Combat Job Burnout
In comparison to other industrialized countries, Americans are recognized for working longer hours, taking less vacation time and more belated retirements than individuals in similar career fields. With such high job demands and stresses, BURNOUT is almost inevitable. Job burnout is a stress syndrome often characterized by physical, mental and/or emotional fatigue. Such stress can often occur when a person is trying to reach unrealistic goals or expectations, thus depleting personal energy and losing touch with oneself. In fact, research reveals the burnout phenomenon can be linked to various health-related conditions like obesity, insomnia, anxiety and coronary heart disease. Dr. Sharon Toker of Tel Aviv University found (in her research on burnout and heart health) that there is a direct link between job burnout and the buildup of plaque in the coronary arteries that leads to angina and heart attacks. Being able to recognize when you may be succumbing to job burnout can be critical to your health.
Signs and Symptoms may include:
- Emotions like anger, frustration, depression
- Fatigue or tiredness
- Difficulty making or committing to decisions
- Lack of interest
- Short term memory loss
- Anxiety or panic
- Additional or sudden health issues
- Extreme over-working to extreme under-working
Prevention can be key to avoiding this health-harming stress, so when you feel burnt out, try these key strategies to combat stress and additional health related conditions.
Know yourself. Watch for signs and symptoms of burnout so you can nip it in the rear-end immediately!
Have a support system. You are a mirror image of the company you keep. Engage with friends, family and others that bring out the best in you.
Get outside. Fifteen minutes of fresh air and sunshine can go a long way.
Maintain a calendar that works for your lifestyle. Schedule time for activities and rest periods to recharge your batteries.
Set and maintain boundaries. Using your calendar from above, say ‘yes’ to things that are positive for your life and suit your time restraints.
Take your break. Schedule an appointment with yourself during your day so you can step away from the office, socialise, network and breathe.
Follow your wellness program. Maintaining a regular activity regimen and ensuring healthy food and lifestyle choices are within reach can ensure a quick recovery from burnout.
Ebb and flow as you grow. When you are in the zone things seem to flow peacefully and naturally. Challenge yourself to grow and learn, but also to continue to ebb and flow with the tide of a healthy, stress free lifestyle.
Take time off. Vacation days are meant for rest and recovery, so use them!
Do things that put a smile on your face. Create a list of things you can do on a daily basis that will bring you pleasure and make them a regular habit.
– CASEY EDMONDS, CHC