Work-related burnout is characterized by symptoms of emotional exhaustion, detachment from others, and being ineffective at work. The symptoms are caused by a prolonged response to chronic emotional and interpersonal stressors at work. The consequences of work-related burnout can also interject into your personal life, causing depression and anxiety. When your job puts your mind and body in a constant state of stress, even minor issues become mentally insurmountable.
1 The first step is to figure out if you are experiencing work-related burnout.
Is your job causing you severe stress, fatigue, or problems sleeping?
Do you dread going to work every day?
Do you worry about work in your free time?
Do you feel that you cannot accomplish tasks that used to be easy for you?
Do you experience more physical problems, i.e. headaches?
Once you recognize symptoms of work-related burnout, then you can consider how to best take action. Ideally, you should try the following:
- Get more sleep.
- Exercise regularly.
- Practice yoga.
- Practice mindfulness meditation.
- Practice mindful breathing.
- Practice mindful walking.
- Make time for other activities focused on self-care and self-compassion.
- Talk about your situation with people that you trust.
- Don’t let the feeling of not having enough time stop you.
Urgency and frustration are heightened when your nervous system is in “fight-or-flight” response. Yoga and mindfulness activities help you learn how to become fully aware of each moment, so your sense of time will actually expand. Practicing restorative activities stops your “fight-or-flight” response, so you will feel less rushed and stressed even when faced with the same to-do list.
While adding to your schedule or even finding more time for something you already enjoy doing might seem impossible when you are facing burnout, treating yourself with compassion is a great place to start. Simply focusing on sleeping, eating well, and getting a little exercise every day can help you avoid the worst of burnout while you get back on track!