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We all put in the effort to do our best at work. However, some of us may even go above and beyond, such as working till midnight hours, taking on impossible deadlines or even working the weekends. All of this comes at the expense of our own health and can ultimately lead to a burnout.
‘Burnout’ is a common buzzword in a work environment but it means more than just feeling tired. Mayo Clinic describes it as "a state of physical, emotional, or mental exhaustion, combined with doubts about your competence and the value of your work." If left unchecked, burnout can be destructive to your overall health, happiness, relationships and job performance.
Here are five warning signs that indicate you are on the path to burning out or, in case you have not noticed, are burnt out already.
1. HAVE TROUBLE CONCENTRATING
If you have reached the point where you are struggling to focus on your regular tasks, then you are facing a burnout. Lack of concentration can lead to risks of missing deadlines or making critical mistakes that could affect your work performance.
2. HAVE NOTHING CREATIVE TO CONTRIBUTE
Cannot remember when was the last time you did something creative or used a different approach? It probably is because you are in the midst of a burnout. You feel your creative output will not be valued and hence there is no use of it.
3. INCREASED PESSIMISM & IRRITABILITY
This is when you begin to see your glass as half empty. You begin to feel negative towards your work and that there is no point in accomplishing anything anymore. Just thinking about your work makes you irritable and fills you up with negative emotions.
4. PHYSICAL & EMOTIONAL EXHAUSTION
Feeling tired all the time? A hallmark sign of a burnout is when you find it hard to get off our bed in the morning. Exhaustion can be emotional, mental or physical. It’s the sense of not having any energy, purpose or motivation. At a more serious stage, you can suffer from chronic anxiety, feeling of helplessness and depression.
5. PHYSICAL PROBLEMS
These may include heart palpitations, chest pain, gastrointestinal pain, dizziness and increased headaches. You may also suffer from insomnia and loss of appetite or unhealthy eating habits due to the work pressure and stress. Burnouts can weaken your immune system making you more vulnerable to colds, flu and viral infections
The “Malaysia’s Healthiest Workplace” survey conducted by AIA Vitality, revealed that “some 53% of Malaysian employees reported at least one dimension of work-related stress, while 12% experienced high levels of anxiety or depression.”
So, if you feel like you are experiencing the above symptoms, take a breath, relax and read the following tips.
PRIORITISE YOURSELF, YOUR HEALTH
Whether it is meditation, listening to music, reading a book, taking a walk or visiting friends and family, truly think about what will help you relax, and designate time for it. You could also find something that you find interesting and challenging like painting, sports or fitness activities that will help restore your energy, physical strength and creative spirit.
REACH OUT TO OTHERS
An effective way to relieve stress and mounting pressure is to have a heart-to-heart with someone who genuinely cares for your well-being. Share your problems, thoughts and concerns with your loved ones, a friend or a trusted co-worker. It may not solve all your problems but it helps to release the emotions you have bottled up within.
GET ORGANISED, UNPLUG, & GET SOME SNOOZE TIME
A to-do list can help you get organised with your work enabling you to see how much you can manage within your own capacity and prioritise likewise. It is understandably hard to stay away from our electronic devices which usually add on to work stress. Set clear boundaries by turning off your cell phone at dinner, during family time and delegate certain times to check emails.
Once organised and unplugged, you are likely to get better sleep, which is essential in restoring and replenishing your energy and focus.
Burnout is serious as it is not just your work that suffers, but your health, mental state and the lives of the people around you. Whether it is finding new ways of performing everyday tasks or simply taking a break from work completely, it is vital to do what is right for your health.
The above articles are intended for informational purposes only. AIA accepts no responsibility for loss which may arise from reliance on information contained in the articles.