A major concern impacting many people in our society today is burnout. The awareness of burnout has become more common as companies are now focusing on ways to improve employees’ overall morale, work satisfaction, and job performance. There is also burnout in our personal lives involving our relationships and responsibilities that we handle daily. While burnout can have different meanings and effects on your life, the focus of this article is to provide information on how it affects you in the workplace.
We will review what is the meaning of burnout and its causes. We will also review ways to recover from burnout and review steps on how to unlock your potential.
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What is the meaning of burnout?
Burnout is defined as being emotionally or physically exhausted from a reduction in accomplishments and a loss of personal identity. A few symptoms of burnout include anxiety, depression, fatigue, detachment, lack of creativity, and a feeling of being detached. These symptoms, of course, may vary in each individual
In the past, WHO (World Health Organization) had classified burnout as a stress disorder. However, since 2019, WHO has updated its classification of burnout as workplace stress that has not been managed successfully.
What do statistics say about burnout? Statistically speaking, the APA (American Psychological Association) provided an update in January 2022 from the prior month of December 2021. Their findings reflected that about 79% of workers had experienced some form of stress symptoms associated with burnout.
What are the causes of burnout at work?
While the causes of burnout can be numerous and vary from individual to individual, we will focus on a few examples that are impacting the workplace.
- Repetition with no challenges – When the mind does the same type of task repeatedly over and over without being allowed time to rest and recover it causes burnout to set in. This is the result of consistent pressure on the brain not to be challenged to grow.
- Conformity to rules – Having no control over your work conditions, working long hours, a heavy workload and a feeling of not being treated fairly regarding rules established by an employer can also cause burnout.
- Lack of value or respect – If a work environment is toxic, shows favoritism of one employee over another, and/or does not foster an atmosphere of appreciation, burnout can set in.
These are only a few examples of what causes burnout. Let’s now take a look at how to recover from job burnout.
How to recover from job burnout
To recover from burnout, it is important to make positive changes to your daily routine. Aside from leaving your job, you can make changes by being promoted to a new position with greater challenges and responsibilities or even doing a lateral move to another job that is different and more challenging than what you are currently doing now.
Here are a few other ideas that can help with changing your daily routine and promote healing in your recovery:
- Change your monotonous schedule – Develop new routines that disrupt your normal schedule. Change jobs to work in a place that provides variety and more creativity. We increase our happiness by controlling our destinies.
- Reconnect with nature – Spend time outside watching scenic views of the sky, and the sun, watching birds fly, or just appreciating the beauty of flowers and trees. Nature provides an escape to open our imaginations to explore and uncover opportunities.
- Listen to music – There is a sense of healing in music for our souls. Take time to listen to your favorite recording artist or simply music that inspires you. Listening to music can help awaken the creative spirit within you.
- Positive affirmations – Write down your life aspirations and goals. Listen to or read positive statements that give you hope and motivate you to develop and grow as a person. Do this daily and visualize these changes as already happening in your life.
- Do your research by reading books that provide more specific solutions to your unique situation. For example, Amber Pierce, author of Burnout Recovery: 15 Techniques to Overcome Stress, Regain Control, Restore your Energy and your Focus, provides life skills tips to overcome burnout.
How to live up to your greatest potential
Within each of us is a desire to live a peaceful, happy, and fulfilled life. Sometimes that desire gets lost because of our jobs and other responsibilities. When you lose sight of not living life to your full potential it is a good idea to take a step back so that you can move forward. Here are four steps you can take to live up to your greatest potential.
- Return to your childhood curiosity. Have fun doing things that you enjoy. Be curious about exploring new ideas. Learning new things and exploring new opportunities are ways to be joyful, playful, harmonious, and happy.
- Take risks to change, grow and develop. Instead of working for someone, take a risk to work for yourself. Take time to learn new skills that prepare you for a better and brighter future.
- Dream the impossible. Develop a mindset that says it is possible. Believe in yourself and learn to be your own best friend by speaking words of hope and encouragement to yourself.
- Step into a new you. Stop doing the same repetitive process of living the same way you have become accustomed to. Imagine that you have only one day left to live. Hold that thought in your mind. If you only had one day left on this earth, would you change anything you are doing now? If your answer is yes, then this is your opportunity to step forward and live your dreams.
In conclusion, we have discussed the meaning of burnout, its causes, and its symptoms. We have also reviewed ways to recover from burnout and how to begin living your dreams by making changes to your life. These changes consist of reconnecting with your childhood curiosity, taking a risk to change, dreaming the impossible, and stepping out into a new you.
Are you ready for a change? I hope that this inspires you to act and unlock your potential. Please feel free to share your thoughts and comments on how you overcame burnout.