Everyone feels frustrated and frazzled with their jobs from time to time. But burnout goes beyond the occasional bad day — or bad week. Burnout is a silent condition, induced by chronic stress. It’s characterized by emotional and/or physical exhaustion, cynicism and a lack of professional efficacy. Psychoanalyst Herbert J. Freudenberger coined the term “burnout” in 1974. He defined it as ”the extinction of motivation or incentive, especially where one’s devotion to a cause or relationship fails to produce the desired results.”
Burnout occurs when workload, sense of control or lack of control, reward or lack of reward, community, fairness and values are chronically mismatched with our belief systems. You can have a lot to do and still feel fulfilled and satisfied. But if you are being treated unfairly at work as well, then the workload becomes a burden, not a source of joy and fulfillment.
Warning Signs of Burnout
- Are you starting not to care about work anymore?
- Is it hard to stay motivated?
- Do you feel your workplace is a dreaded place to be?
- Are you snapping at your colleagues?
- Do you feel disengaged from your work?
- Have you lost your passion for things?
You might be burned out if the work you were passionate about now feels like a burden, you avoid your coworkers and isolate yourself, and you can’t enjoy your professional accomplishments. You have to be able to recognize burnout and honestly assess your situation and work toward solutions.
Two things that will help you address and prevent burnout are making time for yourself and seeking support.
Make time for yourself daily: do things you enjoy, shut off work completely, and focus on your own needs, goals, desires, and happiness.
Seek support: Talk to someone you trust about your feelings and work situation. Bottling up your frustrations will lead to faster burnout, and can even lead to more serious conditions including depression.
Infographic – Desk Rage: Tell-tale signs of an overworked employee
inspiration: World of Psychology.