The term “burnout” (from the English job burnout) is associated with a lack of energy, exhaustion, ashes remaining after fiery work engagement. The large emotional charge contained in it causes everyone who wants to describe their feelings associated with stressful work to reach for it. (“I sit at work for 12 hours a day, I don’t even have time for lunch. The boss always has some comments”). So maybe job burnout is fatigue from work? However, an analysis of theories explaining the mechanisms of burnout shows otherwise.
The causes of job burnout are usually located in three planes:
The causes of job burnout syndrome are diverse and depend on personal, social, societal factors; such as: overwork, peer pressure, perfectionism, depression, ADHD, problems with a partner and family, unemployment, stress, chronic inflammation, bioenergy deficit, professional sports or diseases.
Many people who fall ill with this syndrome obsessively strive to achieve professional success, even at the expense of their health (also during time off work). These people almost never have a phase of rest and relaxation.
Symptoms of job burnout
Job burnout syndrome is the result of a long-term process of the accumulation of problems at work and/or disagreements with other coworkers and management. It can also occur when an employee participates in a failed project again or when they cannot complete assigned tasks on time, which leads them to stay in the office after hours more and more often. The result of this is:
- loss of motivation to work and come to the office;
- feeling of isolation and misunderstanding, and thus a negative attitude towards coworkers;
- mood swings, general depression, feeling of helplessness, lower self-esteem, lack of faith in the possibility of changing a difficult situation, etc.;
- postponing important matters and meetings for later and taking longer to complete tasks.
In its definition, job burnout is described as “a syndrome of emotional exhaustion, depersonalization, and reduced personal achievement that can occur in people working with others in a certain way”.
Combatting job burnout syndrome
Job burnout should not be ignored, as it can lead to further problems at work and even loss of health. After recognizing the first symptoms, it’s worth reconsidering your work habits and drawing appropriate conclusions from them. How to combat the “burnout” syndrome? Here are a few effective methods.
More time for rest and sleep
Rest after work and sleep are essential in order to be fully focused during the hours spent in the office. People suffering from insomnia caused by stress should stop checking emails in the evening and working after hours. At a chosen time (e.g., 9:00 pm), it’s also good to turn off the work phone and fully relax.
More physical activity
Movement is one of the remedies for feeling bad. Exercises improve circulation, relax, and also allow you to focus your thoughts on the movements performed and distract attention from problems at work. You can start with yoga, stretching, or regular visits to the pool. For people in better shape, dance lessons and interval training.
More meetings/conversations with friends and colleagues
Social contacts have a positive effect on mood. Maintaining steady relationships improves self-esteem and strengthens a sense of security. So it’s worth meeting with a friend or a few close ones. Start a conversation with office colleagues – maybe start with topics about the upcoming weekend or last vacation.
Putting away addictions
Some substances, such as alcohol or cigarettes, are harmful to health and only seemingly reduce stress. Therefore, people who are constantly overworked should give them up. This does not apply to coffee, which can have a positive effect on the body. The consumption of this drink should be limited to one or two cups daily – mainly in the morning. Coffee drunk before noon adds energy and stimulates concentration.
Eating healthy food and drinking water regularly
To change this habit, just cook several portions of food once every few days – for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. You can also use nearby cafeterias, but it’s best to choose easily digestible dishes that do not induce sleepiness. Overworked people should also regularly drink water to ensure the body is properly hydrated. Water contains valuable minerals, such as magnesium, which reduces stress, calcium which benefits metabolism, or potassium, which controls muscle contractions.
The most important substances that can help in the fight:
- Coenzyme Q10 (ubiquinone and ubiquinol)
- Niacinamide (vitamin B3) and riboflavin (vitamin B2)
- Vitamin B12 and nitrosative stress
- Vitamin C
- Selenium and zinc
- Omega 3
Remember that you will not always be able to do everything, you will not always complete the project on time, and sometimes you will have to correct what has been done.
However, these are not reasons to worry and constantly think about work.
Sometimes you have to be able to let go, mentally distance yourself from work and think.
From experience, we know that a good atmosphere in the company improves the quality of work and mood.
What do you think about job burnout and how do you fight it?