What is Employee Burnout and What Causes it?

If you’ve held the same job or position for years now, you might feel lost, dreaded, overwhelmed, unmotivated, and stressed. Because of these, options like pursuing another position or a new path of career are popping but sometimes, it’s not that easy and, well, not practical. These are just few signs of job burnout.

What is Burnout? Recognizing the Signs & Finding Solutions

As what Ayala Pines and Elliot Aronson define it—burnout is a state of physical, emotional, and mental exhaustion caused by long term involvement in emotionally demanding situations.

It occurs when you feel stressed, overwhelmed, emotionally drained and unable to meet constant demands. As it continues, you begin to lose the interest and motivation that led you on this role in the first place.

It also reduces productivity and efficiency in the workplace. Worst thing that could happen, burnout leads you to several illnesses.

Signs of burnout

  • You are exhausted all the time• Frequent headaches or muscle pain• Getting sick a lot
  • Every day is a bad day at work• You’re overwhelmed with the tasks given to you, even if they are just the usual things you have done before
  • You feel like whatever you do isn’t making a difference
  • You feel unappreciated• Self-doubt or lowered self-esteem
  • Feeling helpless
  • Loss of motivation

How to avoid burnout

1. Work with purpose

Aside from the paycheck every month, revisit your purpose why you are on that job now. You can take a deeper look at how your job helps you; how it impacts the people; and what good does it do.

2. Be organized

Again. Remember your first day at work? You have a notepad, a planner and a good pen to take notes and keep track of everything. Get back to that version of you. Read your emails first thing in the morning; work during work hours only and don’t ever bring your work at home. Your home should be the only place that veers you away from stress.

3. Turn to other people

Have a good chat with your colleagues. Talk to your family or friends. It might even be helpful to talk to your boss or employer. That way, you will let out all the negative feelings dreading you inside. You will be surprised at how relieving it gets turning your concerns to other people.

4. Tell your goals to your boss

As what’s mentioned above, talking to your boss will greatly fix the job burnout. If you think your job isn’t taking you to where you want or it hasn’t been the same as before when you first started out, tell it to your boss. Share your goals and what you really want to achieve. Who knows, by doing so, your boss might even be the key to land you on your dream career.

5. Learn when to say “no”

Sure, you’re this nice person at the office who does all the tasks that isn’t supposed to be your job. Slow clap for you for doing that. But remember that you have your own role at the office. Say no if you think it’s beyond your job description. Say no if you think there’s unfairness. Say no if you think it’s too much. And say no if you don’t want to do it.

6. Change your routine or revamp your environment

This trick is very much helpful. Sometimes, all it takes is just a little re-decoration of your corner. Politely ask your employer if it is possible to change your office or cubicle. If not, then just re-arrange your space from time to time. That way, you will not get bored at the same corners everyday. A re-designed space could also help amp up your productivity.

7. Have enough sleep

The most important thing that you should do is this. Having enough sleep leads you to a healthier and productive life. Get at least 8-10 hours of sleep everyday. You see, sleep is a huge factor in our physical, mental and emotional health. Your body will thank you for this.

8. Exercise

This helps relieve your stress from work. If you think you are too tired to lift barbells at the gym or run a kilometer every morning, then look for alternative workouts that do not require too much effort and time. If not regularly, do it whenever you are free. Always find time to workout.

9. Take advantage of your vacation leave

Not everybody is given the chance to have vacation leaves so make sure to use them all up every year to avoid burnout. Go on a vacation to a place you’ve been wanting to visit ever since. Or just stay at home, relax and have a great cup of tea.

10. Go out and have fun

Don’t cage yourself with your work. Find time to go out with friends or significant other. It will help you big time to let all the stress out.

Find these tips useful? We have more career advice, workplace tips, and job search tips on our blog. If you’re looking for jobs in the Philippines or abroad, sign up now and start applying!

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