From Jessica Goltz, Board-Certified Health and Wellness Coach at Crossing Rivers Health
Did you know that nearly 44% of American workers are reporting that they feel burnt-out at work? From unreasonable deadlines, unmanageable workloads, and added stress of emails and text messages, burnout is becoming a public health crisis.
Not to mention that job burnout currently accounts for an estimated $125 billion dollars in health-care spending as the physical stress of burnout is leading to chronic diseases such as type 2 diabetes, coronary heart disease, and gastrointestinal issues.
So, what are the causes, signs, and ways to prevent burnout? Below are some tips for success.
Causes of workplace burnout
There is a multitude of things that can cause one to experience burnout. Typically, these are things like trying to reach unrealistic expectations, unclear job duties, underutilization of your strengths and skills, and too much to do with too little resources.
Signs of workplace burnout
- Mental – Losing interest in work activities; don’t care attitude
- Physical - Sluggish, slow-moving
- Emotional – Lack of motivation to complete job tasks
- Lacking purpose – Forgot “why” you liked or wanted your job in the first place
If you are unsure if you are experiencing burnout, ask yourself the following questions:
- Am I cynical or critical about my job?
- Do I have to drag myself to work every day?
- Am I irritable with patients and co-workers?
- Do I lack the energy to complete my job tasks?
- Do I have a hard time focusing?
- Do I lack satisfaction in my achievements?
- Am I being utilized for my skillset and strengths?
If you answered yes to three or more questions, it is possible you are experiencing burnout.
What you can do if you're experiencing burnout
Burnout is very complex and needs to be addressed on an individual basis. What works for one person may not work for another. Creating a self-care plan can help. Keep in mind that reversing burnout is most effective when it is intrinsic (coming from internal motivation to change vs external motivators). Below are some tips to help with burnout:
- Evaluate your “why” - Take a minute to write a short journal entry on what it was about your job or career choice that made you choose that path. What excited you about your job when you first started it? What are some things that you still enjoy?
- Power of positivity - A positive mindset can be very helpful during times of burnout. At the end of every day, write down one thing that was positive about the day and how you contributed to that positive thing. Then, in the morning, when you wake up write down one positive thought for the day and focus on that while you are at work.
- Healthy lifestyle plan - Create a plan to start incorporating healthy foods into your diet. Sugar and caffeine have a tendency to make stress worse. Swap out high-fat, sugary foods and caffeine for fruits and vegetables. In addition, exercise can help to improve mental clarity. Make a list of physical activities you enjoy. Decide on how many minutes a day you can commit to that activity and find a way to track your progress.
- Speak to your manager - In times of burnout, it is best to be transparent with your manager. Let them know that you are struggling and ask them to help you brainstorm ways to get back on track. Take this time to first get clear on any unclear expectations. Bring a list of your strengths and skills to the meeting and ask your manager if there are ways to incorporate these strengths into your work so that you can have a feeling of satisfaction and accomplishment.
- Find ways to be more productive - Employees who are burnt-out have a tendency to spend their time being unproductive. This is a natural response to stress, however, can lead to countless hours of complaining and frustration. If you are feeling that you have too many things on your plate, take a look at how you are spending your time during the day. You can do this by keeping track of how you are spending your time each day. Then evaluate your log by looking for areas to improve and ways to find more time.
Jessica Goltz is a Board-Certified Health and Wellness Coach at Crossing Rivers Health. Jessica is also a Certified Wellness Coach, Certified Lifestyle Weight Management Coach, Certified Stress Management Coach, Certified Group Fitness Instructor, Certified Sports Yoga Instructor. Certified Specialty Yoga Instructor, and Certified Primary and Advanced Yoga Instructor. Jessica welcomes new patients. To schedule an appointment, please complete the short appointment request form at the link below or call 608.357.2276.