Experts teach classes on emotional burnout, users of social networks publish posts on the Internet, and almost all of us share our worries about it with friends and relatives…
According to last year’s statistics, 76% of respondents in the USA, 74% in Russia, and at least 64% in Ukraine reported that they experienced burnout.
Many people feel inattentive, tired, unmotivated, and experience other signs of emotional burnout.
We don’t want to talk about scientific research or give a standard list of advice on how to take care of ourselves because there is no universal formula that suits everyone.
This article is about how each of us has experienced this period in our lives, what has caused the problem and what advice we can give to those who suspect the first symptoms of emotional burnout and want to avoid this condition.
I feel burnout three times a week, and the reason for this is the rejection of candidates and clients. A lot of effort goes into researching, meetings, writing job descriptions, and at the end of the day, it feels like it all goes to waste.
How do I deal with it? There’s just an understanding that it’s a standard workflow in the sales department.
– I love the moments when the salary comes 🙂
– When candidates accept the offer, it makes me feel better!)
– During weekends, I don’t think about work and I am just relaxing: watching soap operas, going to cafes/restaurants with friends;
– Learning German; it’s a good way to get my mind off things and recharge my batteries.
I know examples from my acquaintances’ lives where even the most skillful and motivated specialists have burned out, sometimes even the owners or managers of projects. No one is immune to this. One day you wake up and say “***** everything!” and cannot get out of bed. You pass out and text your colleagues that you are feeling unwell.
But why does it happen, and what should we do about it?
- Lack of a daily routine. Going to bed before 12 and getting up at the same time every morning makes the body feel more energetic.
- The opportunity to talk. “Let’s get to the point” is my favorite phrase from colleagues and friends. I know many people don’t like it, but it helps me get some extra emotion out of it. That’s where my passion for writing and psychotherapy comes from.
- Spontaneousness and friendship. I am an easy-going person. If I don’t get “carried away” during the day and my friends suggest going out and watching the sunset, I am in!
- The results of the work and the happy faces of the candidates. It’s always nice to get a “thank you” after hard work.
- Once every fortnight, I spend a day without going ‘out in public’. On that day, I read a book, cook something from my favorite dishes, or try new recipes.
Lastly, there’s the mental intimacy with people. For more than 2.5 years, I have been running the Anonymous Writers Club in Kyiv where I conduct free classes on freelance writing. Also, every month or two, I do a cleaning of the wardrobe and household items. Usually, 5-10 things in good condition find new owners.
Many people confuse the modern term ‘burnout’ with normal tiredness. To avoid this condition, you need to rest appropriately, both before, during, and after work.
If you tell your employer a couple of times that you can’t handle it and that you need help, you’re more likely to get it, but if you don’t, you’re not at a place worth wasting your precious time.
For me, the feeling of burnout is tied to the human relationship factor and my inner feelings. For example, suppose you are in a toxic team, or you have a misunderstanding with your manager. In that case, you are devalued or not being noticed, and the burnout will come after 2-3 months and will cause confusion and a feeling that there is something wrong with you. As well as the difference between your values and those of the company creates a sense of tension and dissonance because you are forced to do something you don’t believe in.
At the same time, if you have a healthy atmosphere at work, you are given the freedom to perform and you are supported on an ongoing basis, you can be overwhelmed by tasks, but instead of burning out, you will only feel a buzz. (there may be a hidden Talentgrator advert…and it is ok)
As for internal factors (hyper-responsibility, fears, beliefs), the important thing here is to realize that you have it and work on it yourself or with a specialist. After all, your fears will stay with you even after you change ten jobs:)
For example, the notorious impostor syndrome hits me consistently 2-3 times a day, which can break me out of my work processes for a while. The right environment (family, friends, colleagues) and some psychological exercises can help here well.
I experienced this problem when I was a front-end developer at a startup that dealt with IoT. There I worked under constant pressure, the tasks were initially impossible to meet deadlines, and our manager knew it. Regular workload + management pressure + necessity to develop my skills in this atmosphere without anyone’s help = not the most productive employee.
That’s how I worked for about half a year. The only thing that saved me from constant breakdowns was tracking my progress. Even if the management was not satisfied with the solution, I knew for myself that I had progressed.
- A fabulous and very trivial thing is a sport. I started going to the gym, but I realized that I’m interested in something more practical and switched to the site with horizontal bars. Every workout is like a free dopamine injection into your brain.
- When you get burned out and apathetic towards your work, your relationship with your family is significant, so investing time and effort in this is worth it. Tell your family what is going on with you to avoid any unexpected negative emotions from that area.
- A holiday or a change of activity works well with apathy, if not a professional one, then at least a hobby.
- It is worth talking to your HR management; they will often be sympathetic and help you diversify your tasks in terms of what interests you. In my case, I got more graphic tasks mixed up with programming.
- The workplace is also an important point. Once, I completely moved my desk to another room and changed everything on it, even my mugs)
- If you stop drinking coffee and start drinking WATER, you will feel much better. Have no idea how it works, but it does.
To avoid burnout, you have to do what you like in a team of people whose values and goals are the same as yours.
You will never get burned out if your current activity is something you enjoy doing, rather than a function imposed on you by society, your degree, or your boss.