SHOCKING images have revealed the impact burnout is really having on your body, including headaches and poor posture.
Over the last 12 months, around 40 per cent of Brits said they had experienced burnout at work – but it could be leading you down a slippery slope if you don’t take action.
A constant stream of emails, social events and even working out what you’re going to have for dinner can contribute to burnout.
Most people are just trying to make their way, but for some that means caffeine-fuelled diets and staying late at work.
Burnout can manifest itself in a variety of mental and physical ways that could see us out of action for weeks or even months if we don’t take control of our behaviours.
The phenomenon has become that prominent globally that in 2019 the World Health Organisation (WHO) recognised it as a syndrome – defining it as a result of “chronic stress that has not been managed”.
A survey commissioned by Tide found that burnout is common in working Brits – with 40 per cent saying they experienced it over the last 12 months.
Here experts reveal who is at risk of burnout, how to spot it and what to do about it.
Are you at risk?
Psychologist Lee Chambers said burnout can manifest itself in different forms, and certain occupations can increase your potential chance of being burnt out.
He said it’s an individual condition and that people can display it differently.
He explained: “Those at higher risk of burnout are in positions that involve seeing trauma, having to detach from emotive work, have long hours, and that are regularly judged and assessed.
“Those who work in hospitals and veterinary surgeries, therapists and teachers, social workers and law enforcement are all at a higher risk due to the nature of their jobs.
“Entrepreneurs are increasingly at risk as overworking is glamorised, they are less likely to have colleagues to keep them accountable to balance or identify the signs, and hustling is advertised as a prerequisite of being a successful entrepreneur.”
How to spot burn out
Author of ‘Burnt Out: The exhausted person’s six-step guide to thriving in a fast-paced world’, Selina Barker said while burnout symptoms can be different from person to person, the one thing they all share is total and utter exhaustion.
She explained that some people feel a total loss of confidence and no longer feel they can do a job they were once good at.
In an extract from her book she says: “Others feel as if a fuse has gone in their brain – they are slow, foggy, struggle to focus and are suddenly very forgetful and find that even the smallest decision is impossible to make”.
Liza Haskell, Chief Administrative Officer at Tide, said if you are displaying the symptoms of burnout it is important to step back and reassess your current lifestyle.
She added: “Try putting in place boundaries to create work-life balance, take regular breaks, look after your physical and mental wellbeing and seek additional support if required.”
The symptoms of burnout you need to know
Author and life coach Selina Barker reveals the signs you’ll display if your body has had enough and is suffering from burnout.
- Loss of focus
- Physical exhaustion
- Trouble sleeping
- Loss of compassion
- Stopped caring about your job
- Making mistakes you usually wouldn’t
- Loss of confidence
- Doubting your abilities
- Inability to concentrate
- Not being able to cope
What to do if you have burnout
Lee said that sometimes, people suffering from burnout are not aware that they are until they hit a significant crisis.
He explained that looking at our thoughts, feelings, and behaviours is the first step, as awareness allows us to break free from being on autopilot and just going through the motions in life.
Lee said: “Finding ways to reduce your stress and reignite your passion are likely to involve self-care.
“What is important is that we don’t try to rigidly shoehorn self-care into our lives, as this can potentially cause us to fire the perfectionism which might have been a factor in burnout, or leave us being critical if we fail to meet those standards, which is not beneficial as we certainly need to be kinder and have more self-compassion.”
He said you should also try and find a balance between work and personal life as well as building a support network of people who don’t always need your full attention.
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“Sometimes we can burn out because we feel we have to be everything, or can’t say no, and we end up doing lots of things that other people enjoy.
“It is vital that we find the things that make us smile, laugh and feel warm inside.”
The key thing, Lee said is to remember that at the end of the day, we are all just human beings – not machines.
“We can only do so much. If your workload is overbearing, it’s time to access it and see if there is the ability to get support, delegate, automate or reduce what you are doing on a daily basis”, he added.