With the coronavirus placing more undue stress on the lives of Australians than ever before, it’s important to maintain a balance between work and play to avoid burning out.
According to Safe Work Australia, 92 per cent of serious mental health concerns in the workplace can be connected to work-related stressors, which are usually caused by extreme workload coupled with poor management.
Perfectionists and those with a tendency to self-criticise their work are more susceptible to burning out because they are of the mindset that whatever work they are doing is too challenging and intimidating.
Upskilled have revealed which obvious signs to watch for in the event you’re close to burning out and how to prevent the stress from spiralling out of control.
Upskilled have revealed which obvious signs to watch for in the event you’re close to burning out and how to prevent the stress from spiralling out of control (stock image)
What are common signs of burnout and how can you treat it?
Burnout is a feeling of complete exhaustion and can make you withdraw from other people and develop a cynical attitude – especially towards your work.
Burnout can cause you to delay tasks that would have once been easy. In severe cases, burnout might make it hard for you to function at all.
When you’ve reached the point of burnout, it’s probably going to take more than a few new holes to fix the issue. You may need to take significant steps to reduce the amount of stress you’re facing and also draw on support from other people, including health professionals.
The Beyond Blue Support Service can help point you in the right direction. For other specific ways to cope with stresses at work, check out our Heads Up website.
You can find support services and advice for healthy ways to cope with stress here.
Source: Beyond Blue
1. Feeling disconnected from work
Activities that you might have enjoyed when you were in higher spirits will now feel like a drag and you’re more likely to turn down an after hours drink with your colleagues.
‘Feelings of drive and motivation typically devolve into irritability and cynicism, damaging productivity and performance in the workplace,’ the website read.
Where you might have been open to sharing details about your weekend during a casual lunch break, someone who is experiencing workplace burnout will isolate themselves.
2. You’re getting headaches and body aches
Stress can have a profound effect on our physical body, namely in our energy levels but also when it comes to feeling fatigued by the end of the day.
Headaches, stomach aches and heart palpitations are all common side effects of this and are a way for your body to tell you things have been pushed too far.
‘Victims may experience a weakened immune system; thus making them more vulnerable to illness,’ it read.
Stress can have a profound effect on our physical body, namely in our energy levels but also when it comes to feeling fatigued by the end of the day (stock image)
What causes burnout?
The most evident causes of workplace burnout are job-related stressors, including extreme workloads and poor management.
Ongoing communication, support, and reasonable, clear expectations are requirements to keep workers confident and motivated in what they do.
Gallup research shows that employees who are treated fairly, are provided enough time to complete their work, and are offered encouragement are 70 per cent less likely to experience workplace burnout.
3. You feel anxious and depressed
If the idea of stepping foot in your place of work brings about negative emotional reactions then there is a good chance you’re burning out.
When left unchecked, these may reach severe levels of guilt and hopelessness, which will then need to be professionally tended to.
While ordinary stress can be managed, workplace burnout differs in that it overwhelms the individual for a long period of time, and motivation, inspiration and engagement suffers for weeks on end.
How do you treat workplace burnout?
Make self-care a priority in your life and ensure there is time devoted to your work and the hobbies you enjoy outside of it.
Time might be set aside for exercise, for swimming, getting some extra sleep or playing with your children. So long as it provides a distraction and welcome relief to your work day, it’s a good choice.
‘However, if you’re already in the thick of it, a well-deserved break may be just what you need to address workplace burnout,’ the website said.
‘However, if you’re already in the thick of it, a well-deserved break may be just what you need to address workplace burnout,’ the website said (stock image)
‘It can help to take a holiday, a temporary leave of absence, or to simply use up your sick days to recover or gain some perspective.’
Meditation and yoga might ease some of the stress but if your feelings are more than a stretch or three minutes of mindfulness can help, it might be time for a career change.
It would be better to pursue a role that is more suited to your individual needs and personality, rather than continue to be stressed and unhappy where you are.