Did you ever felt overwhelmed, uninspired, worn out and invaluable in terms of your work and wanted to throw everything out the window and leave your home to live far away from this world? If yes then you’re in the same boat with many other aspiring individuals. No matter if you are a Student, Businessman, Housewife or a Teacher, at some point in your life you go through immense chronic stress and succumb to Burnout but often you are unaware that it is Burnout.
The term ‘Burnout” was coined by an American Psychologist Herbert Freudenberger in the 1970s, He defines it as Becoming exhausted by making excessive demands on energy, strength, or resources.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), it is defined as, “A syndrome conceptualized as resulting from chronic workplace stress that has not been successfully managed”
It is not a Medical disease but an “occupational syndrome” which drains a person and affect their efficiency at the workplace. With increasing workload in the developing world and constant urge to outperform others, this is becoming even more mainstream these days.
Signs and Symptoms
- Feeling tired and drained throughout the day
- Shameful and doubtful
- Constant fatigue
- Frequent headaches and infections
- Reduced performance
- Concentration and memory problems
- Irritability, Helplessness and Cynicism
Effects On Immune System
Chronic stress releases stress hormone “Cortisol” which in long term weaken the defence mechanisms of our bodies. Since the stress of any form has a detrimental effect on our immune system and Burnout is chronic work-related stress so it reduces our body’s ability to ward off pathogens and make us more prone to catch infections.
How to Prevent It
- Vacations and Breaks: Take vacations from work and have some free time to enjoy simple pleasures of life. While doing work take short breaks in between and give yourself a complete day off on weekend to recharge for the next week.
- Prioritize Your Health: Don’t exert yourself too much in your work that you forget your health and don’t ignore your wellbeing incessantly.
- Set A Routine: Have a routine, stick to it and find a balance between work and life.
- Travel Often: Travel and change your environment to unplug and start anew. It refreshes your mind and gives it clarity.
- Avoid Negativity: Stay away from pessimistic people.
- Workout More: Workout regularly as it makes your body to release feel-good hormones called “Endorphins” which assuage your mood and trigger positive feelings.
- Find A Hobby: Take out time from your day to do some recreational activity. Painting, drawing, writing, cooking reading are to name a few. Such activities can distract your mind from daily stresses.
- Be Pragmatic About Your Tasks: Set tasks that are doable and within your reach. Don’t put your mind and body at risk for impossible endeavours.
Ways to Cope with it
Once you fall in the ditch of Burnout it’s relatively difficult to get out of it but not impossible. When you feel that you are starting to have symptoms of it try to unwire your tired brain and body by taking rest from your work. Sleep well and dissociate yourself from stressors completely. Change your environment and routine, try Meditation, talk to a friend, do what gives you comfort and be okay with not completing far-fetched tasks.
It is better to identify Burnout early in its course and take measures to prevent it from turning into a severe form which then gets extremely difficult to treat. It is never a good option to try doing more than your body and mind can endure. Be ambitious but not overambitious. Take breaks, be positive and be patient.
19 July 2020, Submitted by “RAFIA GHANI”