Burnout syndrome: Are you getting too burned out at work?

Nowadays, working professionals feel very uneasy when they are not doing anything. There is that inner need to be productive all the time and doing less than that feels very unacceptable.

People always say, “find a job you love and you’ll never work a day in your life,” but we have internalized working and hustling so much to the point that we get tired even in doing the things we used to be passionate about. Further technological advancements also contribute to this nonstop work culture. Even after work hours, we remain connected to the office. It used to be just phone calls and e-mails, but now with more management and communication platforms like Slack, Trello, it seems impossible to distance ourselves from work anymore. Because of this, we’d tend to feel frustrated and stressed with our jobs, or maybe even feel burnt-out at work.

In fact, just last May 28, the World Health Organization (WHO) has included burnout in the 11th Revision of the International Classification of Diseases (ICD-11)

Although not classified as a medical condition, they did acknowledge burnout as an occupational phenomenon. This means that even if it isn’t an illness or a health condition, it is something that greatly influences one’s health.

They specified burnout to be strictly in the occupational context and cannot be used to refer to other situations in a different aspect of life. This is great development because we can see that the WHO is looking into mental wellbeing.

The burnout syndrome is not just simply being stressed

Signs of burnout at work is feeling mentally, physically, and emotionally overwhelmed that you can’t keep up with the tasks anymore. It is when you don’t have the energy to deal with your personal issues because your work is keeping you stressed enough. You’re not as efficient as you were, yet you still can’t take a break because you need to be productive.

According to Psychology Today, reasons for burnout syndrome can occur when:

  • The person is not in control of how the job is being carried out
  • Working toward a goal that doesn’t resonate
  • When the person lacks support in the office or at home

If you feel resentful, hopeless, and overall negative towards your work, you should find the time to go and have a check-up.

Even if it does not turn out to be burnout, the trip to the doctor would still be worth it. It can be very difficult to “cure” because it’s not something that can easily be taken out of your system. It is concerned with an environment that you move in for most of your day, so if you don’t address it immediately, you’ll feel even worse and it might turn into a never-ending cycle.

With all the different platforms, work is proving more difficult to get away from. Even so, you can still try to disconnect. Maybe distance yourself from gadgets (phone, tablet, laptop, etc.) altogether when you are having dinner or doing personal errands to avoid checking notifications.

The important thing is to set some boundaries.

You can also make a strict schedule for yourself at home where you set time aside for extra work and also for personal interests.

1. Get some ‘me time’

Feeling burnt-out, the best thing to do is to refocus your time and effort to yourself. Learn to say no to gatherings or events that you really don’t have to go to. Don’t feel guilty about it because you are taking care of yourself and you need a breather.

2. Social media break

Limit social media use as well because this tends to add to mental stress, which you are trying to avoid. Most of all, actively choose to do activities because you want to, not because you need to.

3. Practice a hobby

If you’re an artist, draw something for yourself that isn’t commissioned. If you’re a writer, maybe write something personal and not something to be submitted.

Burnout is a legitimate feeling and we should make an effort to recognize it in ourselves and also with our peers. Don’t let anyone invalidate what you are going through, and remember you’re not alone.