Burnout: Is your body crying out for help?

Many of us would have said that we’re feeling burnout.

But is it true?

When you wake up, do you instantly feel angry at the thought of work and your email inbox?

Does your anxiety creep up, and you feel a knot in your tummy as you wonder how to tackle all your work tasks?

If you’re nodding to all these statements, then that could be your body telling you that you’re edging close to burnout.

True burnout is a state of chronic and unmitigated job stress that results in overall exhaustion, frustration, negativity, and a defeatist attitude that impacts an employee’s professional and personal life.

It is more than needing a temporary break from work or feeling briefly worn down by an intense project. In fact, it can also manifest in physical symptoms like fatigue, migraines even chronic diseases.

Did you know burnouts can be categorised into three different types?

Overload burnout

Continuing to work at a pace that is not sustainable for mental and physical health. Usually happens when the goal is to achieve financial security, validation, recognition, and success.

Under-challenged burnout

When people are not stimulated or engaged in their work, they will often lose interest and disconnect, leading to frustration and dissatisfaction. Which usually leads to…

Neglect burnout

When people have no sense of purpose at work and don’t think their contribution makes a difference, people often feel helpless. This can also happen to those who may need more support to carry out their tasks. If employees feel like work is too challenging or too much to do, they’ll burn out.

What are the most common signs of burnout?

  • Exhaustion
  • Loss of interest in work
  • Decrease productivity
  • Higher sensitivity to feedback
  • Insomnia
  • Mood swings & irritability
  • Physical symptoms
  • Increased absenteeism

It’s common to have stressful times at work or feel disillusioned with your job at times. However, burnout runs deeper.

One-off self-care like taking time off work to rest may help in the short term. Still, a more effective strategy for chronic burnout is to incorporate it into your routine a few times a week.

While you may not want to add more to your plate, try to make a bit of time each day for something you love. Do something outside of work that helps you to de-stress, enabling you to focus and relax.

And when work hours end, make it a point to disengage and disconnect, just like what was mooted by  labour MP Melvin Yong in parliament in 2020!

Just like he said, “rest properly in order to have the energy to work hard and be productive again the next day”.

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