Have you been finding yourself disengaging at work? Has your attitude towards work and life gone downhill? Do you find your tolerance and patience for everyone and everything to be at an all time low? Are you always tired? Do the things that used to bring you joy now just not do it for you anymore? If some of these signs ring true, you may be on the verge of a burnout.
Burnout is characterized by exhaustion of both physical and/or emotional strength and lack of motivation and usually brought on by prolonged stress or frustration. While stress is usually short term and often lessens or disappears once a situation has changed, burnout is often long term causing you to feel as though you are simply “going through the motions” instead of actively participating in work or life and doesn’t dissipate once a project is finished.
Sometimes we burn out if we are feeling underappreciated or don’t share common goals with the company. Sometimes it’s a matter of working too much and playing too little or feeling a lack of control over the workload. Unfortunately, quitting and finding a new, fresher job is rarely an option. So what do we do?
Take care of yourself. Remember to eat properly. Don’t just eat to satiate hunger. Eat things that will fuel your body and your mind. Get some exercise. Even a quick walk on your lunch break can help clear your mind and boost your energy and mood. And sleep. Create a bedtime routine (yes, that’s right, pretend you’re 6 years old again). Put that phone down and turn off the TV a half an hour before bed and use that time to unwind with a book or quiet music.
Change things up a little. Rearrange your desk or your office. Come to The Docking Station (http://www.thedockingstation.net/pricing-availability/dropin/) and work remotely in your own space on your own time for a while. (We’ve got coffee!) Do something outside your normal routine.
Socialize with non-work people so you can spend a few hours not thinking or talking about work for a bit. Or socialize with work people so you can collaborate and brain storm on how to make those little changes that will help your stress. Chances are good that if you’re feeling the burnout, they are too.
Being burned out is discouraging and exhausting and depressing but it doesn’t have to be the end of the world (or your job). Adjust your attitude, take stock of your options and breathe. You are in control.