Do your symptoms include stress, fatigue, distractedness, lack of motivation and energy? Before you begin down the dangerous path of Dr Google, I encourage you to read a little further as you may simply be battling the common syndrome known as ‘burnout’.
In a time where we are surrounded by technology and can easily access our emails at any time of day, it’s not surprising that more and more people are finding it hard to ‘switch off’ – literally.
If you have experienced it before, you will know what I’m talking about. But for all of you who have been lucky enough to avoid it for this long, here are the main signs to look out for:
Do you feel guilt for not spending enough time with your family and friends?
Have you found yourself become resentful of your work?
Has a loved one asked you to reduce your working hours?
Have you been experiencing heightened emotions?
If you answered yes to one or more of these, it may be time to sit back, embark on a ‘digital detox’ and re-evaluate your current situation.
If it is your work life causing you stress, have a chat to your manager about your concerns and come to an arrangement that has a better balance for you. More and more workplaces are becoming incredibly flexible when it comes to working arrangements, as there’s no such thing as a ‘normal’ routine anymore.
Also, see if your workplace offers any inhouse counselling. It can be surprising just how much lighter you’ll feel after talking to someone who is not in your direct work or home life circle.
How you manage your burnout will largely depend on your type of personality. While some may take a month off work and lie on a beach in Bali, others may find this exacerbates the feeling, due to lack of control of what is happening back at work. These types may find it more beneficial to add subtle tweaks to their existing routine, such as meditating before bed, or setting up some rostered days off in their calendar.
Just like any syndrome, it needs to be treated accordingly.
While ‘burnout’ isn’t officially in the ‘mental disorders’ family, it can lead to more serious issues over time, such as depression, anxiety or alcohol abuse.
So remember – there is no weakness in needing help. But there IS great strength in asking for it.
by Kasey Rainbow, Administration Assistant