnout. 


How to combat burnout


Evaluate your options: There is nothing wrong with standing up for yourself. Speak to your supervisor. Let them know that you need their support. Create a plan and set goals for yourself. You might find that certain projects can wait while others must be prioritized. A happy and refreshed employee is much more beneficial to them than an employee facing burnout. 

 Lean on your support system: Remember that your friends, family, and co-workers are there to support you. Let them know that you are struggling. Collaboration and their presence may help you cope with and navigate the feelings that you are experiencing. 

Take a break: Sleeping helps restore your mind and increases your overall health. Try to shut down your computer and take a nap. Block out time to NOT think about what you are facing at work.  

Do an activity that prioritizes you: You could exercise, clean your workspace, paint a canvas, get creative. Whatever the activity is, make sure that it makes YOU happy. Treat yourself, you deserve it. 

 Practice mindfulness: The mind is a powerful thing. Try to block out time to just connect with your breathing. Let your feelings, emotions, and thoughts arise without interpreting them and without judging them. Be kind to yourself. Treat your body and mind like they belong to someone you love. 


Remember that there is no shame in facing burnout. Be honest with yourself and your peers about what you are going through. They might be able to help! No matter what you are feeling at the moment, remind yourself that you won’t feel like that forever. 


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