Burnout is a state of emotional, physical, and mental exhaustion caused by excessive and prolonged stress. It occurs when you feel overwhelmed, emotionally drained, and unable to meet constant demands. As the stress continues, you begin to lose the interest or motivation that led you to take on a certain role in the first place.
Understanding Burnout and Its Impact on Mental Health
Burnout at work isn’t just about having a bad day or a tough week— it’s a chronic condition that can lead to serious physical and mental health issues, including depression, anxiety, and heart disease. It’s characterized by three main dimensions: overwhelming exhaustion, cynicism, and detachment from the job, and a sense of ineffectiveness and lack of accomplishment.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has recognized burnout as an “occupational phenomenon” in its International Classification of Diseases (ICD-11). This recognition underscores the seriousness of burnout’s impact on mental health.
Sharing warning signs of burnout and coping strategies on social media can make a significant impact on your followers’ lives. It can help them identify if they’re experiencing burnout and provide them with practical tips to manage their stress levels effectively.
Moreover, sharing such content can cultivate a positive online community. It encourages open conversations about mental health, making it less stigmatized and more understood. It can also inspire people to make meaningful changes in their lives, such as setting healthier work boundaries, practicing self-care, and seeking professional help when needed.
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Warning Signs You’re Burnt Out at Work
- Setting your alarm too early so that you can use the snooze button. The signs of job burnout can start
first thing in the morning, for example if you’re so tired that you hit snooze over and over and then feel frantic and late when you wake up.
- Being depleted after work. Consistently lacking the energy after work to do regular things like cooking, going to the gym, or spending time with your family is not a good sign.
- Inconsistent sleep patterns. Often, people who are over-stressed at work will lose sleep over something they did (or didn’t do) at work.
- Feeling liberated after a Friday at work. You know you’re really stressed when you truly feel like you’ve
been freed when the weekend rolls around.
- Explaining your job with “fine”. An obvious sign of burnout comes when family and friends ask you about your job, and whether it’s new or you’ve been there for a while, you simply respond with one-word responses like “fine”.
- Constantly being asked about your feelings. Do your coworkers often approach you because they’re worried that you’re struggling or down on yourself? This is a signal that others are picking up on your misery.
- Not spending time with coworkers. Burnt-out employees tend to shy away from company-wide
lunch events or happy hours because they’ve lost interest in building their network.
- Living like a vampire. Arriving before dawn and leaving well into the evening is stressful on its own. Being forced to work these hours can make the problem worse.
- Dreading every Monday. Similar to only looking forward to Friday night, absolutely dreading Mondays can signal that you’re burning out.
- Fantasizing about quitting. Moving to a new job for a higher salary or better hours is one thing, but fantasizing about simply quitting is on the other end of the spectrum.
- Not wanting to explain your job to people. “What do you do for a living?” is a common question at events, but it often becomes annoying to someone who is sick of their job.
- Disregarding how you treat coworkers or customers. If you’re planning to quit or you’re just sick of dealing with the same people every day. It may be reflected in how you treat your coworkers.
- Forgetting your last accomplishment at work. Not remembering the last time you felt satisfied or accomplished at work can signify the development of job burnout.
- Constantly feeling overwhelmed. Stress at work is inevitable, but every moment shouldn’t be stressful. There are simple methods that can help.
- Rarely feeling like you’re progressing. A lack of progress or feeling like you’re stuck is likely a sign that
it’s time for a new job (or at least a vacation).
- Being cynical. Once you lose interest in the company and stop caring about
helping it, you can become a liability.
- Frequently losing your temper. Stress can lead to temper tantrums and you may seek relief in exploding on those around you.
- Over-complaining to your partner. There’s no doubt that venting can help, but your problems at work shouldn’t consistently become the problems of your significant other or your close friends.
- Dreading a new job search. Even if you know it’s time for a new job, if you’re over-stressed there’s a chance you won’t even take the time to look. A new environment can sometimes be the change you need.
- Noticing coworkers are hesitant around you. If you notice that your coworkers are walking on eggshells around you, that’s a clear sign that you’re becoming difficult to work with.