Everyone is well aware of the fact just how stressful work can be. Some jobs are more difficult than the others, but no matter what your occupation is, stress occurs at least sometimes, if not on a daily basis in some cases.
Long working hours, too many tasks to handle, deadlines, annoying boss or a coworker, not enough time for yourself and your family – all of these factors can cause us to be dissatisfied with our workplace from time to time.
However, if you are feeling anxious and stressed chronically and it has started to largely affect your health and the quality of your life – you might be facing workplace burnout. David Ballard of The American Psychological Association defines burnout as “an extended period of time where someone experiences exhaustion and a lack of interest in things, resulting in a decline in their job performance”.
That is why in this article we will list some of the most common signs of workplace burnout, as well as the ways you can successfully deal with them.
Lack of Motivation and Confidence
The first and the most common feeling people get is a huge lack of motivation and self-confidence. If you feel like you don’t want to get out of your bed in the morning, if you are not looking forward to anything regarding your job and you no longer even see the point of it – chances are you are under a lot of stress.
If you add the overall feeling of not being good enough in what you do and you notice a significant decline in your work performance, your state can be described as workplace burnout.
The best way to handle this is by remembering what motivated you in the first place and to look for some encouragement from your family, friends, and coworkers. Sometimes when we are full of self-doubt people around us can remind us of our personal qualities and thus inspire us to get our confidence and motivation back.
A Feeling of Unfairness
Sometimes when we are experiencing an excessive amount of stress, we might perceive that everyone around us is getting much more than they deserve which inspires them to remain motivated and satisfied.
Usually, this feeling of unfairness is no more than a sign of burnout. Although some of your colleagues might seem more enthusiastic than you, you mustn’t forget that they too experience some problems and stress on a regular basis, but they just found a better way of dealing with it.
What you can do about this is to make sure you are being heard. If you think you are not appreciated enough or that you are getting more work than the others, speak to your boss and ask them for some advice. Also, try to be more involved in the meetings, don’t be afraid to express your thoughts and feelings, and be active in any decision making process.
This will make you be more in control and you will soon start feeling like you too are a valuable member of your company.
Aggression among Coworkers
Facing workplace burnout may cause you to be very negative, moody and sometimes even aggressive to your coworkers. If you get excessively agitated when someone tries to have an everyday mundane conversation with you or ask you some simple questions, it is high time you did something about your attitude.
The best way to get rid of this feeling of aggression is to find other better ways to channel your feelings, which will not negatively affect people around you. In such cases, many psychologists suggest that doing some sports or physical activities and starting a new hobby will make you feel more relaxed and help you clear your head.
If you are not a huge sports fan, a simple walk in the park will help you calm down and blow off some steam.
Signs of Depression
Depression comes in many forms. Sometimes, you will just experience feelings of loneliness and the need to eat a lot of junk food, while in other, more severe cases, people might completely isolate themselves emotionally, stop taking part in any social activities and even develop suicidal thoughts.
While these are all easy to write off as just a phase, it is important to take them into account as possible early onset signs of depression. Depression sometimes develops rather slowly over a course of months or even years and might go unnoticed.
That is why it is of an essential importance to talk to a therapist as soon as you start feeling some of these symptoms, and make sure they are just a result of workplace burnout and not signs of clinical depression.
Headaches and Back Pain
Workplace burnout can be followed by some physical inconveniences as well, and the most common ones are headaches and back pain. While these start off as just annoying and uncomfortable, it is necessary to start solving them before it is too late.
If you don’t move enough during the day and spend the most of your time sitting at your desk in front of the computer, you need to start doing at least some simple exercises to prevent various serious physical problems from developing later on.
Simple stretching or walking around and getting some fresh air during your lunch break will do the trick. Also, always make sure that you are being physically active outside your workplace and that you are getting enough sleep.
To sum up, we all face that point in life where nothing seems to go the right way, especially when it comes to our work. However, sometimes the only thing needed to make us feel better is to change our perception. Don’t blame anyone else for your feelings of negativity and be willing to do something about your problems rather than just sitting and complaining. No matter how anxious, depressed or unmotivated you might feel – there is always a solution, and usually it is a very simple one!