Overwork and work-related burnout are not just doing too much or struggling with stress. We can very well be overworked with practically zero activity, dreary but repetitive. This word, therefore, includes many situations. Whether mental or physical, it always means that we are overwhelmed by our limitations, that we lack rest, or that there is an imbalance between our work, our daily activities, and our hobbies.
You are organized, your tasks are well defined, the rhythm of your days a little sustained but everything is under control, until the day … Until the day when you have the impression of not managing your daily life, your life, until ‘the day when it becomes difficult to take a step back, to be positive, to relax …
Without a doubt, the current pace of life often requires surpassing oneself. If this overshoot is too frequent or too long, it can lead to a feeling that goes far beyond the state of fatigue: Work-Related Burnout.
According to the definition given by Wikipedia, overwork is: “The syndrome of work-related burnout or burnout combines deep fatigue, disinvestment of professional activity, and a sense of failure and incompetence in the work. The syndrome of work-related burnout is considered as the result of chronic occupational stress (for example, linked to a work overload): the individual, unable to cope with the adaptive demands of his professional environment, sees his energy, his motivation, and his self-esteem decline. ”
In addition to this definition, we can add that there are several forms of overwork including physical overwork, intellectual overwork, and nervous overwork.
The term “overwork” refers to Asthenia: a state of fatigue whatever the cause. This is one of the parameters used to evaluate the general state of a subject. It can lead to a functional insufficiency of an organ or system (neurasthenia, psychasthenia, myasthenia, sexual asthenia …).
We refer to physical overwork as the state of pronounced fatigue resulting from excessive physical activity.
In speaking of intellectual overwork, it is the fact of being tired because of a too important intellectual activity, disorders which result from this behavior. For example, overwork at work is one of the leading causes of depression and work-related burnout. We also talk about professional overwork.
Nervous or psychic fatigue (nerve overwork), of multifactorial origin, is the result of repeated and prolonged stress that exceeds the capacity of adaptation of the body.
How Is the Overwork Triggered?
We initially feel like simple fatigue but persistently, and sleep does not change anything. This fatigue will amplify to touch all the small activities of the day that previously did not require any particular effort. Each of these activities becomes cumbersome, insurmountable, and even terribly boring. Subsequently, sleep itself is affected, and recovery becomes more and more difficult. At this stage, the process is triggered, and this lack of recovery will directly affect morale, and sleep can become almost impossible.
This state of overwork can be solved by itself, but it can also evolve into depression, the first step towards depression. Then appear, especially noticed the morning at sunrise, an intense discouragement, a lack of physical and intellectual form, headaches, and a certain state of irritability. If the condition persists, it is often imperative to consult a doctor. Note that overwork can have very different characteristics.
Overwork can become a real handicap for professional life and studies, especially since it often appears in difficult moments (preparation of exams, development of a project …). The idea is to prevent it by avoiding crossing the critical threshold.
The Symptoms of Work-Related Burnout
Whoever speaks of overwork cannot ignore fatigue. All overwork begins with fatigue. Do you feel chronic fatigue? How long does it last? If it lasts weeks and/or months, consider it as a work-related burnout … because it may not be far from you.
Chronic fatigue usually results from stress caused by the accumulation of multiple activities and ongoing tasks – which are performed without rest.
For example, if you do between 70 and 80 hours of work on average per week. And that you do not rest much-even on weekends, know that things can quickly take other turns.
* Asthenia: The Signs of the Disease
It is important to clarify to the patient:
Fatigue characteristics: permanent or transient, time of day, triggering circumstances;
The accompanying signs: loss of appetite, slimming.
Thus, increasing fatigue during the day is more in favor of an organic cause.
Conversely, fatigue occurring in the morning with signs of weariness, disinterest, anxiety, aggression, loss of appetite, memory problems, sexuality, sleep orients more towards a functional cause.
How to Prevent Work-Related Burnout?
To prevent overwork is first to start by managing your time well, establish a hierarchy of your objectives, agree on breaks (physical and intellectual), and to make the difference between what can be reported, often less important and urgent. Even at work, it is necessary to agree on at least ten minutes break, the time to be positive.
In addition, it is important to build social ties. This allows you first to talk about your worries and receive advice. Also try to find a taste for the simplest things, the little moments that bring a little color to the gray of everyday life. In the morning, for example, make a list of “pleasure breaks” that you can arrange throughout your day. This can be a simple phone call to a loved one, a dinner with friends or just reading your favorite magazine.
How to Avoid Work-Related Burnout?
