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How to Overcome Burnout from Work

burnout from work

This post helps you spot the 5 stages of burnout from work. You will learn how to overcome feeling tired at work and discover the top five tips for resolving burnout.

If you’re constantly exhausted and feeling overwhelmed, you could be experiencing burnout from work. You may feel emotionally or physically burned out, with stress, depression, muscle tension, insomnia, and changes in blood pressure, all of which can be signs of burnout in the workplace.

If you’re tired of work, don’t worry, it can happen to any of us. As the pandemic changed our working world over the last few years, occupational burnout is more common than you might think. The problem is that it can lead to mental and physical issues if you don’t address the cause of burnout. It’s also one of the reasons for job hopping.

The figures for burnout from work are concerning. A document compiled by research by Westfield Health reveals that “46% of the working population is at risk of job burnout.” Throughout the pandemic, 70% of people added 5 – 10 extra hours a week working from home.

Although remote working seems like an opportunity to improve people’s work/life balance, the report states that during the last 18 months, 50% of people working from home are more likely to experience burnout, compared to 41% of people returning to the workplace.

In addition, 30% of employees are considering a career break to protect their mental and physical health, and 52% have considered looking for a new job because they are tired of work and burned out. Subsequently, as businesses struggle to maintain engagement and retention levels in the workplace, the repercussions of employee burnout can be significant.

Why Remote Working Makes you Feel Exhausted After Work

One of the primary issues of working from home is keeping your working life separate from your home life. Even if you have a specific room for an office in your house, you have probably noticed you spend more hours working than if you were in the company office.

The problem magnifies if you have children on a school holiday or a spouse working from home. The lines between work and home life can blur as you struggle to manage the divide.

Another problem you may encounter is working when you are unwell. For example, if you develop Covid, you will not go to the office but may continue working at home. Some remote workers end up hating their job because they cannot escape the feeling of pressure to be available and working.

Moreover, a CIPD report shows that 46% of UK employees continued working despite not feeling well enough to fulfil their duties. It’s understandable because switching off when you work remotely is challenging.

Still, if you are ill, you cannot be as productive. You may believe you’re showing dedication to your work, but you aren’t caring for your mental and physical well-being. If you genuinely feel unwell, take a break. Otherwise, it could catch up with you later.

If You’re Tired of Work, Take a Break

When working in an office, you take natural breaks to grab a drink, catch up with a colleague or eat lunch. It’s a way of unwinding for a few moments from your work. In addition, it’s easier to compare your productivity with others in the office than it is working remotely.

Working remotely, you are less likely to take as many breaks as you need. You may get caught up in online meetings, listening to others recount their productivity and feeling you aren’t doing enough.

What are the 5 stages of Burnout?

You may refer to the issue as burnt out or burned out. Burnout can sneak up on you, but you can spot the early signs if you become self-aware.

What are the 5 stages of burnout
The 5 stages of burnout

Phase #1: The Honeymoon Phase

Much like a marriage, a new job is exciting. You are optimistic about accepting the challenges of a new project because you have the energy and motivation. You get a sense of achievement and experience long periods of high productivity. At this stage, you may ignore potential warning signs of stress because you feel in control of your workload.

Phase #2: The Onset of Stress

Gradually, you begin noticing a rise in stress levels. At first, it may seem manageable, and you can cope. However, be aware of potential signs like disturbed sleep or relying on an external source to help maintain your productivity. For instance, are you drinking more coffee during the day, eating more or less food or having a drink in the evening to try to relax?

You may notice a decrease in motivation and feel tired more often

Phase #3: Chronic Stress Kicks In

Rising stress levels can be insidious. At first, you may feel increasingly impatient with coworkers or customers or find it more challenging to complete work on time. Perhaps you’re oversleeping, procrastinating or becoming withdrawn from social activities.

Whether the stress began at work or not, separating your frustration from your relationships with friends and family becomes increasingly more challenging.

