Employee burnout, the slow and steady physical and psychological fatigue and depletion caused by one’s work-life, reflects a fundamental challenge of working life.
Burnout is characterized by reduced personal accomplishment, physical exhaustion and unremitting weariness, feelings of despair and helplessness, and cynical attitudes toward work, life, and people.
Many people work in situations that are conducive to burnout. The prevalence of demanding job characteristics and the pressures of collegial and supervisory relationships, together with inadequate job resources and motivational job characteristics can trigger burnout.
If you’re feeling worn out, overwhelmed, even depressed at work, here’s how to nurse your exhaustion before it escalates into a burnout:
- Investigate ways to limit or disconnect exposure to stress-initiators. First, understand and rank all the triggers of stress. Reflect on your existing responsibilities and relationships at work, and identify any element that strains your enthusiasm or diminishes your energy.
- Restructure your work. If you’re dealing with excessive job demands and are provided with inadequate job resources, try to discard low-gain and high-pain tasks and responsibilities. Ask for more resources, and reach out to people you find supportive and motivating. If all else fails, lower your standards.
- Seek opportunities for psychological detachment from work. Stop thinking about work during your leisure time and disengage yourself mentally from work.
- Nurture yourself. Your needs belong to the top. As you make your way through a busy life, don’t ignore prioritizing taking care of yourself. Don’t surrender, settle, or lose hope. Don’t compromise yourself and become what you can settle for.