The World Health Organization has officially recognized “workplace burnout” in its International Classification of Diseases Handbook. Burnout is described as a syndrome resulting from “chronic workplace stress which has not been successfully managed”. Westmed’s Behavioral Health team looks for these three signs, when identifying a burnout diagnosis:
- Feeling exhausted or depleted of energy
- Feelings of increased mental distance, negativity or cynicism related to your job
- Experiencing problems successfully completing a job or task
Experiencing burnout can have an impact on your overall health. Simply quitting your job is not always an option, especially if you have people and family depending on you. The good news is you don’t need to ignore your feelings. Instead, you can take action to manage your mental health at work and reduce the feelings of burnout. Here are some tips:
- Speak to your boss – sometimes a lack of clear direction or expectations can lead to increased burnout. Most workplaces are invested in your success, and if you have a good leader, he or she can help you define your goals and help you grow.
- Prioritize sleep – If you are not sleeping enough, your mental health can be impacted. Catching up on sleep can help you put things in to perspective and give you enough energy to get through the day. When you can, aim for 7-8 hours of sleep per night.
- Take breaks – While it may feel like taking a break would hinder your ability to get work done, research shows that taking breaks refreshes your mind and helps you be more creative. If you can’t take a break, you can try switching work tasks, so you’re using slightly different parts of your brain at varying times throughout the day.
- Talk to somebody – Having a good support system can go a long way. You may also be able to get some great advice and create an action plan with somebody who understands your situation.
- Workplace programs – Many workplaces have employee assistance programs. Take advantage of relevant services to help you stay on top of your mental health on a personal and professional level.
If you have been experiencing burnout or you feel you are headed down that path, take control of your mental health and make an appointment with a Westmed Behavioral Health professional who can help you.