It’s Monday. You arrive at your workplace with low-key anxiety in the back of your mind making everything worse – your coffee tastes more bitter, the colors are paler, and the smile of your coworkers saying hello feels fake. You arrive at your desk, check your emails, and pale at the sight of the many things you’ll need to take care of today. You feel like the end of your workday is slipping further and further away, and you already long for the weekend.
Many of us have experienced similar feelings at one point or another in our lives. We live in a crazy, busy world, constantly trying to balance between our many tasks and duties, where achieving the perfect work-life balance feels like a distant dream. We tend to sacrifice our free time to get more done, not caring about our own welfare and health. And sooner or later, our welfare and health will be affected by our crazy schedule, lost sleep, and lack of self-care, resulting in a condition generally known as “burnout”.
What is burnout?
Burnout is a condition with symptoms like lack of energy, exhaustion, increased mental distance from one’s job, feelings of negativism, and reduced professional efficiency caused by chronic work-related stress. It is usually caused by a stressful work environment where a worker feels overwhelmed, drained, and unable to meet constant demands.
And it’s not just something people say they have when they feel down – occupational burnout has been recognized as a legitimate medical condition by the World Health Organization.
What are the effects of burnout?
Stress – no matter from what source – can have even severe long-term health effects: it can contribute to blood pressure and heart problems, aggravate skin conditions like rosacea and eczema, and can even make asthma, arthritis, and diabetes worse.
Work-related stress can seriously impact your workplace performance, and have a negative impact on your team’s or the entire organization’s performance. And it can spill over to your personal life, too, causing problems at home as well as in the workplace
How to prevent burning out?
When it comes to your tasks in your workplace, there are times when there is nothing you can do about it. Still, there are a few things you can try, like delegating some of your tasks, discuss things with your superiors, and try to become better-organized by assigning priorities to your tasks, and making the best use of to-do lists and time management tools.
Regular exercise and plenty of sleep are vital for preventing professional burnout. Jogging, yoga or a gym session will not only help you reduce stress but also be healthier in the long run, and even help you sleep better at night. And most importantly, improve your social life both at your workplace and in your spare time. “Spilling” to your close friends or your significant other can ease your stress in an instant, and having workplace pals to share a joke with can take the edge off the worst moments of your day.
And most importantly, don’t be shy to take a break every once in a while, no matter if it’s a long weekend, a city break or a full-blown vacation.