Stress is a necessary evil and one of the motivating forces in our lives. It can cause us to push forward and get things done and without it none of us would be very productive but too much stress is never good.
Being overstressed can lead to “burnout” and once there it is very hard to get back to normal. Simply stated, burnout is when we lose interest completely in the work that we once loved. Our enthusiasm is gone and we don’t know how to get it back. If you spend your days dreaming of slipping out the back door and the end of the work day is your ultimate goal than you are definitely burned out. Here are 4 signs that you are heading for burnout and some good advice as how to avoid it.
Your Life Seems “Out of Balance”
If your work life has become all consuming and you don’t seem to have enough time to do the things that you really enjoy than it’s time to make a change. Eating a healthier diet, getting enough sleep and finding the time to do those things that make you feel good should become a priority at this point. Spending time with those people that mean the most to you will remind you that you work for a reason and will allow you to put things into perspective. After all, if you can’t enjoy the fruits of your labor than work is nothing more than something that you must do and no one can do that forever.
Conflicts are Becoming the Norm
Being at odds more and more with coworkers or loved ones is a sure sign that all is not well. Has your attitude towards others changed? Have you become defensive and often feel that you are being looked at in a negative manner? If you feel that others are not satisfied with your performance at work and it’s affecting the way that you interact with them than something is definitely wrong. Maybe you’re not throwing things and having outright confrontations but even defensive emails and short answers at the office can be signs that there’s trouble ahead.
Now is the time to make amends. Recognize and change your behavior and talk to others about it so that they can understand that you want to stop it. You need a break before things get any worse. Get away for a while or get yourself under control. If not, you will cause permanent damage in your relationship with others that you may not be able to repair.
The Passion is Gone
If your dream job has turned into a nightmare maybe it is you that have changed and not the job. Once you couldn’t wait to get to work, now you can’t wait to get home. This is a sure sign that you have lost interest and that can be for many reasons. Maybe things haven’t turned out the way that you expected or you haven’t been as successful as you had imagined. While it’s understandable that you may feel disappointed at this time, losing your motivation will only make the situation worse.
You need to get away for a while. Time away from your daily grind is an excellent way to “regroup” and change your attitude. A new approach is needed to reignite the flame and a little time off is a great way to get your head together and change your outlook. If you absolutely, positively cannot get away than at least make the most of the time that you do have. Focus on things that you enjoy when you are out of the office and treat each work day as a new opportunity and not a jail sentence. Change your attitude and you can change your life.
You Often Feel Angry, Worried or Anxious
When we are frustrated is easy to take things out of context. What seems a small matter when we are happy can become a big issue when we are not. Emotions always begin with a thought even if you don’t know why you are feeling bad. The question is, “What has happened to make you feel this way?”
Chances are that if you take the time to think about it you will be able to discover the problem. Maybe you’re upset that your last project didn’t turn out the way that you had planned or wonder why you didn’t get that promotion that you felt you deserved? Sometimes we are not consciously aware of what is bothering us and if we can figure it out we can deal with it accordingly. Negative emotions will take a toll and cause us to burnout very quickly if not eliminated. Learn to look ahead and not dwell on past issues. This will help you to maintain a positive outlook in all aspects of your life.