Burnout can manifest in many ways. It is a complex human reaction to ongoing stress, the signs and symptoms can appear the same as excessive stress but the symptoms of burnout include a more emotional response including emotional exhaustion and increasing feelings of negativity. Responses to burnout can be different for each person but the causes are common to most people.
For the purpose of this article we’ll stick to the area of burnout associated with the work environment.
Being able to make the connections and recognise events or issues leading to burnout is the first step. These causes can include:
- Feeling powerless to make improvements or contribute
- Feeling unappreciated for effort or work done
- Feeling pressured to achieve at work
- Working in a conflicted environment
- Dealing with complex personal problems or conflicts outside of the work environment
Once you have recognised the presence of these causes and/or the series of events that have lead to burnout you may then be able to link physical symptoms and mental stress symptoms that indicate an abnormal level of stress.
Making decisions about work/life balance can be the first step in a self care plan which should include the three categories:
- Physical – diet, exercise
- Mental – relaxation, meditation, breath work
- Strategic – having realistic, achievable goals & recognising limitations
Other interventions may need to be more specific or tailored for different outcomes or understanding. Burnout can be healed by counselors. Counselling can help with the assessment of a person’s vulnerabilities and help with strategies for increasing awareness.