Job burnout is a form of work-related stress that manifests itself in physical or emotional exhaustion, according to the Mayo Clinic. It takes other tolls too, like a reduced sense of accomplishment as well as a loss of personal identity. It is now recognized by the World Health Organization as an "occupational phenomenon," and the WHO is currently developing guidelines based on research on mental well-being in an occupational setting.
Whether work isn't fulfilling anymore or you've been experiencing increased stress levels, there are plenty of signs that you could be suffering from burnout.
Are your eight hour days feeling more like 80? Are you finding it difficult to get up in the morning and get ready for work? Are you dragging yourself around work? This fatigue is a sign that you are just tired of going to work and is one of the first signs that you are suffering from burnout. It's also one of the three dimensions of burnout according to research in the Annual Review of Psychology, as well as an often-overlooked symptom of anxiety.
Starting to disparage the motives of your co-workers or bosses, disbelieving in selfless acts and an overall lack of interest in work are all signs that you may be growing cynical in the office. This can be a huge warning sign and is the second dimension of burnout.
It's common to make a mistake at work every once in a while. But when the same mistake becomes a common occurrence or the volume of mistakes increases and the quality of the work you are producing declines, this could be a sign that you are no longer motivated. Inefficacy is the third dimension of burnout.
Feeling a sense of incompetence and that you cannot be effective at work is a sign of burnout. These feelings can result in a lack of accomplishment and productivity. Sometimes this feeling of uselessness can come from exhaustion and cynicism.
Depression is a clinical mood disorder that can include feelings of sadness and loss of interest, which are also signs of burnout. People suffering from depression often lack interest in their everyday activities because the disorder affects normal day-to-day functions. Depression can be treated with medication and/or therapy. Studies have even shown that if you are already coping with depression, you are more likely to burn out. Depression and problems at work are one of the secrets you should never keep from your doctor.
Hating your job
This one might seem a little obvious, but if you do not like your job, even though you once did, you are most likely not going to enjoy going to work five days a week. It's a clear sign that you are suffering from burnout.
Being easily bothered
If you are starting to turn irritable with your coworkers for small things, it's probably less about them and more about you. This irritability may sometimes turn into outright anger while you are at work.
This may explain why you are less effective at your job. You are not as focused on getting your work done and making sure that it is of quality. Trouble concentrating on a task or in a meeting could be a sign that burnout is on its way.
Have your sleep patterns started to change? Are you starting to not get enough sleep? Insomnia can be a sign of burnout and, among a number of other consequences, it can cause you to be ineffective at work and less focused. On the other hand, there are plenty of positive consequences when you do get enough sleep.
Physical ailments are also signs of burnout. Although it's not scientifically proven that stress is directly connected to a burnout, studies have shown that it is connected to headaches, and stress is one of the most common complaints of those who have experienced or are experiencing burnout.
Bowel and/or stomach pain are also connected to burnouts. This can be a result of stress or a lack of sleep.
Higher blood pressure
Research has shown that stress has a connection to high blood pressure. Stress is one of the common themes coming from people who are suffering from burnout.
Blurry vision is one of the many physical ailments that can be traced to burnout from work. Although blurry vision is not directly connected to burnout, it is one of the scary physical symptoms connected to stress.
Frequent colds and infections
Are those sniffles just a cold or something more? If you're experiencing a lot of colds and infections and are just generally ill, it's likely due to a weakened immune system, for which you may be able to thank increased stress levels related to burnout.
Taking a lot of sick days
Research has shown that taking a lot of sick days could be a sign that you do not want to be at work. While you may actually have a cold, using the smallest excuse to skip work is not a good sign. If you decide it's time to take a new career path, check out the highest-paying jobs that don't require a bachelor's degree.
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