How to Avoid Burnout at Work and Through the Holidays- 5 Signs
Professional burnout

Here are three steps to set your mind at ease 

Every year, the holidays transform our day-to-day lives. Many enjoy the newfound beauty and connection that the holidays can bring, while many others face an intense routine that leaves work piling up at the office on their return. Stress, overwhelm, and burnout have become very common terms these last few challenging years. They’ve left quite an impact on the US workforce, with 50% leaving jobs for mental health, and 84% saying at least one workplace factor negatively impacts their work. But it doesn’t have to cause so much uneasiness if you learn your triggers  and plan ahead with tools that support you.

The truth is these feelings of burnout and stress really can be avoided altogether, or at least lessened to where they don’t take over your life. It doesn’t happen as a bombshell thought, although it may feel like it.  It’s more like a snowball effect that can lead to bigger issues due to ignoring the signs and triggers. Signs like downplaying initial feelings of exhaustion at home or work, and saying that it ‘just comes with the job territory,’ while taking vacations that only temporarily help you vacate from the problems.  Or when drinking a glass of wine a week to unwind becomes a glass a day to decompress after daily stresses.  These come from a variety of triggers, like saying yes to taking on new projects (even when your gut is telling you a hard no) just so you don’t lose your job.  Or more deeply, feeling like your career no longer aligns with your values and what legacy you want to leave in the world. Pressures and disconnection at work are real.

Start to open your eyes with an understanding of the signs that lead to those overwhelming feelings.

Psychology Today notes there are 5 signs to know when you are experiencing burnout:

  1. Excessive fatigue
    If you’re noticing that the cup of joe you used to have still doesn’t solve your mental, emotional, and physical exhaustion, it might be a sign of burnout. However, it could also be other things, so do see a doctor to rule out anything more physiological.
  2. Seeking unhealthy escapes
    That can be with a variety of things – from drinking, to excessive gaming, sleeping, etc. This can be progressive as well – not just a sudden desire to binge – so be mindful of your activities.
  3. Sensitivity, or mood flip-flopping
    Have you noticed that you flip out more easily? Sometimes when we’re trying to hold everything together, it makes us hyper-sensitive when anything is off. Maybe you’re trying harder than normal to pretend it’s all ok, but are super quick to change when things go wrong. Take note of these moments.
  4. Numbness or disconnection
    This is the other extreme where you’re non-feeling and you’re disconnected from people or even reality at times.  You choose to feel nothing and unplug so that you don’t feel the pain of your life experience.
  5. Loss of spark
    This is a loss of interest in work, even if you show up to work every day.  You’re doing the minimum, not engaging, and even taking more sick days than usual to not have to go into Or worst case, not showing up to work at all is a huge RED flag.

Do any of these sound familiar? Then look at these signs and notice when you see them, at work and home, and what triggers them for you. Recognizing and understanding are the first steps to recovery because you can’t solve what you don’t acknowledge.

Now set your mind at ease by starting with basic steps that you can implement right now to support yourself.

  1. Pay attention to the initial stress signs, and plan ways to problem solve for them before they turn into burnout.
  2. Prioritize self-care in your daily routines, big or small, like regular mental health breaks and movement outside.
  3. Seek a coach or therapist where needed for decompression and on-going support.

Allow yourself the time and space to focus on yourself, so you can avoid the long term burnout and overwhelm that lead to physical issues. The good news is you now have a place to start! In the near future your holidays and vacations can be a time to have fun and appreciate your life, not just a way to vacate it.

For deeper support and burnout recovery programs, contact Burnout and Purpose Coach Teany Hidalgo at [email protected]

Related topics:

Cut Down on Stress and Be More Productive

Are You Causing Second Hand Stress Among Your Employees

Be Good to Your Heart- Small Business Stress and Health


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