Emotional Burnout at Work: Prevent and Fight It

professional burnout

Since 2019, professional emotional burnout syndrome is included in the International Classification of Diseases, which means that it is officially recognized as a factor that affects health. So, treating it with calls to “get it together” or “just take a little break” is ineffective.

Emotional Burnout Danger

Employees who experience professional burnout are more likely to seek medical help. 63% of them are more likely to take sick leave. They are twice as likely to discuss achieving goals with their supervisor, 13% less confident in their job and 2.6 times more likely to part ways with their current company.

Decreased work capacity is one of the three key signs of burnout.

Burnout can affect your ability to work and even cost you your job. And it can take anywhere from a few weeks to a year to recover from this condition.

An expensive “treat” for both the person building a career and the HR professional interested in employee efficiency and reducing the cost of hiring and onboarding.

Who Is at Risk

Do not be misled by the saying “burned out at work,” the cause of professional burnout is not always overwork. Much more important is whether a person knows how to switch from work to rest, how well he rests, whether he feels satisfaction from what he does.

One of the most common causes of burnout is devaluation. When an employee does not see what he works for, does not understand his own goals and does not feel their connection to global corporate tasks, he has a feeling of uselessness of his work and himself.

Imagine that you are “burning” with a big project, you devote most of your working and some free time to it, you do your best, and then suddenly it turns out that it is no longer needed: the idea is not “flown”, the boss has changed his mind, the budget has been cut. Or the head simply did not notice your efforts, did not bother to say thank you.

Unfair treatment at work, deprivation of the promised bonus, lack of communicative elements that help employees better understand where they worked well and where they went wrong – all these can also lead to burnout.

An equally common cause of burnout is a toxic supervisor, bullying and conflicts with colleagues, psychological pressure, corporate mobbing, that is, intentionally creating conditions in which it is impossible to work.

Sometimes a manager artificially creates a feeling of constant time pressure – they set limited deadlines. Work in such conditions leads to constant stress and burnout of employees. In this case, the manager should reconsider his management style and evaluate the priority of tasks more adequately.

Self-help for Burnout

Here’s what you can do right now if you find yourself in one of the four stages of burnout:

  • If vacation is still a long way off, consider how you can add at least an hour of rest to each day. Don’t hesitate to tell your supervisor directly that you feel burnout – a supervisor who appreciates an employee will give them an extra day off.
  • Don’t try to spend your free time “with benefits,” such as reading nonfiction books. Give yourself the opportunity to sleep in, watch your favorite movie, play at 20-bet.pl, or lie in the bathtub.
  • Sports help you recover from burnout. It is not necessary to rush to the gym and set records on a treadmill, swimming pool, yoga, walking in the fresh air will do. Supplement the activity with a bath or a contrast shower.
  • Temporarily turn off your phone, put off your laptop, do not check your messengers and email, delete social media apps from your smartphone .

Burnout Prevention

If you don’t notice the signs of a professional burnout, but you are afraid that you might face them in the future, pay attention to the prevention of these conditions.

Realize that burnout prevention is your priority, neglecting it can cost you your job and your health. No one can teach you to keep a balance between work and rest, to devote time to hobbies, friends, and family.

It’s up to you to get regular rest, go out more often, monitor and protect personal boundaries at work, and use practices to prevent burnout. Here are some of them:

  • Energy Leaks. We encounter all kinds of situations, people, and activities. Some of them fill us up, others deplete us. Make a note in your phone and make a note every time you feel a rush of energy, joy or, conversely, irritation, a desire to do something else, emptiness, dissatisfaction. Rate people and events-one plus, two pluses, one minus, or two minuses-to track their impact on your well-being.
  • Mindfulness Calendar. Take a planning tool you’re used to, such as an electronic calendar, schedule things for the week or month ahead and color-code different types of tasks and activities. Let work be yellow, rest be green, socializing with family and friends be pink, and sports be blue. See which colors are more and which are missing. Make sure that rest and physical activity are scheduled during the week along with work meetings and calls.
  • Weakness Analysis. Analyze what brings you to a state of professional burnout. Could it be that you are an addictive type who finds it difficult to switch from interesting work to quiet relaxation? Or the problem is that you have no hobbies and you do not know how to relax in principle? What happens to your personal boundaries – are you able to say no, can you say no to a colleague who asks for help, or to a boss who decides to work on the weekend?

The most effective way to conduct such an analysis is to help a specialist – a coach or psychotherapist. Never forget about regular quality rest. Any positive change in life requires resources.

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About the Author: John Abraham

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