In 2005, I was experiencing a complete burnout at work. At the beginning of the week, I would
already be waiting for the weekend. I just won’t feel like going to work, and I wasn’t quite sure
why. I would feel tired, disengaged, and unmotivated on most days, and constantly keep
checking how long it is until I could go home. I was snapping at my colleagues (something I
never used to do), and always feeling overwhelmed about the amount of work I was expected
to get done through the day. And since, at that time, I didn’t know any better, I quit my job, and
moved into a two-year sabbatical to explore my hobbies and discover my passion. Definitely,
not an option many people can take, given their EMI loads and barriers to entry in self-
employment. Although, I have no regrets looking back and moving out of a job to start your own
business has its place; as a holistic health coach, I would never advise a client to use impulsive
quitting as a way to handle a burnout situation at work.
Burnout is a state of total physical and emotional exhaustion. Experiencing long-term stress in your job, or working in a physically or emotionally draining role is a major contributor. Lack of autonomy is also a common cause, so you might experience burnout if you don't have much control over your work, or if you feel that you never have enough time to finish tasks and projects. Another common cause for burnout is when your values don't align with the actions, behaviors, or values of your organization, or your role. You can also experience burnout when your efforts at work have failed to produce the results and/or get you the recognition that you expected, and you feel deeply disillusioned as a result. While exhaustion can be overcome with rest, a major part of burnout is a deep sense of disillusionment.
Some symptoms of burnout include:
The effects of burnout don't stop at the workplace. If you are consistently experiencing a high level of burnout at work, chances are you also find it difficult to fulfill your family responsibilities. Even scarier, as a burned-out employee you are more likely to face severe health issues or visit the emergency room. So do consider using the following strategies, before the damage is done.
Strategies To Handle Burnout
Rediscover Your Purpose: Think about the deeper impact of what you do every day; how does your work make life better for other people? How could you add more meaning and feel good about what you do every day?
Communicate: Don’t suppress your negative emotions as they will only manifest into greater frustration. Communicate to your boss or co-workers if something isn’t working out for you. If you feel that your team leader or manager is assigning more work than you can handle, then schedule a one-on-one meeting to discuss the same. Communicate that your excessive workload is leading to burnout. Perform a role analysis so you can clarify what's expected of you, and what isn't. Come prepared with some alternatives that could be considered for shifting certain tasks or projects to someone else.
Create More Autonomy In Your Role: Learn how to prioritise your tasks, and make use of To-Do Lists to take control of your day. Talk to your boss to see if he is willing to let you have more control over your tasks, projects, or deadlines.
Adopt A Solution-Focused Mindset: Focusing on what happened, placing blame, or allowing yourself to get worked up, will only increase stress. What’s done can’t be undone. Just focus on finding the solution, and once you’ve figured that out, execute on it.
Understand The Food-Mood Relationship: One group of food I would like to recommend forthose thatarefighting emotional burnout is carbohydrate foods, especially fiber-rich carbohydrate sources like oats, brown rice, quinoa, and potatoes. I notice plenty of my clients who are feeling exhausted often go too long without eating to get their work done. Going too long without eating, and specifically missing out on carbohydrates, causes the glucose to drop, which has a huge effect on mood and energy levels. I'd encourage someone fighting burnout to eat a meal or a snack every 3-4 hours and make sure to incorporate a source of complex carbohydrates.
Exercise Regularly: Countless studies have shown that this offers many physical and mental benefits; not only does regular exercise help reduce stress, but it also boosts your mood, improves your overall health, and enhances your quality of life. Start with tracking 10,000 steps daily, if you find it hard to fit in a full exercise regime.
Train Your Mind To Focus On The Positive Aspects Of Your Work: When facing burnout, it can be a challenge to focus on the positives aspects of your role and the people around you. This is why it's important to start small. Find one good thing about the situation at work. And once you find one, you can find another and another, until, within a short 10-15 minutes of focusing on the subject, you can significantly change your vibrations from negative to positive.
Do this every day, before you get to work. You’ll be amazed at how much of a difference this simple exercise will make in uplifting your day.
By Nidhika Bahl
Nidhika Bahl is an International Bestselling Author, India’s Leading Life, Success, and Holistic Health Coach
You can connect with me at:
• Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
• Web: www.nidhikabahl.com
• Instagram: @nidhikabahl