Tip 1: Get Free Physically
The body and the mind are one. If you do not give your brain the opportunity to oxygenate, you will find it harder and harder to free your mind. On a physical level, make sure to treat your body properly. It begins with rest and restful sleep. Go to bed earlier than usual and take some time before stretching to relax your body.
There is now thanks to the internet, a large library of free videos that will explain the different steps to relax and help you find sleep more easily. Avoid excitants such as coffee, tea, cigarettes or television.
In a second time, it is essential to let go and find an outlet. And in this case, nothing is more effective than sport. Walking or running, simply, will allow you to wake up your body and “extinguish” your mind. It is a moment to free yourself from the accumulated stress, to forget your worries, to exteriorize the negative to resume positively. Privilege outdoor activities, in nature, to find serenity and be quiet.
Food is also an important point. Because right now you are focusing on the mind, you have to go back to good physical health. Your body is a machine, if you do not feed it properly, it will not work. Change your eating habits by incorporating more fruit, more vitamins, more vegetables, and starchy foods. You will gain in tone and energy.
Finally, remember to find an irreproachable lifestyle: sleep, water quantity, balanced food, little excitement and alcohol, fewer cigarettes, and especially more sports. In any case, it is important to take a step back to try to discover what could have led to work-related burnout and do everything to fix it.
Tip 2: Externalize Your Worries
If overwork hangs in your face, you most likely feel it. It is at this moment, always in this spirit of prevention, that it is essential to speak about it. We tend to want to separate personal and professional life. Once you arrive home, you want to balance things out and not include the worries accumulated during the day in your personal daily routine. But you also know that this barrier is becoming finer and it is now very difficult to put you in a totally different, more positive, than the one you were all day.
Your loved ones are your greatest support and you need to exteriorize your overwork, it is necessary to speak about it so that you can benefit from the outside glance of your relatives and find solutions together. Some of your tasks can be done by them, they can take care of some of your daily hassles. The benefit is simple: more time for you, the subject of our third step.
Tip 3: Take Care of Yourself
How long have you been doing something for yourself? How long have you taken the time to relax, practice an activity or leisure that you like? Too long certainly! This is the right time to turn the tide. Once your days and weeks have been reorganized, enjoy your free time and indulge yourself! Do something that makes you happy, soothes you, and gives you a boost of energy. Do not feel guilty anymore about the idea of finally making you happy!
“A pleasure a day keeps the stress away,” say the Anglo-Saxons. Find the simple joys. In the morning, think about the pleasure breaks that you will enjoy all day long: calling a friend, going to an exhibition, or spending half an hour with your favorite newspaper.
Tip 4: Know How to Manage Your Time
Delay … 90% of executives and managers identify the lack of time as the first stressor. So, manage your time, prioritize your goals, and put in place the right means to reach them. Knowing how to distinguish the urgent from the important!
Tip 5: Take Breaks
The relaxing break. In the workplace, practice relaxation consciously, a technique to practice ten minutes a day. Close the curtains, lie back, and relax. Inhale deeply through the belly, exhale slowly. And repeat this precept yogi: When the breath goes astray, the mind is unstable; but when the breath is calm, the mind is calm. This break can later be reduced to two or three minutes each day.
Tip 6: Breakdown of Tasks
Delegate: Do not try to do everything yourself. Entrust boring tasks to others and focus on what you know or love the most. This way, you will avoid scattering and you will be one step ahead in the prevention of overwork.
Tip 7: Make Contacts
Go to the contact! Promote your social fabric. In order to have several people to talk about your concerns and get practical advice and help.
Tip 8: A Healthy Lifestyle
Opt for a healthy lifestyle: balance your diet, limit alcohol, sleep all your energy and do some sports. In short, tone your body in all possible ways to strengthen its mechanism against external aggression.
Conclusion on Work-Related Burnout
By adopting new lifestyle habits, the patient suffering from fatigue can improve his quality of life.
– Slow down the rhythm on a daily basis;
– Relax ;
– practice a gentle sports activity such as walking or swimming;
– Take breaks at work;
– Have a balanced diet;
– Have regular schedules at bedtime and sunrise;
– Promote a relaxing activity at bedtime like reading;
– At the end of the day avoid alcohol, hearty meals, excitement, tobacco, and caffeine;
Good to know: taking a nap 5 to 20 minutes after lunch helps to rebalance the nervous system, relax, compensate for the lack of nighttime sleep, improve memory, boost creativity and promote good digestion.
Ultimately, work-related burnout is a serious problem. As soon as you detect overwork symptoms, take the necessary precautions to combat them. For this, use the tips that were delivered to you in this article. Do you know of other overwork symptoms? Or do you have any knowledge to share with you about overwork? Thanks for commenting!
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