In a busy world that seems to keep going and going, many of us feel like we’re running on steam most of the time. If you feel like you are constantly running but never seem able to catch up, if you are unmotivated, worn out and unable to experience joy in the activities you used to, you may be suffering from burnout.
Here are fee subtle signs of burnout that you might want to look out for :
- The compulsion to prove oneself. Often found at the beginning is excessive ambition. The desire to prove oneself in the workplace turns into compulsion.
- Working Harder. People establish high personal expectations because they have to prove themselves to others or try to fit in an organisation that doesn’t suit them. To meet these expectations, they tend to focus solely on work while taking on more work than they otherwise would.
- Neglecting Their Needs. Since they mist devote everything to work, they now have no time and energy for anything else. Friends and family, eating and sleeping start to be seen as unnecessary or unimportant, because they reduce the time and energy that can be spent on work.
- Displacement of Conflicts. They become aware that what they’re doing isn’t right, but they’re unable to see the source of the problem. This may lead to a crisis in themselves and become threatening. The first physical symptoms appear.
- Revision of Values. While falling into a state of denial of basic physical needs, perceptions and value system change. Work consumes all energy, leaving none for friends and hobbies. The job is the new value system and people start to become emotionally blunt.
- Denial of Emerging Problems. People may become intolerant and dislike being social. They may be seen as aggressive and sarcastic. Problems may be blamed on time pressure and all the work that they have to do.
- Withdrawal. Minimal social contact turns into isolation. Alcohol or drugs may be used as a release from obsessive working “by the book”. These people often have feelings of being without hope or direction.
- Obvious Behavioural Changes. Coworkers, family, friends and others in their immediate social circles can’t overlook the behavioural changes in these people.
- Depersonalisation. It’s possible that they no longer see themselves or others as valuable. Their view of life narrows to only seeing the moment and life turns to a series of mechanical functions.
- Inner Emptiness. They feel empty inside and may exaggerate activities such as overeating or sex to overcome these feelings.
- Depression. Burnout may include depression in that case, the person is exhausted, hopeless, indifferent and believes that life has no meaning.
- Burnout Syndrome. They collapse physically and emotionally and need immediate medical attention in extreme cases suicide may occur, while it being viewed as an escape from their situation.
Recognising burnout may be difficult, especially if you are the one experiencing the symptoms. By recognising the signs early, and taking proactive steps to prevent and recover from burnout you will ensure that you are able to enjoy a life in a more fulfilled and healthy way. Learning to focus on your mind-body connection and always remembering to put yourself first, and you will achieve balance in your life that will continuously renew your spirit.