Burnout is characterised by emotional exhaustion, cynicism and ineffectiveness in the workplace, and by chronic negative responses to stressful workplace conditions.
With so many things competing for our time, it’s easy to become overwhelmed by the demands of work, family and maintaining our health. But this doesn’t mean that we should neglect the need to refuel and rest.
Advances in mobile technology mean that we find it increasingly difficult to leave work at work, with people being contactable 24/7 and often able to work remotely.
A focus on work and a lack of emphasis on recovery, can lead to burnout – a total emotional and physical exhaustion brought on by overwork.
Left unaddressed, this can result in poor physical health, reduced job satisfaction, decreased productivity, an increased risk of accidents, poor workplace morale and even clinical depression.
Burnout is more likely to occur when one:
- Expects too much of themselves
- Never feels that the work they are doing is good enough
- Feels inadequate or incompetent
- Feels unappreciated for their work efforts
- Has unreasonable demands placed upon them
Some of the signs and symptoms to look out for include:
- Reduced efficiency and energy
- Lowered levels of motivation
- Increased errors
- Increased frustration
- More time spent working with less being accomplished
Detect these early signs of deteriorating health and taking action by firstly identifying what burnout looks like for you (anger, frustration, exhaustion etc.). If you are feeling overwhelmed ask for help, delegate tasks or reset priorities. Connect with people who care about you and enlist the support of people you trust. Learning to verbalise your feelings to prevent future episodes of burnout.
By implementing a strategy to detect early signs of stress or deterioration of mental health, you can begin to take preventive action.
Some examples for steps in a self-care plan to prevent burnout could include:
- Develop a list of self-care strategies, which could include journaling, meditation, massage, yoga, reading, music, mindfulness, stretching, tai chi, dancing, breath techniques etc.
- Each week, assess where you are at in following through on the strategies you have chosen.
- Tweak your list as needed for the upcoming week.
- Determine your priorities for the week, month and year – make them reasonable – write them down and review them regularly to keep yourself focused on what matters to you.
- Use the principles of mindfulness, looking for signs of tension at least once a week – address the areas of tension by considering the source and if necessary, seeking support or treatment.
- Take time to become centered and grounded through quiet reflection, prayer or meditation.
Disclaimer: * The information contained in this site is general and is not intended to serve as advice. DPM Financial Services Group recommends you obtain advice concerning specific matters before making a decision.