What is a Burn-out?

A burn-out doesn’t happen in one day.
You won’t wake up one morning, suddenly, feeling burned out. It is a state of chronic stress that leads to:

  • Physical and emotional exhaustion,
  • Cynicism and detachment,
  • Feelings of ineffectiveness and lack of accomplishment.

Signs of a Burn-out

A burn-out isn’t, simply, stress. There are many warning signs, signaling the onset of a burn-out. Recognizing them is key.
Here are some examples:

  • Chronic fatigue. Most days you might feel a lack of energy.
  • Insomnia. You might experience a lack of sleep.
  • Loss of enjoyment. Your work and life might seem less enjoyable as it used to be.
  • Detachment. You might feel detached from your surroundings.
  • Lack of productivity. Making long hours but making no progress because of the stress.
  • Increased irritability. This may interfere in relationships, even lead to divorce and the loss of your job.

TIPS: Prevention

Here are a few tips that may help prevent the onset of a burn-out:

  • Make an inventory. Make a list of the reasons you feel stressed.
    Don’t rush it, it’s a process.
  • Write down at least one thing that you can do to reduce the stress.
  • Say “no” to more stress and take a rest once in a while.
  • Turn your electronic devices off as much as possible.
  • Socialize outside of work. This may offer fresh perspectives and renewed energy.
  • Talk to your colleagues, manager or HR advisor. There may also be a dedicated set of colleagues that can be contacted (confidential advisers). Consider if it is an option for you.