- What is burnout
- Reasons for burnout
- Test: How close are you to burnout
- How to recognize it
- How to avoid it
What is burnout?
It starts with the conviction that we must do more. And yet a little better. Which leads to exhaustion and a host of emotional and physical problems. If we are unable to stop, we end up with a complete mental and physical breakdown. It can take 2 to 4 years for most people to recover. Some never do.
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Burnout spares no one. More than half the population are in danger of burnout, in particular students, managers, working mothers, hospital staff, computer professionals and many others.
Are you also among those who console themselves by saying "just one more month, just one more project, then I'll be able to take a deep breath..."? You probably won't. Job demands are only increasing. You're aware you can lose your job at any time. Past performance doesn't count. If you're not even more successful today than you were yesterday, you may be replaced.
So you can no longer find time for friends. Even at home, you feel that nobody understands what a load you are carrying. At the same time, you blame yourself for not having time for family. You're getting irritable and chronically exhausted.
Headaches, sleep disorders and sickness are becoming increasingly common. You have digestive problems and often fall ill. Occasionally, you may be surprised by a rapid heartbeat, panic attacks, nightmares, or sexual problems. You feel chronically tired and you can no longer relax at all. Your blood pressure is higher than it used to be. Drinking more coffee? Alcohol? Smoking more?
Problems escalate up to heart attack, stroke or systemic diseases. Memory problems and inability to concentrate are increasing. A feeling of being trapped and suicidal thoughts may appear. The immune system is growing weaker. It ends in complete physical and emotional breakdown.
This is called burnout.
Reasons for burnout
The causes of burnout are mental. The condition, however, can be greatly worsened by a chaotic work environment. One that does not give us credit for our efforts. A situation where we have no influence on our work also has a very negative impact. It's even worse if the work is routine yet increasingly demanding. Poor relations at work or at home and constant existential worries or struggling to make ends meet further enhance the risk of burnout.
But even in the most stressful environments, some people react with burnout while others don't. The reason for this lies in personality characteristics. A particularly threatening feature is perfectionism, when nothing is good enough. This is followed by a pessimistic outlook on the world and the need to do everything on your own because you are not able to delegate tasks.
All of this is exacerbated because we often neglect the needs of our body as well. We don't get enough exercise, we skimp on sleep, and we often eat on the run, eating too much fast food. This puts the body under even greater stress. When under stress, the body produces harmful substances at an even higher rate. With fast food, however, we don't supply the body with substances that would neutralize them.
We often underestimate the risk of burnout. Unemployment, caring for the household, children, the elderly, ill, or disabled, are all very burdensome factors leading to burnout.
Test: How close are you to burnout?
This short anonymous questionnaire will tell you whether or not you are at risk of burnout. Knowing the risk can help you avoid it.
Answer the questions and click on the button to get your score.
The test is informative only and focuses primarily on the symptoms of stress and exhaustion. The questionnaire is not scientifically validated and cannot be used as a diagnostic tool. For additional explanation or expert consultation please call
+386 1 4205 730
(Mon - Fri, 9:00 - 16:00).
How do we know we are at risk of burnout?
The signs of burnout are many and they intensify.
The initial stage of burnout is characterized by exhaustion. It is manifested in chronic fatigue, which we try to overcome through even more work. Then there are sleep disorders, indigestion, heart problems, pain, panic attacks. We feel anxious, disappointed, and powerless. We often react irritably. We find it harder to adapt to changes. We begin to withdraw from people. We deny our fatigue.
The second stage is characterized by a feeling of being trapped. Fatigue escalates into overexhaustion. The symptoms intensify. They are joined by new ones: aversion to work, feelings of guilt, anger, and a desire to withdraw. Difficulties with memory and concentration are increasingly evident. Our earlier empathy begins to give way to cynicism, emotional outbursts, alienation, or even rudeness.
In the third stage, all the symptoms are aggravated even further. Strong anxiety and fears, insomnia, rage, shame, fainting, severe headaches, and outbursts of crying occur. We break off contacts with people. Difficulties with memory increase even further. We oscillate between obsessive work and exhausted inactivity. This is followed by adrenal breakdown. This is a complete physical and mental breakdown, often requiring hospitalization. This condition lasts from a few weeks to a few months. Recovery can take two to four years on average. Some people never fully recover.
How to avoid burnout?
We often can't avoid excessive workload and stress. But we can learn to identify the warning signs of burnout. If we recognize them, we can act sooner.
What can you do? Make sure you get enough sleep. But even more important than sleep is to engage in activities you enjoy. Even if you are tired, call a friend. Have a chat. Make an appointment for coffee, dinner or a walk. Plan out your breaks during work. They can be very short, but they should be complete. During such breaks, get away from the computer or other work. Five minutes in a day mean nothing, but they help you greatly.
You can do yet another very important thing. Make sure that your body doesn't break down.
Under stress, the body produces a host of very harmful substances which later lead to a breakdown. These are free radicals. The body can neutralize them with the help of antioxidants. But if there are not enough antioxidants available, the body can't cope with free radicals.
That's why we must provide the body with the substances it urgently needs to fight stress and free radicals. These are antioxidants.
One of the richest sources of antioxidants to be found in the world is Enduranza®.
How to avoid exhaustion and burnout?
Protect your body. Try Enduranza®, the most powerful protection against burnout.
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