Job Burnout: Symptoms, Signs, and Recovery

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Job Burnout: Symptoms, Signs, and Recovery

Job Burnout: Symptoms, Signs, and Recovery- Also, some thoughts on how employers and managers should take responsibility…

There has been a massive amount of conversation lately about job burnout. There is so much going on in everyone’s lives and it is easy to get bogged down and worn out.

In today’s fast-paced and demanding work environment, many individuals experience the all-too-familiar feeling of job burnout. It can leave us feeling exhausted, unmotivated, and overwhelmed, ultimately affecting our overall well-being and performance.

It is vastly important to recognize the symptoms and signs of job burnout and it is crucial to address and overcome this common issue. Let’s explore the various symptoms of job burnout, identify the telltale signs to watch out for, and provide practical tips on how to recover and restore balance in your professional life.

We want you to be ready to take control and combat job burnout, when and if it reaches your desk. Reading these hints to survive this most frequently talked about subject will help you discover effective strategies for reclaiming your passion and finding renewed fulfillment in your career.

The Importance of Understanding Job Burnout

Job burnout is a state of chronic physical and emotional exhaustion that occurs as a result of prolonged stress and dissatisfaction in the workplace. It usually does not happen overnight, but often it has progressed before it is recognized.

It is important to differentiate job burnout from regular workplace stress, as burnout is characterized by feelings of cynicism, detachment, and a sense of ineffectiveness.

Factors contributing to job burnout can include heavy workloads, a lack of control over one’s work, and difficult interpersonal dynamics. Some careers require higher performances at different times of the month.

For instance, in one of my careers as a mortgage underwriter, the end of the month was less than calm. It included making sure the loans had final approval before the end of the month, which often included those which were just submitted. (It did not always work out as planned). This was so that the loan originators were paid promptly on their submitted loans.

Over time, sustained stress and exhaustion can lead to burnout, impacting both personal well-being and job performance.

Symptoms of Job Burnout

Physical Symptoms include but are not limited to fatigue and exhaustion that persists despite adequate rest. Frequent headaches that feel like pressure in the brain with muscle tension, or gastrointestinal issues. Insomnia or changes in sleep patterns.

To break this down a little:

Symptoms to be aware of, and if you’re experiencing any of these signs, it’s essential to address them. Here are some common physical symptoms associated with job burnout:

  1. Insomnia, Fatigue, and Changes in Sleep Patterns:
    • Feeling constantly exhausted.
    • Difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep due to work-related stress.
  2. Headaches:
    • Tension headaches can be caused by stress and strain.
    • Frequent headaches can and may be a sign of burnout.
  3. Jaw Clenching:
    • Stress can lead to jaw tension and clenching, which may cause discomfort or pain.
  4. Muscle Tension and Pain:
    • Tight muscles, especially in the neck, shoulders, and back.
    • Chronic muscle pain due to stress.
  5. High Blood Pressure (Hypertension):
    • Prolonged stress can contribute to elevated blood pressure.
  6. Digestive and Gastrointestinal Issues:
    • Upset stomach, indigestion, or irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).
    • Stress affects the digestive system.
  7. Changes in Appetite:
    • Overeating or loss of appetite due to stress.
    • Emotional eating as a coping mechanism.
  8. Poor Immune Function:
    • Frequent illnesses or weakened immune response.
    • Burnout can compromise the immune system.
  9. Recurring Headaches:
    • Stress-related headaches, including migraines or tension headaches.
  10. Sleep Issues:
    • Insomnia, disrupted sleep patterns, or difficulty falling asleep due to work-related stress.

Remember that recognizing these symptoms early allows you to take proactive steps to manage burnout. Prioritize self-care, seek support, and consider professional help if needed.

Here Are Some Signs That You May Have Job Burnout

Loss of Motivation: Decreased enthusiasm for tasks previously found fulfilling. Feeling apathetic or indifferent towards work-related goals.

Decreased Performance: Decline in work quality or missed deadlines. Difficulty concentrating or making decisions.

Interpersonal Strain: Strained relationships with colleagues or supervisors or increased conflicts or tension in the workplace.

Some Hints to Help You With Burnout Recover

  1. Self-Care Practices:

  • Prioritize adequate sleep, nutrition, and exercise.

  • Engage in activities outside of work that bring joy and relaxation.

  • Practice mindfulness or meditation to manage stress.

  1. Setting Boundaries:

  • Establish clear boundaries between work and personal life.

  • Learn to say no to additional tasks when feeling overwhelmed.

  1. Seeking Support:

    • Talk to a trusted colleague, friend, or family member about your experiences.

   • Consider seeking professional help from a therapist or counselor.

  1. Evaluating Work Environment:

    • Assess whether changes to workload, responsibilities, or workplace culture could alleviate burnout.

   • Communicate concerns with supervisors or HR representatives.

Employers Responsibility With Job Burnout

My personal belief is that employers and managers should be aware of the pressures and performances of the positions within the company.

Global.lockton.com agrees with me and states that it’s an employer’s duty of care to recognize and take action to prevent and manage burnout.

Here are some ways employers can help prevent job burnout:

  • Talk openly about mental health and stressors in your organization
  • Offer the right benefits and resources
  • Encourage workers to take time off
  • Be aware of Zoom and on-camera overload
  • Give employees collective time off
  • Monitor workload and work hours
  • Adjust work demands and expectations if issues are identified
  • Evaluate if direct reports have adequate resources
  • Offer science-based exercises to help employees manage stress better 

Here are some ways managers can help with job burnout:

  • Check in with employees regularly to identify signs of burnout
  • Develop an individualized plan for each employee
  • Carefully monitor workload and work hours
  • Adjust work demands and expectations if issues are identified
  • Carefully evaluate if direct reports have adequate resources
  • Work together to articulate a career path that will help managers feel fulfilled in their work
  • Think about the expectations you’re setting as a manager and whether they are in alignment with your values 
Burnout can lead to higher absenteeism, which can affect employees, their co-workers, and the company’s bottom line.

My Summation

To address job burnout you must be aware that it did not occur overnight and it will probably not go away overnight. However, with modest efforts to conquer your burnout, with day-to-day changes, you can recover.

As we have addressed, your employer or manager should be made aware of any practices that may be contributing to burnout. When current practices or other performances are affecting their employees’ health; new strategies, with mindfulness, and patience are mandatory.

As a reminder-always consult with the professionals, doctor, or mental health care provider before making any significant changes to your life plan. The recommendations here are researched from reliable sources, however, your doctor knows your entire healthcare needs.

EndNote: Parade.com, Verywellhealth.com, Verywellmind.com, Mayoclinic.org

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