Phase #4: Burnout

You’ve reached your limit, affecting your ability to function normally. You may feel overwhelmed at work, have brain fog and lose confidence in your abilities to do a good job. You may become obsessed with double-checking your work because you fear making mistakes.

Physical symptoms of burnout may manifest, such as headaches, muscle tension, digestive problems, and behavioural issues that affect your daily life. You may verbally lash out in impatience or frustration, and your friends and family comment about your intolerance. Controlling your emotions becomes increasingly challenging as you alternate between feeling numb or overwhelmed.

Phase #5: Habitual Burnout

The final phase of burnout can feel like your life is spiralling out of control. It becomes part of your everyday existence, causing high levels of anxiety, and it can lead to depression. Chronic physical and mental fatigue is so debilitating it becomes impossible to work productively.

It’s essential to address burnout before it gets to phase #5 because the long-term effect of burnout is often not realised. The physical and mental “fallout” can be detrimental to your health for a long time. A BMC Psychology report concluded that 30% of patients with burnout (BMC call it exhaustion disorder) still suffer from exhaustion seven years later.

What Are the Symptoms of Burnout From Work?

Burnout from work
Burnout from work is a genuine problem in the workplace

Burnout from work is like a form of stress. You may feel tired at work all the time and exhausted after work. Yet, no matter how much rest you have at home, the problem doesn’t disappear. You feel physically and emotionally drained and overwhelmed.

Although the term “burnout” isn’t a medically recognised diagnosis, it’s synonymous with symptoms like depression, a lack of energy and losing a sense of accomplishment at work. You may also notice a lack of motivation and a sense of dread.

Contributory factors for burnout could be your working environment, home and family life, natural predispositions, mental and physical health, financial worries and other factors.

Whatever the reason, addressing the causes and determining an action plan are essential to begin the recovery process. Ignoring it isn’t an option because it can lead to more worrying mental or physical problems later, such as a breakdown.

The following list will help you to assess if you have symptoms of job burnout: –

  • You dread going to (or starting work)
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • More critical at work or about work
  • Feeling cynical or disillusioned about your work
  • Increased levels of irritability, anger or impatience
  • Your energy levels declining
  • Lost interest in hobbies
  • Altered sleep patterns
  • Feeling numb or disassociated from work
  • Using alcohol, food, or drugs to “feel better” or zone out
  • Lack of satisfaction from achievements
  • Physical symptoms: Headaches, fatigue, migraine, digestive issues, muscle tension etc.
  • Declining motivation and increased apathy
  • Feeling socially isolated
  • Self-doubt: Feeling like a failure
  • Underperforming at work

If you can relate to anything on the above list, you could be heading towards burnout.

What Causes Workplace Burnout?

There can be many reasons for burnout from work, and it’s different for everyone.

Toxic Workplace Culture

If you’re not enjoying work because of a toxic environment, it will eventually grind you down, even if you are a positive person. An unsupportive workplace rife with gossip, bullying and micromanaging supervisors is tough to bear daily.

A Difficult Boss

Handling the challenging dynamics of an unappreciative boss can quickly lead to feelings of despair. If your boss is a poor communicator, constantly monitors your workflow or gives you no autonomy for your work, you will lose confidence.

As you try harder to please your boss, you may take on too much work and soon become exhausted working for someone who never expresses appreciation for your contributions. It feels like you have no control to influence outcomes and little point in trying to please someone who only has negative things to say about your efforts.

Work Overload

Taking on too much work can feel chaotic, especially if you work to deadlines. In addition, management may ask you to do the job of a staff member who resigned. It can feel like you have no choice but to accept, but it’s tricky to maintain job performance under these circumstances. Taking on a heavy workload can also result in working late, which impedes your home life.

Top 5 Tips for How to Overcome Burnout from Work

Tip #1: Do Not Suffer Alone

It’s important to talk to someone in the company before burnout from work gets out of hand and results in sickness. Talk to a manager or supervisor about the reasons for the challenges and how they affect your job performance. If possible, present a choice of solutions so that you can work together to implement the necessary changes.

