Jocelyn’s Jottings: Workplace burnout

Have you ever experienced workplace burnout?

That awkward moment when, despite liking or even loving your job you just don’t want to be there anymore?

Or maybe you’ve been exhausted, overly cynical or preoccupied with work when you’re not at work.

There are other symptoms as well and in the end it can be bad for your career and your health.

According to the few articles I have read, stress and burnout are directly related.

So it makes sense that I have been feeling burned out. I know it has only been a month and a half, but add to that the stress of moving, of working with all new staff, of not having any friends and of trying to live up to expectations, I was just exhausted.

Luckily the remedy for workplace burnout is to relax, unplug and have some fun! A Calgary trip to visit friends was just what I needed.

But I don’t envy the people who work all day, only to go home and raise a family. When is there time to relax and unplug?

Other remedies for workplace burnout include getting enough sleep, being organized and cultivating a rich non-work life.

Sounds easy right? Ha, right.

There are two things to remember with burnout, first, it can be hard to label. Sometimes I feel like I am in the wrong profession, or I work even longer hours because I am less productive during those hours, or I start doubting that I am good at my job at all.

And it spirals from there. The more I work, the more stressed I am, the more burned out I am. It is a scary cycle.

The other thing to remember is to adjust your expectations of yourself accordingly.

It doesn’t help anyone if I burn myself out, take three days to recuperate and then do the same thing all over again. It isn’t sustainable.

Work life balance is key. But sometimes it is hard to remember to work so that we can play.

It doesn’t help that we live in a society that celebrates working extra hours. I have heard it over and over, the employee that stays late is the hero, when in my mind it should be the ones that make sure they leave on time every day that should be celebrated.

Balancing work and play is the best way to increase productivity, which is good for everyone. My brainpower slowly goes downhill after working for six hours. Eight hours into a shift I am completely drained. How productive am I really if I stay longer?

Don’t get me wrong, stress isn’t the only cause of burnout. According to another article people burn out more easily if they aren’t in the right job, if expectations are unclear, if the workplace dynamics are dysfunctional and if employer and employee values differ.

In some cases burnout can be managed, in other cases it might be time to look for a different job.

How do you balance work and life? I’m in planning mode right now to better manage mine, it is going to start with making sure I only work eight hours a day and petting more dogs.



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