VOS: Everything You Should Know About Burnout Syndrome

Everything You Should Know About Burnout Syndrome

Psychology explained

March 2021

Everything You Should Know About Burnout Syndrome

Our job can be an amazing way to fulfill our potential. It can lead us towards amazing success, financial stability, and overall happiness. Work is a place where we make new friends, where we are creative and productive. However, work is also known to be one of the most stressful and challenging places where people are often under pressure, and need to face many exhausting obstacles. That’s why it’s important to be aware of burnout syndrome - and know how to prevent it.

What is burnout syndrome?

The World Health Organization describes burnout as a ‘syndrome conceptualized as resulting from chronic workplace stress that has not been successfully managed.’ Even though it’s not classified as a medical condition, burnout syndrome can have severe consequences and a very negative impact on our lives. So, how do we recognize burnout syndrome?

Signs of Burnout Syndrome

There are many ways in which burnout syndrome can manifest itself. Elizabeth Scott in her article describes the most common signs of burnout. Among them we can find:

  • Physical symptoms- Stress in a work environment can lead to various physical symptoms, such as headaches, stomachaches, and exhaustion
  • Alienation from work and emotional exhaustion- People who are experiencing burnout are stressed and frustrated - sometimes their defense is to distance themselves from anything work-related. This means anything, from being cynical about their colleagues to an overall feel numb about their work. Emotional exhaustion is also a common sign of burnout; sufferers feel exceptionally mentally tired, and they don’t have the strength to solve another problem and face the obstacles which work brings.
  • Weaker work performance- People going through burnout often lack the energy to get tasks done: they stagnate, are pessimistic about their job, and they can’t concentrate. Weaker work performance is also the consequence of the other signs described above.

How to Prevent Burnout Syndrome

Advice on preventing burnout syndrome is similar to general recommendations for improving your mental health. Juli Fraga shares a few useful tips on what you could do:

  1. Exercise and have fun- Physical activity can really boost your mood and keep your body and mind in a good condition! This doesn’t necessarily mean you have to torture yourself by doing an advanced pilates workout (if you don’t like it) - you can simply go out for a walk, get some fresh air, play badminton with your friend, or dance to your favorite music. Just make sure you have fun and enjoy it! And,if you already have a physical activity as your hobby, you will kill two birds with one stone - pursuing your hobbies is another way to avert burnout syndrome.
  2. Sleep- Focus on your sleeping habits. If you sleep well you will have more energy to face the stressful situations in your job. Good sleeping habits are also essential for your well-being. Don’t let the job destroy your sleeping routine and make sure you get enough sleep.
  3. Eat- Studies have shown that healthy eating habits have a positive influence on our mood! Food can sometimes work as a natural energizer and mood booster.
  4. Ask for help- If you are feeling overwhelmed, frustrated and submerged by your work conditions (or anything else), do not hesitate to ask for professional help and talk to a therapist or psychologist.

If you would like to know more about burnout syndrome and how to deal with it, I recommend reading the great book Burnout: The Secret to Unlocking the Stress Cycle by Emily Nagoski and Amelia Nagoski. I hope you find this article useful and I wish you all to win the fight against burnout!

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