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Burnout is more than just a bad day – or week, or even month – at work. As defined by the Mayo Clinic, it’s a specific type of job-related stress that results in a state of physical or emotional exhaustion. It also can manifest as a sense of lowered accomplishment or a loss of personal identity.

Last May, the World Health Organization published its updated definition of burnout: a “syndrome conceptualized as resulting from chronic workplace stress that has not been successfully managed.”  So, it’s more than just a bad day, indeed.

Know the Warning Signals

If you know the warning signs, you can take effective steps to bring yourself back from the burnout. Here are five common symptoms:

  1. Apathy

Burnout is typically marked by a loss of interest or enthusiasm in work that used to bring you excitement or make you feel fulfilled. This leads to an apathetic or negative attitude that leaves you completed depleted.  Even when a task or project goes amazingly well, you still don’t get the same sense of accomplishment or satisfaction.

  1. Anger

If you’re feeling down or frustrated about work, you may have a shorter fuse to deal with difficult people or challenging situations. This can quickly accelerate into detachment, anger, or irritability. Like other burnout side effects, these feelings can spill over into your personal life if left unchecked.

  1. Performance Slump

In a nutshell, people who are burned out simply don’t – or, more accurately, can’t – care enough to do a good job. As a result, deadlines are missed, mistakes are made, quality takes a nosedive and, in worst-case scenarios, safety is compromised. If you are experiencing these signs or spot them in a colleague, it’s time to seek out help.

  1. Insomnia

Insomnia occurs when you feel super exhausted but can’t sleep. It can snowball as you become increasingly frustrated – and it turns into a vicious circle: frustration leads to lack of sleep leads back to frustration. All the while, you’re watching the numbers change on your digital clock.

  1. Vulnerability to Illness

Burnout may contribute to high cortisol levels. This is the stress hormone that, among other functions, partially regulates inflammation. While it doesn’t cause these conditions, long-term, chronic inflammation may be associated with cancer, diabetes, or metabolic syndromes.

For additional resources on avoiding and overcoming burnout, consider working with the professional career coaches at PrideStaff Fresno. Contact us today to learn more.

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