Burnout is a phenomenon caused by fatigue and frustration at work, where a person can have a lack of results or difficulty in achieving results or simply underestimate his/her own achievements. Emotional burnout is a loss of self- confidence and interest in an activity. These burnouts are often accompanied by physical exhaustion and unhappiness, heavily affecting abilities and lowering the quality of work and life.
How to detect the problem?
Have you noticed that your colleague looks tired and annoyed daily? Could it be professional burnout? What are the signs?
- Constant fatigue. Even if the tasks that the employee is receiving are simple and easy, and the similar tasks were completed in the past timely and without any issues.
- Irritability and anger for no apparent reason.
- Dissatisfaction with oneself, and everyone and everything around, including management, colleagues, tasks at hands, etc.
- Tardiness and constant delays in delivery of the tasks at hand.
- Lack of interest in the work.
- Unwillingness to participate in joint discussions, meetings and communications with colleagues.
There is a possibility your colleague is overwhelmed with the volume of work. Or maybe it’s a professional burnout and because of the excessive amount of negative emotions it can lead to the emotional burnout. That’s why it’s worth talking to a colleague about the problem as soon as you see it.
Preventing emotional burnouts
If your teammate is complaining a lot and about everything, if (s)he told you that work is not satisfying, but could not list particular reasons, ask this person if (s)he feels overwhelmed and burned out, both professionally and emotionally.
Emotional burnouts are preventable with the help from a few directions:
- Meticulous work of an HR manager.
- Discussions with the manager about difficulties, current workload and a possible change of direction or project.
- Timely vacation.
- Informal communications with coworkers and friends on topics not related to work and professional activities.
- Support and understanding from teammates.
- Assistance of the project manager or more experienced coworkers in solving professional problems.
- Meeting with a psychologist.
First of all it is truly important for the person on the verge of professional or emotional burnout to recognise and acknowledge the problem. Hiding it will not help, but rather push the person even deeper into the trouble. Millions have gone through this issue during their lifetime and those who received timely support from teammates recovered much faster, because a mutual support is the first aid in these cases.
The plan to address burnout should include the following items:
Understanding that professional and emotional burnouts are harmful not only to the work and social life. Irritation, lack of sleep, aggressive negative reaction, increased anxiety, all these “side effects” of burnouts have profoundly negative consequences for physical health. That is why, first of all, we should care about physical health: sports, healthy food, vitamins and more.
Social health – communicate more with family, friends and colleagues.
Remember that you need to allocate time and resources for leisure time and hobbies.
Professional training and seminars – They will increase your professionalism and skills, which in turn will raise your confidence and will help you to take on tasks with a higher level of complexity. Regular trainings promote development of your professional skills and bust your self-confidence. Let your work become interesting and exciting for you again. The result will pleasantly surprise you.
Understanding is the key
In order to acknowledge and analyze the problem the following questions need to be answered:
Time – When exactly have you started to face these difficulties feeling uncomfortable?
Your circle of communications – Do you know anyone who has encountered similar difficulties before?
Personal experience – Have you ever encountered similar emotional states? If so, when, under which circumstances, what exactly contributed to it?
Recognition – It is important to recognize emotional burnout. It affects all areas of your life, including the emotional sphere. Emotional burnout destroys the core of your personality. You feel exhausted and frustrated. Burnout is often related to the time you spend at work, relationships with colleagues, attitude to tasks, the level of your professional abilities, skills development, training. Some other areas of your life could remain intact. Your friends and family can help you, fill your life with joy, your hobby will be a consolation, and personal principles and worldview will be a solid support.
Emotions and feelings – It is important to understand what feelings you have while you are under emotional or professional burnout. What exactly worries you at this moment, which thoughts appear. Which parts do you prefer to keep to yourself, and what would you want to share with others? Have you ever before encountered similar feelings?
Need – Identify the specific need that arises when you talk about your emotional or professional burnout. Maybe you are missing something really important for you. Find a way to identify this need. Think how to resolve it, and what prevents you from achieving this goal right now. How to deal with difficulties that slow you down and how to try to avoid them in the future.
Many people have experienced emotional burnout, including loss of interest in work, life, motivations, professional and personal development. Do not rush with the resignation. Maybe the reason is not in your professional activity and not in the tasks that you cannot cope with. The most important thing is to find the internal cause and overcome it. If one finds the cause, (s)he can work to resolve the issues. Perhaps conversations with friends and coworkers, self-improvement and work with a psychologist will do a magic that will save you from professional burnout.
Remember that emotional burnout can be caused by both psychological and physiological factors. Therefore, do not neglect a medical examination and consultation with your doctor. Professional burnout has a specific socio-psychological cause. The most important drugs that will help to avoid or overcome a burnout are your team, colleagues, communications with mentors, improvements of the skills, abilities, and expanding knowledge.
Improve your mental health, be a better version of yourself. Be an example to others and enjoy your work. Let eight working hours be an interesting part of the day for you and your coworkers.