Recognizing the Signs, Avoiding and Recovering from Burnout

Recognizing the Signs, Avoiding and Recovering from Burnout - Working long hours with extremely heavy workloads all while reaching for perfection can be a recipe for burnout. So what exactly is burnout? Burnout is a reaction to prolonged and chronic stress that causes physical and emotional exhaustion.

While there is not a general accepted definition for job burnout based on the DSM – 5 (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition), it is well accepted that burnout is a real thing. The term was originally defined by Herbert Freudenberger when he observed his high-achieving patients who had lost their passion, optimism, and sense of purpose. Burnout is normally a hazard for high achieving individuals that they just don’t see coming.

So What Exactly is Burnout?

Working long hours with extremely heavy work loads all while reaching for perfection can be a recipe for burnout. So what exactly is burnout? Burnout is a reaction to prolonged and chronic stress that causes physical and emotional exhaustion. Often it comes along with a sense of lessened accomplishment, cynicism, detachment, and feeling ineffective. Burnout often starts as exhaustion that never seems to go away, and can lead to an inability to function effectively on a professional level. A study conducted in 2009 showed that 50% of employees reported some loss of productivity due to stress and that statistic rose to 60% in younger workers.

What Steps Can You Take to Avoid Burnout?

Luckily there are multiple steps you can take to avoid burnout and get back up to speed. The following are small steps you can start to incorporate in your life that helps to reduce stress:

Exercise
Exercise is one of the more popular ways to reduce stress, and it doesn’t have to be high intensity. Exercise can help to reduce mental fatigue and stress while improving concentration and cognitive functioning. Just exercising for five minutes can start to eliminate anxiety.

Downsize Your Work Load
If possible, speak with your supervisor about possibly reducing your workload. If that is not a possibility removing or delegating unimportant tasks from your schedule should help. At the start of the day, write down to the top five important task and complete them. During this frees up time throughout the day for a task that requires less brain power and possibly time.

Take a Mental Break
Disconnect from the world for a moment each day can assist with clearing your mind and inducing relaxation. Use this time to complete some self-care techniques such as journaling, reading, etc.

How to Recover From Burnout?

Unfortunately, once you are actively in burnout, it is harder to recover. Also, this can be a moment to rediscover yourself and new activities you may like and enjoy.

Take a Vacation
Countless studies have shown that taking vacation alleviates job stress. Taking a vacation immediately diminishes the levels of stress and eliminates burnout as you are taking much needed time to completely shut down and recover.

Return to Work and Take It Slow
When you return to work, take it slow. Handle those items that are most important and take important breaks. If need be, handle some small and easy task to free up some mental space.

Recovering from burnout is a slow process, and you want to make sure you don’t fall deeper into burnout. Knowing the signs makes it easier to avoid in the future. Making sure you have a healthy work-life balance can help to prevent burn in the future. Personally, I discovered that organizing my day the night before helps me to feel less overwhelmed. If you want more information please see my previous blog previous about Organizing and Planning My Day to Day. Have you experienced burnout before? Let me know in the comments what you did to recover?

For more information about recovering, please visit the links below:
The Muse – How to Recover From Burnout?
Psychology Today – Overcoming Burnout

Recognizing the Signs, Avoiding and Recovering from Burnout - Working long hours with extremely heavy workloads all while reaching for perfection can be a recipe for burnout. So what exactly is burnout? Burnout is a reaction to prolonged and chronic stress that causes physical and emotional exhaustion.
Dominique R. Bounds
Dominique R. Bounds

Find me on: Web | Instagram

6 Comments

  1. Kristine Nicole Alessandra
    July 6, 2020 / 6:26 am

    I have been through this many times and I hate it when it happens. I know there is no one to blame but me because I try to do everything and put all responsibilities upon myself instead of delegating them to other members of the household. I really need a vacation and I have already told my family that for my birthday, I don’t want gifts. I want to go somewhere – alone. And if that would not be possible because of the quarantine, I need to stay inside my room the whole day and not be bothered by any household task or phone calls. I know that will help calm my nerves and uplift my spirit. A whole day spent just unwinding, relaxing and not worrying is a dream for me.

  2. July 6, 2020 / 8:54 am

    These are good things to think about when it comes to reaching a burnout. I have gone through some times where I needed to step away from my blog for a few weeks.

  3. Agnes Dela Cruz
    July 6, 2020 / 9:03 am

    I have been experiencing burn out this past few weeks. Everything has been crazy, me losing a job and out furbaby is sick. πŸ™

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: