What is Burnout?

Have you ever felt like the demands and responsibilities upon you are far more than your ability to cope on a consistent basis? If the answer is yes, then you might be suffering from burnout, or at the very least, severe stress. This article will take a look at what burnout is, why it occurs, when to seek help and what you can do to combat it.

What is Burnout?

Burnout occurs when a person is dealing with consistent and high levels of stress. Burnout is considered a syndrome which presents itself when someone is dealing with chronic workplace stress which has not been addressed or successfully managed. The negative contributions to burnout could be demands placed on you in the workplace, by family, friends, your colleagues, your business or even yourself! American psychologist Herbert Freudenberger first used the term ‘burnout’ in the 1970’s to describe the consequences of severe stress in certain professions. Consistent stress over a prolonged period of time where nothing changes will almost always end in burnout, so it’s important to recognise the signs and turn things around before it becomes worse.

What are the Signs of Burnout?

Burnout can look very different for different individuals and present itself in a number of ways but the core signs are very similar and can often be mistaken for depression or other mental health difficulties. Signs of burnout include but aren’t limited to a deep exhaustion, an inability to cope with seemingly normal day to day demands, insomnia and excessive anxiety, listlessness and not taking care of your own basic needs to fulfil a growing list of tasks or responsibilities. In the workplace burnout can make itself known in a different way; becoming more irritable or critical of your own or others work, becoming less productive, feeling no sense of achievement or motivation or experiencing physical symptoms such as stomach or digestive problems.

What Can You Do to Prevent Burnout?

One of the most important ways to prevent burnout is taking care of your own needs before anyone else’s, things like your diet, sleep hygiene, exercise and the ability to self-reflect. Pouring from an empty cup isn’t healthy for you and for those close to you. Other ways to prevent burnout are nurturing the ability to say no to extra demands and responsibilities that are asked of you if you feel they are too much for you, this can be especially difficult when we live and work at such a fast and constant rate. If you feel you are heading for or are already experiencing a form of burnout, it is really important to speak to someone about your concerns before things deteriorate further. Reach out to a friend, a loved one, a colleague, your workplace or your doctor for further support .

When is it Time to Get Extra Support?

The first stage of recovery from burnout is the ability to cut through the noise and recognise that you are suffering from severe symptoms which will worsen if you don’t change your current path. Seeking support in areas which you may help you, such as resilience or managing stress will help you regain your sense of physical and mental wellbeing, renew your energy and focus whilst providing you with tools and technique’s to reduce your risk for the future and boosting your resilience.

We hope you have found our article useful. If any of the above resonates with you, our course ‘How to Boost your Resilience’ might be a beneficial next step for you, you can find out more about this here.

If you feel you might be suffering from burnout in the workplace, implement some effective management methods to help you manage and reverse the symptoms, feel free to contact us here and we will be happy to discuss the services we offer in more detail.