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Is it burnout or am I just... exhausted?

Coach Joanna Wilczynska MA by Joanna Wilczynska MA
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If you are experiencing ongoing mental, physical and emotional exhaustion which has been caused by repeated and prolonged stress that doesn't improve with rest, chances are you are burning out. And sadly, it can happen at a job you really love, when you're so keen to contribute and engage to a level that you cannot sustain.

Here are 6 main causes of burnout:

1. An unmanageable workload (you regularly have more on your plate than you can reasonably manage)

2. A lack of control (e.g. being mistrusted or micromanaged, having little or no autonomy)

3. A lack of appreciation, reward, or recognition (be it, for instance, feedback or praise)

4. A lack of community (e.g. support from colleagues or a sense of belonging)

5. A misalignment of values (yours & the company or the company not living its own values)

6. A lack of fairness at work (office politics, discrimination, bias, favouritism).

So, what can you possibly do about it? Isn't it too late?

Slow and steady does it - choose one or two things you can easily implement into your routine without feeling like it's yet another item on your to-do list you'll fail to complete, for example:

- Take intentional breaks (10 minutes to "powerwalk around the block" or to mindfully walk around noticing all sounds, colours, smells, sensations; 5 minutes do to a full body scan; 3 minutes to do a deep breathing exercise or to do some stream-of-consciousness journaling)

- Speak up & set clear boundaries (and don't be guilt-tripped into breaking them, nobody will benefit from you burning out!)

- Reach out to your support group (colleagues, friends, family, coaches and mentors)

- Find some meaning in your work (what's the one thing - or things - you do that helps and matters to someone else?)

- Look after your mind and body (meditate a little, get some veggies in you, move a little & often, get some daylight first thing, go outside for some air, look after your sleep & wake routines, plan activities you enjoy for the weekend, especially if nature is involved)

- Be kind and patient with yourself (how you talk to yourself can heavily impact your mood and confidence).

Remember, you're trying to repair slowly, so pick & choose what works for you.

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