When was the last time you went on vacation? Did you find yourself checking email or calling the office while you’re on break? How often do you bring home work, or work on weekend. And most of all, how many times have you told yourself: ‘I’m too stressed’ or ‘ I wish I had more me time or time with my family?’
You’ve probably heard of job burnout, (this article explains causes). The hectic schedules and long workdays can take a toll on your physical and emotional health. At its worst, job burnout can lead to depression and heart attack. But that happens after years of ignored exhaustion. What are the early symptoms of job burnout?
Studies have consistently shown that excessive stress and unrelenting stress lowers your immune system, and can trigger anything from migraine attacks to heart disease. The constant feeling of fatigue and frustration can also affect your emotional well-being, and in turn, your relationships with other people. You may already be experiencing this. How many of these symptoms apply?
Are you cranky at work? Your co-workers may already be walking on eggshells whenever they’re around you. In fact, the stereotypical ‘crazy boss’ who gives mixed signals and flies off in a bad temper is a textbook case of someone who deals with too much pressure and has no healthy outlet for it. He ‘blows up’ or sends of waves of negativity, which can affect his ability to lead and motivate others.
Another sign of job burnout is dread: you have the Monday blues, you feel like you’re counting the minutes till the weekend, and the things you used to love about your job just seem routine. You derive no personal satisfaction from what you do, and no motivation to improve your skills or perform better. You are apathetic, and the only thing that gets you out of bed is your paycheck: ‘Oh well, another day another dollar.’
You may also be withdrawing from your friends and co-workers. You don’t socialize, whether at work functions or even to meet up with old buddies for drinks. You feel isolated and alienated, or are unwittingly making others feel that way around you.
And while job burnout can cause some pretty big health problems, it also manifests in frequent colds, trouble sleeping, headaches, stomach upsets. Panic attacks (common for people who are overwhelmed or overstressed) can also experience symptoms that are very similar to vertigo.
All these point to one thing: job burnout is a slow burn, and it takes self-awareness and some willpower to say, ‘I have to take better care for myself.’ Only then can you begin the task of reestablishing your work-life balance—before your health and your relationships take a permanent hit.
Photo from torkandgrunt.com