The 21st century has proved to be an era which throws prominent light on mental health issues. It is sad but most people are suffering in one way or the other, some even silently without any external help. Anxiety, frustration, depression, all these terms have become more friendly than the people around and one more such word is- burnout.
What is Burnout?
The term ‘burnout’ is a relatively new term that was first coined in 1974 by Herbert Freudenberger in his book Burnout: The High Cost of High Achievement.
Burnout is a reaction to prolonged chronic job stress. The simpler symptoms of burnout is when-
- You feel exhausted with your job.
- Start hating your job.
- Feel less capable at work.
The stress that contributes to it mainly comes from your job profile and routine but even if you are stressed from your overall lifestyle, then it can also add up to it. Burnout is not related to any kind of job profile, rather it could be a part of any random job profile and occupation. Following the same routine daily, can lead to acute burnout but when it passes the extending limits of patience of the bearer, it can also lead up to the symptoms that are much more common as depression.
However, burnout is a mental condition but it can’t be considered as a psychologically diagnosable disorder. While it can’t be diagnosed, that doesn’t mean that it shouldn’t be taken under serious consideration.
- Physical symptoms- When burnout initially starts, it can lead to physical issues like headaches, stomachaches, intestinal problems, lethargic body and many others.
- Emotional exhaustion- Burnout makes people feel drained, unable to cope and mostly tired. They feel unattached to any emotion but anger and irritation. They also lack enough energy to work.
- Alienation- People who experience burnout see their job as extremely stressful and frustrating. Often, they also emotionally distance themselves from work and the people related to it. They may start feeling numb towards the work too.
- Reduced performance- When for a long time an individual is doing very well in his/her work, and then suddenly the performance reduces down a level, it might also be a sign of burnout.
- Personal life- Although burnout arises from job stress, but when a person gets caught up in it, then not only professional life becomes frustrating but also personal life starts deteriorating. The stress from job drains the person so much that he/she will not even be able to involve in caring for the family and it becomes difficult to keep that negativity aside from the family members as well.
Now that we know that it is more of a hypothetical problem that is not diagnosable nor any medicine could help it except for the physical pain it causes. So, what’s the escape? If burnout is everything that lies in our mind and makes your life tiring, then let’s peep inside our minds only, and give our lives some energy. Let us get to know-how.
How to Escape and Avoid?
- Admit- Don’t do things that you don’t want to. Sometimes, taking two steps back is more important than taking an unwilling one ahead. Admit the fact that you are not made to do all kinds of work and remember you can’t do everything. Allow yourself to grow, but not at the cost of your mental health.
- Work less- This generation is too competitive and everyone is invisibly a part of some rat race. Being called a ‘workaholic’ has become an appreciation, whether it starts crushing a person. Don’t just go with this trend to work day and night. Set your limits according to your mental comfort. Don’t just overdo always, choose the best way and work through it.
- Remake your routine- People seem busy all the time, yet not always productive. Remake your habits and routine, don’t just be busy all the time doing all the possible things in the world. Don’t stress too much about the routine, just be productive about the things you do.
- Know how to say ‘NO’- When you keep saying yes to anything and everything, you get suppressed by its overwhelming burden, and you might not be able to handle it always. Look out for yourself. Not everything is worth your ‘yes’. Not everything is your cup of tea to drink. Learn to choose wisely and build up the confidence of saying NO.
The Bottom Line
We are so busy in making ‘to-do’ lists, ignoring the fact that you might also need a break from the life you call ‘successful’ when it has just made you another victim of emotional exhaustion. Work smartly because not always your hard work keeps you productive. Don’t forget to bring satisfaction in your life, and not just for you but also for the people around who depend upon you.
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