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You Don't Have to Quit Your Job to Combat Burnout

Burnout comes with a host of physiological, psychological and social consequences.

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As people work more hours and learn more skills, they eventually reach a threshold. Their ability to keep up with demands and produce high-quality work starts to dwindle. This phenomenon is commonly known as burnout.

Burnout also comes with a host of physiological, psychological, and social consequences that can be detrimental to the person and the workplace. But, you don't have to quit your job to combat burnout.

How to identify burnout

Burnout can happen to anyone at any period, but it's often associated with successful people in their careers. It can either be caused or worsened by factors, such as stress, lack of exercise or sleep, unhealthy habits and work.

Burnout symptoms usually come in three different forms: emotional exhaustion, depersonalization and a reduced sense of personal accomplishment.

Emotional exhaustion is the state of being drained from stress-related emotions, such as frustration and anger. Depersonalization is when you feel disconnected from your work, and you no longer care about what you do. Reduced personal accomplishment is when you begin to feel like you aren't doing anything meaningful or important.

Burnout can affect individuals differently, but it generally has the same symptoms: exhaustion, detachment from work, feeling overwhelmed by responsibilities, lack of motivation to do your job well and an overall unhealthy outlook on life. 

Related: How Time Management Can Help You Avoid Burnout

What are the ways to self-assess?

If you experience any of the following, you should think about whether you're experiencing work-related stress:

  1. You're finding it more challenging getting back into work after time off.
  2. You feel like your work and personal life are becoming more blurred.
  3. You're having difficulty concentrating on tasks, even when they aren't related to your job.
  4. You find yourself feeling guilty for taking time off from work.

If you feel like you might be experiencing burnout at work, then there are a few things you can do.

How can you manage burnout without quitting your job?

Burnout tends to act as a warning sign of an impending mental breakdown, but it can also be a chronic condition that continues to affect the individual even after they leave their job.

While professionals in one industry are at a higher risk of experiencing burnout than those in another, no one can escape the effects of this condition. 

One way to help prevent burnout is to maintain a healthy lifestyle outside work hours. Exercise, healthy food choices and plenty of sleep will help release endorphins that counteract the effects.

When you are experiencing burnout, it is crucial to work on modifying your environment and habits. For example, you should avoid working late into the night. Instead, try to focus on self-care and spend time with friends who bring happiness into your life.

Here are ways to manage burnout without quitting your job:

  • Take breaks from the computer.
  • Get up and walk around.
  • Talk to someone about your frustrations and ideas for solving them.
  • Get organized by setting a timer for your most productive work periods and establishing a designated space in which you can work productively during these times.

Related: How to Spot Entrepreneurial Burnout (Before It's Too Late)

How to work with your employer to improve your mental health

If you are experiencing burnout, it is essential to be proactive about your health. One of the first steps to take is to talk with your employer. If you are not comfortable talking with your boss, you can speak with an HR professional or occupational health specialist.

One important consideration when speaking with your employer is how the job role or position will change. You want to be sure that if you change roles, there will still be opportunities for your development and growth.

One of the most important things to improve your mental health is to work with your manager. For example, you might want to take some time off work for mental health or family reasons. 

You can also ask your manager if they will allow you to work from home on specific days. Find out if they will accommodate your request by asking them first before committing to it.

You might also want to find out if your employer offers any wellness programs available for employees. Some employers provide gym memberships or stress management courses that you can attend at work or outside the workplace on company time.

You don’t have to leave your job to combat burnout. By being mindful of the things that are causing you stress and working on a change in manageable steps, you can live a life full of joy and happiness while still holding onto your career.

Related: Understanding Entrepreneurial Burnout (And How To Deal With It)

Steve Taplin

Written By

Entrepreneur Leadership Network Contributor

Steve Taplin is the CEO of Sonatafy Technology (www.sonatafy.com), a premier nearshore software-development-services firm that provides its clients with expertise in cloud solutions, web and mobile applications, ecommerce, big data, DevOps practices, QA, IoT and machine learning.