Americans work more hours than anyone else in the world, but the extra hours can actually backfire, leading to decreased productivity and chronic stress.Though not yet an official medical condition, job burnout is the greatest challenge to the global health system and stress-related symptoms are expected to get worse as the workplace becomes more global and competitive.
If you experience the following signs that we’ve compiled from studies and research, you may be heading toward job burnout and should reconsider your work-life balance.
Do you always feel like you should be working more?
According to a study from the University of Zaragoza, 'frenetic burnout' types are 'involved and ambitious subjects who sacrifice their health and personal lives for their jobs.'
You're constantly working, but can't seem to get all of your work done (maybe because your work load is too heavy or you can't concentrate) and you eventually feel guilty for not completing your work, which leads to working even more.
A sign of burnout is when you're constantly tired from stress, inadequate rest and sleep, and eventually feel physically and emotionally exhausted all the time. Over time, this chronic stress may lead to other health problems, such as digestive issues, heart disease, depression and obesity.
A report published by the NASW Assurance Services, Inc., says that burnout may cause emotional exhaustion and a loss of a sense of personal accomplishment, and therefore lead to depersonalization, alienation, and depression.
When people are burnt out, they will start feeling ashamed about their work and will start to isolate themselves from others and decrease the number of social interactions they're involved in. Furthermore, some people may just lose interest in everything.
In an article on Everyday Health, Edwin R. Shirley, PhD, assistant professor of psychiatry at Case Western Reserve University, says that 'when you just don't have the energy or interest to face your workday, it could be a sign of job burnout.' This means that these workers are 'often late for work, frequently call in sick and procrastinate on the job.'
Though you're exhausted, you can't seem to fall asleep. Or if you do fall asleep, it's likely 'disturbed': you're waking up in the middle of the night or earlier than you have to. If so, you might be suffering from insomnia which occurs when you're plagued with 'persistent thoughts about the insurmountable amount of work that you have to do and whether you'll be able to get it done.'
If you find yourself at happy hour a bit too much, this could be a coping mechanism to avoid all the feelings that are weighing you down. The Mayo Clinic asks potentially burnt out workers if they are using food, drugs, or alcohol.
If not managed carefully, this stress reliever could turn into an addiction.
When you feel like you're not good enough, you may spend all your time thinking about work even when you're not on the job. But how do you know if you're obsessed? The six signs below may help determine if your addiction is heading toward burnout:
- Would you do almost anything for your job, ignoring other important aspects of your life for it?
- Do you neglect your health to pursue work activities?
- Do the people who love you frequently complain that you work too much?
- Are your relationships with family and friends suffering because of your work habits?
- Do you work longer and harder than most of your peers?
- If you could not work the way you do now, would you feel some type of emotional letdown?
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