Emotional burnout is familiar to everyone. If you have not experienced this affliction personally, you have noticed the haggard look of a once cheerful colleague. The one that used to pour creativity on calls but now has lost all their emotions and will to live and doesn’t even get fun while watching a comedy or playing at Vave. Probably they also came across articles about how a person burned out, got sick, and it forced them to change their life. It’s time to talk about how to distinguish fatigue from exhaustion, recover, and return to work with the former vigor.
These tips will help you cope with the problem of emotional burnout, recognize the body’s signals and recover your energy to enjoy life and work with enthusiasm.
Tension Is Exhausting
High stress doesn’t necessarily lead to burnout. For example, if you work out at the gym three times a week but get good sleep and nutrition, burnout is unlikely to affect you. Especially if your workouts are invigorating and not seen as a chore. The problem begins when external factors are summarized and collected into a portion of stress that a person cannot digest.
Who Burns Out?
The syndrome of emotional burnout doesn’t spare specialists of helping professions: doctor, psychologist, firefighter, rescuer, and others. This condition invades both professional and personal life. Mothers on maternity leave and children caring for elderly parents are prone to burnout.
Office workers suffer as well. Stories of chronic stress and burnout at work are described in accountants, copywriters, managers, and executives. The mechanism of disease development and symptoms are the same.
The flywheel of professional burnout forces us to change our way of life, give up pleasant things to do, and lose pleasure. Professionals cannot accept that their refusal to work is a defensive reaction of the body.
There are no professions that the problem of chronic burnout would bypass. Regardless of the field, prolonged stress leads to burnout.
At some point, the most resilient, energetic and hard-working cannot withstand the load. Therefore, similar to keeping a first aid kit in the car, you need to know how to get rid of burnout and help others cope with this syndrome.
Emotional burnout occurs when a person experiences daily stress and feels fatigue at the level of the head, body and emotions. Tension accumulates, which more often leads to the fact that they stop caring about things and feel as if detached from reality. In this state, a person literally “feels bad about themselves”. They cannot control themselves and only see their thoughts revolving around the business that they cannot take up.
You could say that burnout is what comes after a long period of fatigue. Here’s how to feel the line.
Distinguishing Burnout From Fatigue
Distinguishing between fatigue and burnout isn’t difficult. When fatigue always helps switch attention and a full night’s sleep. Imagine the situation: after a working week you slept well, went to nature, and spent time with your family. If on Monday, you are answering calls and solving work tasks with renewed vigor, it’s fatigue.
If you feel fearful and depressed at the thought that work awaits after the weekend, your head feels heavy, and sleep isn’t refreshing, it’s emotional burnout. As long as you’re doing something about your responsibilities. That’s why burnout is also called chronic fatigue syndrome.
The problem is that emotional burnout doesn’t develop in leaps and bounds but strengthens gradually. If we speak in terms of psychology, burnout tries to save a person. On its background, emotional exhaustion manifests itself: when emotional reactions are turned off and a person falls into apathy. The body screams that it’s time to reduce the load. If you ignore the signal, then these symptoms can provoke depression.
What Is Professional Burnout?
Occupational burnout is a syndrome that develops due to chronic stress at work. It leads to emotional, mental, physical, and psychological exhaustion.
Emotional burnout syndrome leaves people who have been doing what they love to do without energy. They don’t cope with the duties, but the sense of responsibility doesn’t let them realize that it’s time to reduce the load. Now in the state of burnout, they experience only fatigue, irritation, and anxiety.
The causes of professional burnout are related to the fact that you have to work hard every day, neglecting your well-being. You want to spend more time on your life as well, but by this point work has taken over almost everything, leaving only a scrap of night for sleep. It has crowded out all areas: hobbies, sports, socializing with family and friends. No matter what you do, there is no letting go of anxiety and thoughts of things to do waiting. Constant deadlines only get you so far, and you may feel like you don’t know how to cope.
Types of Professional Burnout
Scientists distinguish three types of burnout, each with its own causes:
- The first type of this syndrome is associated with excessive workload. The trigger is the moment when a person is ready to sacrifice health for the sake of success. If they work hard and see this as their main task, they will burn out.
- The second type of burnout is related to mental and emotional exhaustion. It can have several causes. It manifests itself when a person faces prolonged stress, emotional overload and feelings of exhaustion with no prospect of recovery. The cause here is more likely to be poor work organization and strained relationships with supervisors and colleagues. To prevent the second type of burnout, it’s important to realize that stress eats away to take a break in time.
- The third type of burnout is related to the “imposter syndrome”, when a person believes that they don’t pull the level of tasks and feels incompetent. Even one conversation with a supervisor to say that everything is fine can relieve a person of stress.
Causes of Professional Burnout
Burnout starts when we work for three and set exorbitant tasks to get more money. This leads to work taking up more and more time and energy. This is related to the “excellent student syndrome.” Instead of admitting to the supervisor that the task is too difficult, the specialist will overwork, get nervous and take the project home.
This is especially dangerous when deadlines are looming. After a long day, you keep tackling tasks in your head and mentally see yourself at the computer the next morning. Thus, despite the emotional exhaustion, the sense of responsibility keeps you from switching.
Fatigue is replaced by despair, inner emptiness and loss of interest in life. What does the further course of the disease look like? A person is tormented by panic attacks, they cannot sleep, there is a chronic migraine and “sand in the eyes”.
General Tips: How to Get Rid of Emotional Burnout?
Avoid exhausting activities. Recognize that there are things to do that take too much energy. Try delegating some responsibilities, learn to say “no” when necessary, and protect your boundaries.
Talk to your supervisor. They are interested in making sure the employee is consistently on task, not overstressed and often on sick leave.
Create a daily plan. Don’t fill the entire day with work and leave breaks for rest. Lunch should be a time when all you do is eat and think about nothing.
Incorporate regular exercise into your schedule, such as running for 30 minutes every morning or doing yoga twice a week. Take a walk outdoors after your workday or lie at home and relax your muscles with calming music.
Get eight hours or more of sleep. Create a place to sleep, away from the computer and electronic devices. Buy an orthopedic mattress, ventilate the room and curtain the windows tightly.
Try mindfulness techniques, such as a short daily meditation. At work, focus on the task at hand, and try to remain calm in case of conflicts or unforeseen difficulties.
If you feel like it, complain to your loved ones. Just remember that constant complaining is tiring. Remember that the family also has problems and it needs participation and help. Therefore, rest when you feel tired, and you won’t have to complain.