Burnout causes, symptoms and cure: Do you wake up feeling incompetent and unmotivated each morning? What once was your dream job, now seems dreadful and meaningless. What’s worse, you get exhausted by the mere thought of starting your workday. Burnout is the state of persistent mental and physical exhaustion. According to a retrospective analysis of NumroVani data reveals, more than 75 per cent of working professionals have experienced burnout in India.Also Read - Reducing Calorie Intake May Not Help You Lose Weight | Read on
Despite the spotlight it has garnered in the last few years, burnout continues to handicap the efficacy of 66 per cent of the working professionals. Also Read - Coronavirus Latest Symptoms: Fatigue And Headache Most Common Signs of Long Covid
Data reveals that burnout is common. Yet, recognising it doesn’t come easy. While the stressful working conditions have made “suffering” equivalent to “hustling”, it’s important to recognise the symptoms of burnout and find your way out of it to lead a healthier, happier, and more successful life. Also Read - What Are The Key Barriers For Working Mothers in Office And How to Break Them?
What is Burnout?
Burnout is the state of constant mental, emotional and physical tiredness or fatigue. It hampers your productivity, steals your enthusiasm, and makes it difficult to manage simple day-to-day tasks. Unlike general fatigue, burnout is a serious stress condition that makes your performance and work quality hit the rock bottom. It also develops a feeling of dislike and unsatisfaction toward work. Also, the individual suffering from this syndrome adopts a pessimistic or cynical mindset in each area of their life.
Burnout develops from unmanaged workplace stress, poor work-life balance, and strenuous work pressure. If left untreated, it can lead to chronic health conditions such as depression, anxiety, diabetes, and severe heart diseases.
You are more prone to Burnout if you are…
Apart from working professionals and business executives, people carrying on parenting responsibilities can also suffer from burnout. Looking and caring after a child without breaks can also overtax people in parenting roles. Also, ‘Type A’ personalities, perfectionists and those obsessed with being in control are more prone to burnout than others.
How to recognise burnout?
When you are burned out, the number of responsibilities placed on you is greater than the resources you have to tackle the challenges.
While it is not considered a diagnosable psychological disorder, spotting its signs can be a lifesaver. Here is the list of symptoms you need to look out for if you or your loved one is experiencing burnout –
- Fatigue: Fatigue is a major sign of burnout. In this case, you feel tired all the time. There’s no energy left in you to engage in the simplest of tasks. Not only work but also social interactions and relationships exhaust you. You feel the constant urge to sleep throughout the day.
- Hopelessness and Cynicism: You are constantly frustrated. The work you do fails to satisfy you. It seems as if there is no point in doing what you’re doing. In the place of passion, you show hopelessness toward your goals. While it’s common to experience negative emotions, you experience nurturing more cynical thoughts than before.
- Disrupted sleep pattern: Chronic stress directly affects your neurological system. As a result, your sleep cycle is affected as you experience changes in your sleeping patterns. Insomnia is the flag-bearer of burnout. Unfortunately, it puts you in a cycle where you find it difficult to sleep at night and fight the impulse to nod off during your working hours.
- Disturbed cognitive function: Chronic stress depletes your decision-making abilities. It switches on your “fight or flight” mode and forgets to switch it off. As a result, you find it difficult to focus and concentrate on tasks. It also fogs your brain and makes it hard to remember details and commitments.
What to do if you are experiencing Burnout?
- Indulge in Satisfying Non-work Related Activities: Remember, your work defines a portion of your life, not its entirety. Thus, it’s vital to create a life outside of the office and away from the working desk. Make space for your hobbies, personal interests, and social life in your daily routine. Find something that makes you happy even if it doesn’t lead to monetary gain.
- Exercise: Different forms of exercise like yoga, cardio, and weight training release endorphins and serotonin, the feel-good hormones that work miraculously to lower your stress levels. A simple 30-minute exercise session 4-5 days a week can lower your blood pressure, improve your concentration span, and put you in an overall enhanced mood and shape.
- Personalized Meditation and Deep Breathing: Meditation is the ancient art of practising control over one’s mind. It blocks unnecessary self-chatter and allows you to live in the present. Personalized Meditation (selected based on name and date of birth) followed by deep breathing is proven to reduce anxiety, and stress and improve cognitive functions along with boosted productivity.
- Cultivate a relaxing sleep ritual: A relaxing sleep ritual can help thwart the negative effects of burnout-induced insomnia.
- Keep your bedroom dark and clean.
- Don’t use social media 30 minutes before bedtime.
- Adopt a bedtime habit like meditation or read a feel-good book.
- You can also use Music Therapy to dose off to a peaceful good night’s rest.