Life is not the same as it was 50 years ago. There’s more competition, more information available to us, more things that need to be done and more stress than ever. Ideally, nobody should suffer from this, but due to the nature of our jobs, we have to adapt ourselves and learn how to manage stress rather than avoid it.
Since it is a relatively new affliction, we as humans are not prepared to deal with it from the evolutionary point of view, thus it can be really hard to overcome without help. That’s why receiving coaching for stress and burnout can greatly improve your life.
The great news is that once you recognize it, burnout can be attended and you can bring positive changes to your life.
Before getting into the solutions, it is important to first recognize its signs and symptoms.
What Is Burnout? Recognizing it, Then Addressing It.
According to the International Classification of Diseases (ICD-11) burnout is an occupational phenomenon rather than a medical condition and it is defined as follows:
“Burn-out is a syndrome conceptualized as resulting from chronic workplace stress that has not been successfully managed. It is characterized by three dimensions:
- Feelings of energy depletion or exhaustion
- Increased mental distance from one’s job, or feelings of negativism or cynicism related to one’s job.
- Reduced professional efficacy
As stated before, burnout can affect you at any point in your life with feelings of mental and emotional exhaustion. Although symptoms can vary from one person to the other, 5 stages have been recognized.
When you undertake a new job or task and everything feels perfect. You are satisfied, full of energy, and ready to deal with stress. Implementing good coping strategies at this stage is extremely important.
Onset of Stress
At this point, you start to notice that what you felt at the honeymoon phase is starting to fade. Optimism decreases and you start noticing some of the common stress symptoms affecting you mentally and physically.
By this point, your stress levels will experience an increase both in intensity and frequency. Motivation quickly fades and feelings of loss of control and anger can quickly set in. It is common to start adopting some self-destructive behaviors
Symptoms become even more marked, to the point that it is not possible to continue your life as you would normally expect. Feelings of emptiness and pessimism, self-doubt, lack of sexual interest and desire to move away from friends or family will overwhelm you.
This is the most recognized phase of burnout. Characterized by chronic sadness, depression and chronic fatigue, you are likely to experience problems in every aspect of your life.
Overcoming Burnout And Improving Your Life
If left unaddressed, burnout can quickly become embedded into your life and the more time you let it be the harder it becomes to find a way out. Here are some of the best ways of overcoming it.
Reaching out to close ones
Whether it is your partner, your family, or your friends, getting in touch with other people will greatly improve your mood and help you feel better. Opening up to others can be difficult at first, but most of your loved ones won’t see you as a burden.
Be more sociable
Since burnout usually starts in the workplace, connecting with people in your workplace is probably the first and most logical step. Engaging with colleagues can quickly develop into new friendships which is a good way to manage stress.
Attitude Towards Work
Find value in what you do
It is very common to feel that your job is taking you nowhere. As if it was just a meaningless task that you need to do for whatever reason. Once you’re able to find some value in what you do (usually by helping others) it becomes easy to move from depression to motivation.
Find balance in your life
Not mixing your personal life with your professional life can sometimes seem like an impossible task. It’s easy to bring your work home or spend hours reading emails while on your free time, but you should respect your time off as well.
Reevaluate Your Priorities
Learning how and when to say “no” will allow you to better manage your priorities and feel more confident about yourself. Boundaries are not limited to saying no, whatsoever, it is also about knowing when to take a break and how you’re managing your time.
Disconnect from technology
It is no secret that technology can be just as useful as detrimental. Being able to set a time when you completely disconnect and using that time to work on yourself or spend time with your loved ones is one of the best things you can do. You’ll be able to create bonds with people and ultimately feel better.
Rediscover your hobbies
Doing something you enjoy is one of the most effective ways of overcoming burnout. Whether you’re engaging in a new project or resume a favorite hobby, focusing your mind on activities that you enjoy will reduce your stress and mood.
Get Help From An Expert
Some years ago this was not an option for most people due to the stigma of “needing help”. Things have changed now and Burnout Coaches or counselors have become a great way of transforming work-related stress into productivity and fulfillment.
The guidance provided by a professional external observer can bring a new light into the solutions and provide a space where you can safely explore the root causes of your stress and work on them.
Unfortunately, it’s easy to fall, a victim of burnout, partly because most people are not able to recognize the burnout symptoms until it’s too late.
These symptoms can change from person to person and it can affect you at any stage of your life. Once you get to that point, what made you feel pleasure in the past is now exhausting and meaningless.
On the bright side, this is not a terminal condition.
There are plenty of solutions and activities that can help you overcome it and correctly managing this situation can make you become a whole new person. You can become a better person, more efficient, and more capable of achieving that which you look to achieve.