Tip#2: Get Support

Talk to your loved ones, friends, and coworkers, with whom you might gain collaboration to present the issues to management. If the organisation has an in-house coach or counsellor or an employee assistance program, arrange a date for a one-to-one session.

Tip #3: Take Time Out

Indulge in a relaxing activity like yoga or Tai chi, which slows down the mind in a physically meditative practice. Likewise, ensure you get enough exercise. Take up running, or join a workout class where you can let go of your stress and frustrations.

Burnout from work can result in erratic sleep patterns. Even though you feel exhausted, insomnia can keep you from sleeping. However, sleep is restorative. Listen to your body and rest whenever you feel like sleeping.

Tip #4: Become Mindful

Burnout from work can result in racing thoughts, overthinking and inability to focus. Concentrate on the “now” to stay present in each moment to slow down your thoughts. If a tricky situation arises at work, detach from the moment without judgement of self or others. This practice can help you become calmer, slow down your heart rate and blood pressure and equip you to better deal with situations.

Tip #5: Talk to Your Manager

Arrange a designated time to talk to your manager privately about your concerns. If your relationship with your manager is poor, we appreciate the challenges of discussing workplace issues. However, somehow, you must find a way to highlight the situation before it gets out of hand and affects your well-being.

The stigma of mental health still exists, but it is improving in the workplace as the media has brought the subject into the open over the last few years. You may worry that discussing burnout from work is a weakness, but it isn’t. it shows a strength of character and could ultimately lead to implementing significant improvements in the workplace.

Before the meeting, create a structured outline for the discussion, such as the following: –

  • The source of the issues causing burnout from work
  • How the problems affect you (and others if appropriate)
  • Possible solutions and improvements

During the meeting, avoid blaming individuals for the problems. Focus on the facts and potential outcomes. If the manager becomes defensive, take a step back and don’t get involved in their overreaction.

Once the manager calms down, politely state that you are trying to resolve an issue that may not just affect you. You must be allowed to highlight the potential problems arising from burnout from work. You have the right to express your concerns.

Employers have a responsibility to take employee well-being seriously. If you meet resistance, it may be time to seek a new career in Web3. The pandemic has changed employees’ perceptions of what’s acceptable. Many people have become more concerned about finding a job in an organisation with a positive approach to mental health. Indeed, the facts don’t lie. In 2021, over 40% of people left their job because of burnout from work.

Conclusion: How to Overcome Burnout at Work

The last few years have challenged employees and businesses to navigate the fallout from the global pandemic. At first, working from home seemed like the perfect solution for all. Companies kept going, embracing new technology and providing out-of-office customer service.

Employees experienced a positive change from an improved work/life balance and enjoyed less time commuting to the office. Unfortunately, as office dynamics no longer applied, other issues arose. Employees felt compelled to take on more work to justify their time working from home. Some managers struggled with a lack of control, and many organisations insisted their employees return to the office.

Burnout from work is a genuine problem in the workplace that organisations must address to protect the well-being of their workforce and their reputation as an employer. When employees are tired of work and exhausted from burnout, they will leave to find a company with better mental health policies.

If you hate your job and are suffering from burnout from work, you may want to start a career in Web3 or find a new job, contact the CB Recruitment team for an informal chat about your options.

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About Author

Jan Barley
Jan Barley
Jan is a SEO copywriter, brand advisor, content strategist & case study specialist writing for crypto, recruitment, and SaaS companies. Jan lives in the Cotswold's UK with two rescue dogs. Since 2020, Jan has written hundreds of SEO articles for various crypto companies including CB Recruitment & Coin Bureau.
Jan Barley
Jan Barley
Jan is a SEO copywriter, brand advisor, content strategist & case study specialist writing for crypto, recruitment, and SaaS companies. Jan lives in the Cotswold's UK with two rescue dogs. Since 2020, Jan has written hundreds of SEO articles for various crypto companies including CB Recruitment & Coin Bureau.

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