How to Beat Burnout at Work

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The World Health Organization on May 19, 2021, included burnout as an occupational phenomenon in the Classification of Diseases. A recent Deloitte survey also found out that 77% of workers experienced burnout in their recent job.

What is Burnout? Burnout is a persistent state of exhaustion and overwhelm. Sometimes this is commonly normalized when not realized. Burnout is a result of prolonged, excessively emotional, physical, and mental stress. When a person is overwhelmed, drained, and unable to keep up with the demands of life especially at work; then burnout happens.

What are the indicators of burnout at work? Experience wise I found some signs of burnout worker. A worker should have an initial screening by asking himself some of the following questions:

  • Am I cynical or critical at work?
  • Do I need to drag myself work and in order to get focus?
  • Am I irritable to my co-workers?
  • Am I impatient to my co-workers?
  • Do I need energy to be productive?
  • Do my sleep habits change?
  • Do I need special products to get energy, drugs or alcohol to get sleep?
  • Do I feel delusion about my job?
  • Does my bowel movement change?
  • Do I have unexplained headaches? body aches? Stomach aches?

If you answered YES to the majority of these questions, then you may have experienced burnout.  Workers may also consider seeing a physician or specialist for this could also be related to other medical conditions or depression.

How to beat burnout? Here are eight (8) helpful tips to keep you going and beat burnout.

Admit you are burnout. The first step to solve the problem is to admit that you have one. You have to own the problem. Do some changes in your attitude, workload, and work habits. Making some changes in your work style help banish burnout. The changes will slowly be personally applied. A journal that polishes your work schedule may help.

Learn to mentally detach yourself from work. You have been working all day. When you time out, you pack your things and go. But the reality is, you just change scenery; your mind is still at your work. You have been working more than 40 hours per week. You just leave the workplace but your mind is still set at work. Instead of thinking of a vacation, you have to learn the art of detaching yourself from work. Try some strategies such as: removing your work account from your phone so that you will not be tempted to check the email now and then, seeing an old-time friend, strolling, and many more. Try some activities that will work for you in order to detach yourself from work.

Do nothing at all. I think doing nothing is also an art. Being relaxed, being still by doing nothing helps your mind to relax and be calm. At home, sit on your favorite couch; do nothing at all! Enjoy some quiet time listening to your breathing, birds chirping, or enjoying the silence that surrounds you. In your free time, try to do nothing at all.

Seek support. Support and collaboration might help you cope with burnout. You can do this by reaching out to your co-workers, friends, and loved ones. Consider also the Employee Assistance Program of the company if there is any for extended support.

Have some sleep. Sleep allows your mind and body to rest. It is lacking for those workers whose minds are always set on their work, thus even when it is sleep time; they can’t sleep. So, learn to free your mind and consider sleeping on time. Sleep helps restore your health.

Consider some physical activity. Have some exercise routine. Walk if your house is near, walk with friends and co-workers, go to the mall and do some window shopping. Consider yoga or sports.

No Overtime. Track what you are doing over time. Do not play online games over time. Do not watch Korean movies over time. Do not bring your work home. Some workers bring their work home thus they do not have time anymore with their loved ones since they are constantly working. Track what you are doing over time. This will help reduce burnout.

Have a hard conversation. Talk to your supervisor if you notice that he is giving you a workload that is impossible to finish during your working hours. Tell him. Be honest. You can do multi-tasking, but you are not superman nor wonder woman. Exhaustion comes when there is too much workload, or there is a job mismatch.

Whether knowingly or unknowingly, burnout affects the general working population. It is a mixed emotion of exhaustion and overwhelms resulting from prolonged, excessively emotional, physical, and mental stress due to work overload. Engaged workers are the opposite of burnout workers. They also have more workload, but they can manage or they tend to have more say on how they do their work. These are the workers that are effective, more engaged, and more energetic.

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