The continuous pressure to achieve goals and obtain results is part of the reality of any individual who works extremely hard in the quest for success. Today’s article will highlight the effects of sustained stress in the form of burnout and also offer some tips to help avoid this syndrome.
It should be noted that burnout occurs overtime when there is an exaggerated commitment to work with little or no rest leading to physical and mental exhaustion – known as the Burnout syndrome.
Burnout causes a depletion in the health and/or career progression in a lot of people and is becoming more and more present in our world today.
Keep reading if you would like to know more about this condition.
Burnout syndrome occurs when there is an incompatibility between the work to be performed and the person’s expectations of the role.
One of the most frequent reasons for this disorder is the excessive demand on oneself, which means that the individual does not have the resources, time, or energy to perform the required tasks.
This condition is known as professional burnout syndrome and can be applied to other scenarios of burnout such as an overworked stay at home mum, and/or a full time working parent. I will be sharing more categories of individuals who are more prone to burnout below.
Necessary Read: Signs of stress
The term “Burnout” was coined out by the psychologist Herbert J. Freudenberger, in 1974, who characterised the problem as a series of symptoms that include headache, insomnia, irritability, and depressive behaviour.
The World Health Organisation (WHO) updated and classified the syndrome as an occupational phenomenon, which was detailed in the 11th Review of the International Classification of Diseases (ICD-11) and defined as a “syndrome conceptualised by chronic stress in the workplace that has not been successfully managed.”
According to the WHO, it can be characterised by three main symptoms:
Everyone is susceptible to burnout. However, in some cases, the risk may be slightly higher. Health professionals, teachers, salespersons, and others in the commercial and security careers are some of the examples of the individuals with an increased risk of burnout.
Also, people who perform activities in a negative or dangerous work environment with constant exposure to pressure and strict rules can also present with this disorder.
Although the conditions are similar, it is important to understand the differences between stress and burnout.
Stress is usually caused by a specific situation and can manifest itself for a short period. On the other hand, burnout syndrome manifests itself from chronic stress and appears in a more silent and gradual way.
People who have this condition often find it difficult to identify the cause of the problem and/or seek medical help on time.
In cases of frequent signs of stress, it is recommended that the individual makes an appointment too see a health professional.
Read: Effects of stress in men
Psychologists and psychiatrists are the best specialists to identify burnout and offer an appropriate treatment plan.
The burnout syndrome can present itself with several symptoms that can impair people’s quality of life and their overall performance of activities. A deep feeling of helplessness usually accompanies this condition.
Some consequences of burnout are:
Useful read: Stress in women
All the consequences mentioned above can affect the health and well-being of the Individual and can also compromise on their confidence and career plans.
If s(he) is an employee, these can interfere with their results due to increase in absenteeism from work, and causing a decrease in their overall performance.
The way in which an individual handles stress in his/her personal life is closely linked to the outbreak of Burnout syndrome.
Every employer should try and adopt some strategies to prevent the burnout syndrome from affecting the well-being of its professionals. See some examples below…
The first thing to do to decrease the risk of a friend or colleague from Burnout syndrome is to ensure that s(he) works in a comfortable working space.
It is necessary to evaluate the work structure and/or resources provided to the individual. Is the environment safe for working? Is it well lit and ventilated?
Also, it is a good idea to understand whether the workload is realistic and implement the appropriate actions for him/her to carry out their duties properly.
It is essential to maintain an open channel of dialogue between the individual and his/her employer. In this way, you will understand the expectations of the employee in relation to their work and explain what the organisation expects of them.
This process, if handled properly can be very therapeutic since it offers a huge sense of belonging.
It is essential for every organisation to include a perspective of the employee. Creating career plans and offering professional management guidance are some of the actions to help incorporate and value the input of others.
Another strategy that the company can adopt to reduce stress at work and avoid Burnout syndrome is to plan actions and events that encourage employees’ socialisation and relaxation.
Create an environment for entertainment during the lunch break; establish campaigns that encourage physical activities; organise internal events for socialising, and adopting preventive therapies such as group meditation, yoga classes, and massage therapy.
These are some of the ideas that can be applied to any company to help improve on the well-being of its employees.
Conclusively, it is always a good idea to use this period of exhaustion to eat healthy meals, drink water, exercise and rest as much as you can. A good night’s sleep is also a priority.
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Thanks for reading this article on the tips to avoid burnout syndrome. Stay safe, stay positive, keep going and see you in the next post.
Fancy more tips? Read Burnout Prevention and Treatment from HelpGuide