Burnout: Warning signs
Burnout, or exhaustion at work, can be physical and/or psychological. It corresponds to the final phase of a process during which stress has become too great. If extreme fatigue and physical exhaustion are the two main characteristics of burnout, there are other symptoms that should alert the worker. So as not to belie the adage “work is health”, learn to recognize the symptoms of burn out so that you can get off your feet and get help before it is too late.
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Before a burnout, the worker goes through a phase of intense stress characterized by palpitations, sweaty hands, sweating, difficult digestion or sleep disturbances. At this stage, there is still time to take care of oneself to avoid burnout.
At the office, the days are getting longer and so is the pile of files to be processed. Even though you feel you’re working harder or harder than before, your productivity is declining. You can no longer get organized, one thing is certain: you are overwhelmed.
Are you constantly tired and even very long nights of sleep at the weekend, naps or a week’s rest are not enough to restore your energy and tone? Fatigue from which it is difficult or even impossible to recover is one of the clearest signs of burnout.
Difficulties with physical activity
You used to do physical activity, but the taste is gone. Or sedentary, the slightest physical effort (climbing stairs for example) requires you to gather all your strength? This excessive effort required by the least physical activity may be a sign of burnout.
Loss of appetite
When the appetite’s right, everything’s right. But when the appetite’s gone, the burn out’s probably not far off. If stress tends to make us eat more, in case of burn out, it’s the opposite, the appetite disappears.
When burnout looms, self-deprecation is never far away. Decreased productivity,” a colleague remarked, “anything is good to convince you that your work is useless. Self-deprecation is one of the psychological components of burnout.
Lack of motivation
The urge is gone. In the morning, you don’t feel like getting up and you easily get discouraged? Professional stress regularly taints the motivation of even the most perfectionist and so-called “best performers”.
The feeling of being drained of one’s emotional resources is one of the psychological characteristics of burn out.
Not seeing, or seeing less and less often, your family, friends and relatives is also one of the signs of a probable burn out. Moreover, if you tend to be irritable with a changing mood and your relationships with others are changed as a result, be vigilant…
No longer feel anything about others, about the people around you. Burn out can dehumanize your relationships with others. You then see others only as objects. This is all the more true in contact professions where users, clients, patients lose their human dimension in your eyes. You generally have a negative view of the people you work with.