Burnout at Work Opens the Door to Disease
By Sandy Schroeder
If you enjoy your job and sometimes work way too many hours, burnout can sneak up on you. At first you may just feel tired, but then the tiredness takes over. You may push it back or shrug it off, but burnout raises the risk of serious disease and demands real answers.
Researchers tell us burnout goes beyond discomfort to undermines health. Twenty-five percent of all workers may be in the burnout stage and the annual healthcare costs soar with billions of dollars of treatment and lost work time. Type 2 diabetes, heart disease and premature death become real consequences.
We all like to think a little rest can put us back in the game, but a real turnaround may be crucial to secure health and happiness for our families and ourselves.
What Burnout Looks Like
Learn to spot the signs.
- Negativity and cynicism drown out positive reactions
- Tiredness leads to zero motivation
- Simple projects suddenly seem overwhelming
- Little delays stretch out and quickly add up
- Every day seems like a hassle
What to Do Next
Facing up to burnout can provide the solutions that make it go away.
Take a closer look at your job - Settling into a groove and turning it into a 24/7 mission almost always leads to burnout. You may simply give in to exhaustion, sacrifice the quality of your work, or shortchange your family to keep on going.
Rethink how you work - Prioritize your work. Start with the most important projects and work your way down the list. Put the least important ones at the end of the day and delegate as much as possible. Use your most productive hours to work on key projects and let the other tasks fill in the remaining time. Whatever you do, leave at a reasonable hour and go home to enjoy the evening with friends and family.
Learn how stress works - Most of us have little tricks to tamp down worries, but we know the undercurrents of stress can chip away at everything we do. Spot signs of stress and ease them with simple breathing exercises, quick runs or brief walks. Turn the stress around before it settles in.
Shut everything down and step away - Being constantly on your cell phone or your computer dilutes creativity and short-circuits energy. Step away for a short brisk walk. Do some stretching in the afternoon and add another break after lunch. Timeouts clear your head and improve productivity. When you start enjoying your job again, you will know you are on the right track.
Work on getting it right - Finding ongoing solutions to prevent burnout can be critical to health and happiness. When you find time for your family, actually enjoy your workday, and blend everything together, burnout may cease to be a problem. Enjoy!
To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Saint Peters, Mo.