How to deal with job burnout

Publication Date: May 15, 2014, 12:02 p.m.

Burnout is usually confused with the common tiredness that someone might feel due to heavy workload. But in reality, burnout is a continual state of emotional, mental and physical exhaustion, which is caused by excessive and prolonged stress.


Do you feel exhausted?


  • Burnout means lack of energy: you are worn out, stressed and exhausted all the time, and you hardly sleep at nights.


  • Burnout means lack of enthusiasm: the initial excitement for the job has worn off and been replaced by a bitter cynicism. Anything relevant to your job makes you angry and you just put in the minimum necessary effort to perform it.


  • Burnout means lack of self-confidence: without energy and active participation in your work, it is difficult for you to find a way to go on. The less efficient you feel, the more nagging doubts you have about your own value.


Dealing with job burnout


If you identify the signs of burnout in yourself, keep in mind that your condition might get worse, unless you deal with it. However, if you try to find balance in your life, you can prevent burnout from turning into a permanent condition.


Here are some simple burnout prevention tips:


Start your day with a relaxing "ritual"


Instead of jumping out of bed as soon as you wake up, spend at least 15 minutes meditating and thinking, writing in your diary, doing some exercises, or reading something that inspires you.


Adopt healthy eating, physical exercising and sleeping habits


When you eat properly, do physical activities, and get plenty of rest, you have the energy you need in order to deal with the demands of life.


Set limits


Learn how to say "no". If you think this is difficult, remember that by saying "no", you allow yourself to say "yes" to the things you truly want to do.


Take a daily break from technology


Set a time during the day when you can literally log off. Put your computer away, turn off your cell phone, and stop reading your text messages or emails.



Develop your creativity


Creativity is a powerful antidote to burnout. Try something new, for example start an enjoyable task or take up your favorite hobby again. Choose activities that have nothing to do with work.


Learn how to manage your stress


When you are on the road to burnout, you may feel helpless. Nevertheless, you can handle stress better than you think. Learning how to manage your stress might help you recover your balance.


The most effective way to fight burnout is to stop what you have been doing up to now, and do something else, whether that means changing your job or changing your career in general. But, if this is not your option, there are other things that you can do to improve the situation.


Face the problems actively


Examine the workplace issues directly. You will feel less helpless, if you assert yourself and express your needs. If you don't have the authority or the means to solve a problem, talk to a superior.


Ask for new duties


If you have been doing the same job for a long time, then ask to do something new.


Take a leave


If burnout seems inevitable, take a long break from work. Go on vacation, use up your sick leave, ask for a temporary time off work, and generally do anything to get away from this situation. Use your absence from work to recharge your batteries and see things from a new perspective.


Writer: Niki Milona

Translator: Aggeliki Deloni


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