Probably one of the most important factors when starting a new job is the work-life balance — that very much needed equilibrium between your career and your personal life. Unfortunately not every job gives an employee the benefit of working from home or a 40 hour work week cap, so it’s important to take the time to manage it on an individual level.
Workplace stress is one of the leading contributors to a burnout — that moment all ambition and drive drains away and even the simplest of tasks seem to become heavy burdens. An astounding one million employees in the U.S. miss work each day solely because of job stress. There are ways to identify burnouts, and therefore appropriate measures can be taken to help regain the work-life balance.
Signs of a Burnout
One of the most recognizable signs of a burnout can be anger, in the workplace itself or even outside of the office as well. It can be small bursts of anger, simple irritability that makes the tiny clicks of the keyboard insufferable or the light hum of the lights intolerable. However, if left unchecked, workplace anger can grow into larger outbursts and possible violence. It’s important to recognize this symptom of a burnout and alleviate the cause as much as possible or to seek professional assistance if necessary.
Another sign of a potential burnout is harder to identify but equally important in self-diagnosis: loss of enjoyment. This can sound somewhat controversial when talking about the workplace, but it is a crucial identifier in determining a job burnout and a negative work-life balance. At first, it could seem like insignificant things have lost their luster, such as talking to peers or making a fresh pot of coffee. Just like the anger, it can grow into something much harder to control and slip into encounters and activities outside of the workplace.
How to Deal with a Burnout at Work
While identifying signs of a burnout is an important step, it is also a good idea to know how to cope with the stressors to ease the effects of the burnout, and possibly avoid it in the future. The most significant piece of advice to take when trying to deal with a burnout is to leave the situation. If possible, take the day off. Go home and rest and come back the next day refreshed and ready to work. There are many ways to help reduce stress, but one of the first things to do is to identify what causes the stress. Once that becomes clear, take steps to avoid those things or minimize interaction with them.
Always remember to maintain a positive work-life balance and know the symptoms of a burnout to better see the warning signs.