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Caution! The Ultimate Guide On How Not To Burn Out At Work
It happens all too often: You study hard to become a good specialist, you get your heart broken by a number of companies who turn you down in the meanest of ways for unclear reasons, and then – you’ve nailed it. You’ve got that job you’ve always dreamed of. You sincerely enjoy every minute of it, every smallest detail of the process. You often get to the office early, stay after the shift, work on weekends…
However, time goes by, – and all of a sudden, you don’t enjoy it just as much anymore. Plus, you don’t sleep all to well, your health, in general, is not in such a good state anymore, you have lost contact with many of your friends and begin to forget what personal life is, and altogether you feel drained of energy. Naturally, it affects your professional performance, and not in a good way.
This means that you have been exposed to multiple stress factors over a long period of time, making them chronic. Commonly speaking, you’re burnt out.
The worst part is that people often get burnt out without even realizing it. It is important to recognize that you are on your way to burning out as early as possible. This way, you can take the necessary precautions to prevent this misfortune. Here are some of the early symptoms:
You just feel tired all the time for no reason. Even when it seems like you have had enough sleep and drunk your morning coffee, you still feel worn out, completely drained of any energy. You lack enthusiasm for anything and have difficulties getting yourself going anywhere and doing anything. You even start neglecting your health and hygiene. You might even the excess in drinking.
- Negative emotion
It feels like all that’s positive has been sucked out of every aspect of your life, and you’ve become bitter. Nothing matters anymore, and you are disillusioned about everything. You may notice that you are no longer as optimistic as you used to be.
Negative emotions are nothing uncommon, but it is important to keep an eye on the bulk of emotions that you are experiencing to timely recognize those that are normally not characteristic of you.
- Concentration problems
The thing with stress is that when it occurs, it mobilizes the entire effort to overcome it. When stress becomes chronic, it keeps all your effort focused on the negative factors (stressors) and overcoming them on a permanent basis, leaving no capacities left for anything else, regardless of how important it may seem to you. This affects your concentration, attention, memory, etc.
- Compromised job performance
The aforementioned factors add up and cause your performance at work to slip. If you suspect that you are burning out, it can be useful to compare your current job performance with how you had it some time ago (say, a couple of years).
- Personal conflicts
Every little thing that someone does or says can get you nervous. You either get back at people all the time, or you withdraw yourself and begin to ignore everyone around you altogether.
So, if you have spotted some or all of these symptoms, you are probably burning out. What to do in such case? Just relaxing in the way you are accustomed to – getting a drink or staying at home on the couch watching TV – will probably not be good enough.
Mobile technologies are great, but you can easily notice how they distract you all the time to the point of nagging. You don’t really need to be online at all times, do you? Switch off your smartphone when you are eating or taking a bath. Allocate specific hour(s) of the day for checking and answering emails. As for the rest of your spare time, dedicate it to yourself.
Relaxation needs to be taken seriously
If you are burning out, then most aspects of your everyday life – including your custom ways of relaxation – are associated with stress. Therefore, you need to get them all out of the way to get your stress completely out of your mind.
Meditations are a great solution here. But basically, any idea for a peaceful relaxation is good. You can simply take a long walk in the park listening to your favorite music and reading a book. You can also visit your relatives, just remember to warn them not to remind you about your job in any way. Think about what will get you truly relaxed and find the time for it.
Get yourself an engaging hobby
As mentioned before, indulging in bad habits and watching TV cannot be regarded as hobbies. A hobby is something that you can put your effort in and collect valuable results outside your work. It can be sports of any kind – from football to chess. It can be involvement in community life – such as organizing a cinema club with your neighbors, where you watch some notable movies and then discuss them. Anything that gets you involved and makes you feel useful, but – once again – outside your work.
Some say that 6 hours of sleep per day are quite enough. You may even feel that it’s sufficient for you. But when you do it on a permanent basis, you, in fact, undersleep chronically, thus exposing yourself to yet another unnecessary stress factor.
Getting enough sleep (no less than 8 hours per day), on the other hand, can significantly help you to recover from chronic stress, or even avoid it altogether.
Being zealous and hardworking is a good thing. But by constantly overworking you burn out, which is contrary to working efficiency. In order to stay a good worker, you need to take proper care of yourself – not only in terms of your professional skills but also in terms of your health on the whole – both mental and physical.
Burning out brings no good for you or for your job. So, avoid it by all means. And when you have the smallest of suspicion that you begin to burn out, take the necessary precautions immediately.
About the Author
Richard Nolan is a blogger and a private tutor, sharing his experience in spheres of blogging, self-growth, and psychology. Richard writes for numerous blogs and gives useful tips for bloggers, students, and teachers. Learn more about Richard on Facebook and Twitter