Articles by Natural Health Author Jaime A. Heidel
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Top 10 Warning Signs of Job Burnout
by Jaime A. Heidel
(The Best Years in Life) Burnout is a chronic state of stress that leads to physical and emotional exhaustion, feelings of inadequacy, cynicism, disengagement, and lack of accomplishment.
According to a recent Gallup poll, 70 percent of workers are "actively disengaged" from their jobs. Meaning, not only do they not like their jobs, they undermine the ability of others to do theirs.
Workplace burnout doesn't come on all of a sudden. You don't go to bed one night filled with enthusiasm only to wake up with burnout. The signs can sneak up on you slowly. That's why it's so important to recognize the symptoms before they become unmanageable.
10 Common Warning Signs of Job Burnout
You're getting sicker than you used to. Instead of having a cold once or twice a year, you're down for the count nearly every month now. Stress hinders your immune system, and the frequent colds you're catching may be your body's attempt at slowing you down.
Despite getting adequate sleep each night, you still feel tired all the time. Even everyday tasks such as washing dishes, picking up after the kids, or doing a load of laundry leave you feeling completely wiped out. This could be a beginning sign of adrenal fatigue, a serious medical condition.
You seem unable to focus on your job, your children, and even your mate no matter how hard you try. You find yourself having to read simple instructions several times before you're able to understand them, you frequently ask people to repeat themselves, and you often "check out" and stare off into space.
Feeling nervous before a big presentation is normal. However, if you find yourself experiencing panic attacks, heart palpitations, and even paranoia, you may be burning out.
When your body is in a constant state of "fight or flight", you may find yourself eating less and less. Chronic anxiety slows down the entire digestive process and may lead to serious gastrointestinal upset. Because of this, you may not feel as hungry. This is when you may begin losing weight rapidly, which can be harmful to your health.
It may start out with a night or two of being unable to fall asleep or waking up frequently, but this can quickly turn into a nightly thing. Even though you're exhausted, you're unable to fall asleep because you're anxious. The anxiety about not being able to sleep makes you more anxious, and the cycle perpetuates itself.
Another sign of workplace burnout is anger. You may find yourself snapping at your co-workers, your children, your mate, and even the guy who cut you off in traffic. Anger is a normal and healthy human emotion, but when this emotion gets out of control, it may be a sign of workplace burnout.
If you once looked forward to going to work and now dread it every day, this loss of enjoyment could indicate job burnout. You may even find you've lost interest in hobbies, friends, and physical activities, as well.
Your lack of focus, anxiety, and insomnia are having a negative effect on your work performance. It seems you have to put twice as much effort into a project now just to get it done, and when it is, it's still not completed to your standards.
10. Apathy and hopelessness
Life isn't worth the effort anymore. There's just no point in getting up out of bed. What's the meaning of it all, anyway? (If you feel this way, seek professional help immediately.)
If you're experiencing these symptoms of job burnout, address them. Ask for some time off or delegate your duties. Your career may be important to you, but your health should always be priority number one.
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