The Job Burnout is Real — Here's How to Deal With It
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Job Burnout is Real — Here's How to Deal With It

Job Burnout is Real Heres How to Deal With It

We're well past the stage of work-from-home adjustment. At the onset of the health crisis two years ago, telecommuting may have been a novel idea to workers at large, but today, many of us can probably say we have pretty much gotten used to its ins and outs.

The work-from-home revolution saw us resettle from the physical offices we once knew to the capacious yet impalpable rooms of Zoom, Microsoft Teams, and Google Meet. It brought with it perks like flexible hours and no more daily commutes from hell, and the promise of better work-life balance such as more time for ourselves, our families, and fitness. Despite all these, however, we've found that one thing rings true: burnout is still burnout, work from home or not.

It was only in 2019 when the World Health Organization (WHO) included "burn-out" in the 11th Revision of the International Classification of Diseases (ICD-11). In it, burnout was classified as an occupational phenomenon, not as a medical condition, and was defined as a "syndrome conceptualized as resulting from chronic workplace stress that has not been successfully managed."

As per the WHO, burnout is characterized by three dimensions, namely feelings of exhaustion or depleted energy, increased mental distance from one's job or feelings of cynicism related to one's job, and reduced professional efficacy.

Do you find that you're experiencing burnout from work? Here are some things you can do to deal with it.



Recognize When It’s Happening

Apart from keeping in mind the three dimensions of burnout above, you can also ask yourself questions to determine if you are indeed experiencing the syndrome. According to the Mayo Clinic, these could be questions like, "Have you become cynical or critical at work?" "Do you drag yourself to work and have trouble getting started?" and "Are you troubled by unexplained headaches, stomach or bowel problems, or other physical complaints?" among others.

If your answer is yes to these questions, then you are probably experiencing job burnout. You should also consider speaking to your doctor or a mental health professional, as these signs may also be indicative of other conditions like depression.

Regroup and Recover

Taking a step back to recharge and regroup can go a long way. Take a leave from work and do an activity that you enjoy or find relaxing. This can include doing some strenuous exercise, meditating, or going on a weekend trip.

If you have disrupted sleep or bad sleeping habits, it's also recommended that you recalibrate your sleeping hours to ensure you're getting enough shut eye every night.

Feel free to reach out to those within your inner circle as well. While the pandemic has made meeting up in person difficult, you can schedule video calls or phone calls with your friends and loved ones in their off hours.

Identify Its Cause and Steps for Prevention

There are many reasons why one would experience burnout. According to psychology professor Dr. Christina Maslach via The Wall Street Journal on March 16, 2021, predictors for risk of burnout are classified under six categories: workload, control, community, reward, fairness, and values.

To identify the cause of burnout, it's imperative to again ask yourself questions. Under workload, “Do you feel overworked or unable to finish your tasks?” Under community, “Are your interpersonal relationships at work functioning effectively? Under values, “Do you feel proud of your work or that you're a part of a larger mission?” and so on.

Once you've identified the cause, you can come up with ways to prevent burning out in the future. We recommend setting non-negotiable boundaries with yourself, such as only working for a set number of hours a day, taking a 15-minute break every day, stepping away from your desk the entire lunch hour, and not working (and thinking about work!) during weekends, as examples.

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