Job Burnout: Learn if You’re at Risk
Burnouts are a common phenomenon caused due to workplace stresses. They generally occur when the mind or body is subjected to overwhelming amounts of stress and exhaustion at work. What starts as a simple case of recurring acidity due to high stress can quickly spiral into problems like insomnia, anxiety, and burnout.
Here are a few ways to spot some of the early signs of workplace burnout as well as some strategies to ease the same.
Early Warning Signs of Burnout
People on the verge of burnout can display high levels of pessimism and a general lack of interest at work. Such people will also begin to exhibit severe antisocial tendencies that can end up in altercations with their co-workers, affect their quantum of work, and put them at odds with their friends and family.
Potential burnout candidates, who are previously used to putting in long hours at work will find themselves struggling to tap into their reserves of energy as they inch closer to their breakdown. They will begin to struggle to carry out the simplest of tasks whether it's getting out of bed on a workday or staying awake and remain productive throughout the day.
Burnout candidates will begin to display high levels of dissatisfaction with their achievements at work, struggle to find purpose in their actions and exhibit other telling signs of general despondency.
The onset of an impending burnout brings with it an increasing dependency on food, alcohol, and drugs to deal with all the emotional and mental stresses that a high stakes job can bring to the table. People on the verge of burnout can also have trouble sleeping. This can, unfortunately, tempt them into getting into a vicious cycle of alcohol and drug dependency to deal with their Insomnia.
The most telling signs of an impending breakdown can be noted by paying attention to the increasing aches and pains that are symptomatic of poor posture and long hours of work. People close to burnout will begin to complain of chronic back pains, migraines and other physical aches and pains, all of which are warning signs of burnout.
The Science of a Burnout
The average corporate executive is subjected to many short-term stresses over the course of a single day. In such instances, the body releases a hormone called Cortisol in reaction to this stress. The constant accumulation of stress over days and weeks can, however, lead to long-term stress and increase the release of cortisol in your body.
Cortisol production can interfere with your cognitive functions like memory, lower your immunity, increase your weight and blood pressure in the short term, and heighten your risk for mental illnesses and burnout in the long term.
What are the Consequences of a Job Burnout?
Burnout can have a range of adverse effects on your body and be a major risk factor for:
- Sleeplessness or Insomnia
- Chronic Anxiety
- Low Immunity
- Heart disease
- High cholesterol
- Type 2 diabetes, especially in women
Life After a Burnout
It is tempting to dive right back into your job and resume a life of hyper-productivity at the cost of your own health. It is, however, essential to avoid falling for such temptations and prioritize your physical and mental well-being before anything else.
The devil is in the details, chalk out a daily schedule that scopes out everything from your daily diet to office meetings and tasks for the day.
Sleep for at least 7-8 hours every night and exercise for at least 150 minutes in a week to reset your biological clock. Eat healthy home cooked meals upwards of 3 times a week and make time for breaks throughout your day to take stock of your stress and anxiety to prevent it from snowballing into a stressful breakdown.
Feel like you're on the verge of a burnout? Make sure you visit your physician before you jump to any conclusions as well as rule out any other health or mental conditions.
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