The last year and half have been challenging for us all. Whilst on the positive, working from home has meant many of us have more time to do exercise and be with loved ones, there is also a recognition that work has seeped beyond its previous boundaries. Iron icily this has meant less time in the office, but more time ‘working’. The situation has been compounded by the lack of dedicated holidays. Having a vacation enables a time of recharging and reflection, however without these designated times in our diary, it has become common to simply keep on working.
What is burnout?
Burnout is a reaction to prolonged or chronic job stress and is characterised by three main dimensions:
- cynicism (less identification with the job)
- feelings of reduced professional ability.
More simply put, if you feel exhausted, start to hate your job, and begin to feel less capable at work, you may be showing signs of burnout.
While burnout isn’t a diagnosable psychological disorder, it doesn’t mean it should not be taken seriously as an indicator of mental / physical stress.
Some of the most common signs of burnout:
- Alienation from work-related activities: Individuals experiencing burnout view their jobs as increasingly stressful and frustrating. They may grow cynical about their working conditions and the people they work with. They may also emotionally distance themselves and begin to feel numb about their work.
- Physical symptoms: Chronic stress may lead to physical symptoms, like headaches and stomachaches or intestinal issues.
- Emotional exhaustion: Burnout causes people to feel drained, unable to cope, and tired. They often lack the energy to get their work done.
- Reduced performance: Burnout mainly affects everyday tasks at work—or in the home when someone’s main job involves caring for family members. Individuals with burnout feel negative about tasks. They have difficulty concentrating and often lack creativity.
The doctors at Osler health have an holistic approach. This means we view mental and physical health as intertwined as equally important. If you would like to discuss burnout or your mental health in general with one of our doctors please call us.