It’s normal to feel stressed at work from time to time. But for some people, the stress becomes all-consuming, leading to exhaustion, cynicism, and hatred towards your job. This is known as burnout, which used to be classified as a problem related to life management, but was re-labeled as an “occupational phenomenon” by the World Health Organization to better reflect that burnout is a work-based syndrome caused by chronic stress. While burnout isn’t a mental health disorder, it’s also no joke: it can lead to very serious issues such as anxiety, depression, insomnia, and alcohol and drug abuse. So, how do you know if you’re on the verge of burnout? Well, a good starting point is to ask yourself the following questions:
- Has anyone close to you asked you to cut down on your work?
- In recent months have you become angry or resentful about your work or about colleagues, clients, or patients?
- Do you feel guilty that you are not spending enough time with your friends, family, or even yourself?
- Do you find yourself becoming increasingly emotional, for example crying, getting angry, shouting, or feeling tense for no obvious reason?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, it might be time for a change.
There are things we can all do to reduce our own risk of burnout. One is to boost our levels of resilience. This means we’re able to respond to stress in a healthy way and can bounce back after challenges and grow stronger in the process. You can build your resilience by learning to switch off, setting boundaries for your work, and thinking more about play. As much as you can, inoculate yourself against job interference and prevent it from ebbing into your personal life.
No matter what your profession, don’t let your job become the only way you define yourself as a person. And if your job is making you miserable, consider moving jobs or at least have a look at what else is out there. You may surprise yourself. READ MORE
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