Since the beginning of the pandemic, we’ve all probably had our fair share of stress. Whether it was the learning curve of working from home or the way our workloads have increased, we are not strangers to work fatigue.
A phrase that has been thrown around a lot in the last two years is “burnout.”
But what exactly is it, and how do you know if it’s present in your day-to-day life?
The American Psychological Association’s David Ballard, PsyD describes job burnout as;
“An extended period of time where someone experiences exhaustion and a lack of interest in things, resulting in a decline in their job performance.”
If that doesn’t describe the last two years, I don’t know what does.
Of course, many of us were facing some kind of burnout before lockdown, but a lack of work/life separation and being cooped up inside our homes only worked to exacerbate the problem.
If you aren’t quite sure if it applies to you, here are 10 signs you may be experiencing burnout.
Are you tired most of the time, even with a good night’s rest? Not having enough energy and feeling spent can be an indication of burnout.
- Lack of Motivation
Has leaving the comfort of your bed and dragging yourself into work proven to take more and more energy overtime?
Does it feel like you and the work you do doesn’t matter?
- Cognitive Problems
Are you finding it difficult to concentrate on the tasks in front of you?
- Slipping Job Performance
Have you received negative feedback on your job performance (i.e. missed deadlines, lower quality of work, etc.)?
- Interpersonal Problems (at home and work)
Has the number of arguments increased between yourself and coworkers or loved ones?
- Not Taking Care of Yourself
Has having a beer after work turned into unhealthy drinking habits?
- Thinking About Work Outside of the Office/Work Hours
Do your dreams only revolve around work and stressful tasks? Have you been able to let your job live within work hours?
- Overall Decreased Satisfaction
When was the last time you felt good about your work? Are you having feelings of being stuck or unhappy regularly?
- Health Problems
Has your body been behaving differently? What new aches and pains have come up?
If after reading all of those, you’re nodding your head, the good news is that there are solutions and tips to work through burnout. Like with anything, the first step is acknowledging that something is wrong or not working.
Some suggestions for helping with burnout are:
- Plan Time for Relaxation, Seriously
After feeling the all-consuming overwhelm of burnout, it can be hard to allow yourself to relax. If it isn’t coming naturally to you, start planning time for yourself to unwind. Meditation, reading, or taking a walk in nature can allow your mind the rest it needs.
- Create a Full Non-Work Life
Logging off or coming home to plans can make you feel like you only have work in your life. Try incorporating hobbies, exercise, or volunteering into your free time. This will give you space to participate in rewarding non-work activities.
- Step Away from the Screens
While we all feel the pressure to be readily available at all hours of every day, setting boundaries on our screen time can allow the work/life separation that some of us desperately need.
- Get Enough Sleep
Getting fewer than 6 hours of sleep a night can really take its toll on the body and mind. Reduced productivity, impaired mental function, and a lack of memory are just a few things that can be incredibly helped by giving your body the rest it needs.
- Organize Your Tasks
When there is no plan set in place, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed and stressed. Creating clear plans and to-do lists can help organize your thoughts and tasks.
- Stay Connected to Your Body
Listening to your body and hearing what it needs are crucial to all of the steps above. Being able to notice your fatigue, increased bodily stiffness, or flare-ups in your mental illnesses are strong indicators that something is out of alignment.
DX CARE Model
As leaders in the workplace, noticing these signs in your employees can also lead to meaningful conversations about workload, delegation, and job satisfaction.
The DX CARE Model not only helps you help your employees mitigate some of the symptoms of burnout, but also prevents them.
By setting clear expectations, trusting the autonomy of your team, and connecting with your team on a human level, you can provide your employees with the resources and attention that they need to succeed.
Are you game to prevent burnout for yourself and your team? Do you CARE?