If you feel lethargic when you wake up in the morning to head to work, it’s possible that burnout is creeping its way into your life. You might notice that you’ve recently begun snoozing your alarm far more times than you used to. Or maybe you’ve become extra irritated by your co-workers. Perhaps you’re even feeling unsatisfied and unfulfilled by your daily tasks. These feelings are common when you haven’t found a job that sparks passion and long-term success.
What is burnout?
According to the Mayo Clinic, “Job burnout is a special type of work-related stress — a state of physical or emotional exhaustion that also involves a sense of reduced accomplishment and loss of personal identity.” While it’s not an official medical condition, it can stem from depression and affect your physical and mental health.
Burnout can also be described as the severe stress or fatigue you feel at work, especially if your daily tasks are monotonous or unaligned with your personal beliefs and future goals. It typically emerges when you aren’t excited about your work or feel like you don’t have control over your responsibilities.
Symptoms of burnout
Below are some recurring symptoms you might notice if you’re feeling a sense of burnout at work.
- Emotional and physical exhaustion
- Lack of motivation and interest in your work
- Reduced focus or productivity
- Job dissatisfaction
- Low performance
- Annoyance by your co-workers
How to recover from burnout
The good news about burnout is that it doesn’t have to last forever. But in order to recover from it, you have to take action and make changes to your life. Whether speaking to your boss to ask for a promotion or more autonomy over your work, coming up with a game plan with your therapist, strictly logging off at a certain time every night, or looking for a new job altogether, burnout won’t just disappear on its own.
It could also help to take breaks throughout the day, whether journaling, meditating, exercising, or taking a screen-free lunch break. It’s important to be kind to yourself by practicing self-care, making changes to your diet, or getting the sufficient amount of sleep you need.
If switching jobs isn’t an option, try finding purpose in other areas of your life. Maybe that means spending more time with your loved ones, volunteering with an organization you’re passionate about, connecting with your inner being through yoga, discovering who you are through a silent meditation retreat, or pursuing your hobbies. The key is creating separation between your personal life and work life, especially if you work from home.
Bounce back from burnout
Burnout isn’t easy to deal with but know you’re not alone. Nearly 3 in 5 employees reported negative impacts of work-related stress, including lack of interest, motivation, or energy (26%) and lack of effort at work (19%) in 2021, according to the American Psychological Association (APA). Burnout won’t last forever, but it’s up to you to take care of yourself and make small changes to your daily routine. If you’re firmly committed to recovering, you’ll bounce back from burnout in no time.