The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines “Burning Out” as 1) to drive out or destroy the property of by fire; 2) to cause to fail, wear out, or become exhausted especially from overwork or overuse.
Of course I am talking about the 2nd definition. As we are finishing up assignments and heading into our exam periods, it can become hard to be motivated. And for some, the potential of a good grade or passing a class, isn’t enough any more. The fire that was once lit under them – like the saying goes – is burning out. However, there are always signs. Below are Forbe’s “Top 10 Signs You’re Burning Out – And What To Do About It”. But like anything, please take this with a grain of salt and even add some of the signs you think were missed or even how you deal with it:
SYMPTOMS OF BURN OUT
A clear sign of burnout is when you feel tired all the time. Exhaustion can be emotional, mental or physical. It’s the sense of not having any energy, of being completely spent.
- Lack of Motivation
When you don’t feel enthusiastic about anything anymore or you no longer have that internal motivation for to do work, there’s a good chance you’re experiencing burnout.
- Frustration, Cynicism and Other Negative Emotions
You may feel like what you’re doing doesn’t matter that much anymore, or you may be disillusioned with everything; feel more generally pessimistic. Negative emotions are becoming unusual for you.
- Cognitive Problems
Burnout and chronic stress may interfere with your ability to pay attention or concentrate.
- Slipping Job Performance
Compare your work performance now to your performance in previous years, because burnout tends to happen over an extended period of time.
- Interpersonal Problems at Home and at Work (or School)
This tends to play out in one of two ways: (a) You’re having more conflicts with other people, such as getting into arguments, or (b) you withdraw, talking to your coworkers (peers) and family members less. You might find that even when you’re physically there, you’re tuned out.
- Not Taking Care of Yourself
When suffering from burnout, some people engage in unhealthy coping strategies like drinking too much, smoking, being too sedentary, eating too much junk food, not eating enough or not getting enough sleep.
- Being Preoccupied With Work … When You’re Not at Work
Even though you might not be working at a given moment, if you’re expending mental energy mulling over your job, then your work is interfering with your ability to recover from the stresses of your day. [Similar may go for when you are out with friends and you are thinking about school work]. In order to recover, you need time to yourself after the actual task stops … and time when you stop thinking about that task altogether.
- Generally Decreased Satisfaction
This is the tendency to feel less happy and satisfied with your career and with your home life.
- Health Problems
Over a long period of time, serious chronic stress can create real health problems like digestive issues, heart disease, depression and obesity.
SOME IDEAS ON HOW TO PREVENT BURN OUT
Take Relaxation Seriously
Whether you take up meditation, listening to music, reading a book, taking a walk or visiting with friends and family, truly think about what you’ll do to relax, and designate time for it.
Cultivate a Rich Personal Life
Find something outside of work that you are passionate about that’s challenging, engaging and really gets you going—whether a hobby, sports or fitness activities or volunteering in the community (along with other items we mention here, like relaxation, being able to “turn off” and participating in rewarding non-work activities).
While communication technology can promote productivity, it can also allow work stressors seep into family time, vacation and social activities. Set boundaries by turning off cell phones at dinner and delegating certain times to check email.
Get Enough Sleep
Getting enough sleep every night is key in resting your body and mind for the following day.
Get organized, clear your head, put together a to-do list (or an electronic task list) then prioritize. That way, you don’t have to keep thinking about those things because you’ll have systems in place to remind you.
It’s important to tune into the precursors of those conditions both physical signs that you might be under too much stress: more headaches, tight shoulders, a stiff neck or more frequent stomach upset. As well as, mental signs like some of the top 10 signs.
Know When It’s You, and When It’s Them
Burnout is sometimes motivated by internal factors and sometimes it really is a symptom of external ones.
So, if the issues you’re struggling with are really serious and getting worse, you may need to seek professional help. Talk to a psychologist to get help beyond support from just your friends and family members.
Well wishes, L.R.
Gerry, L. 10 Signs You’re Burning Out — And What To Do About It. (2013). Forbes. Retrieved from http://www.forbes.com/sites/learnvest/2013/04/01/10-signs-youre-burning-out-and-what-to-do-about-it/#2d31e7185e01