Many working professionals may experience work-related stress from time to time. However, if constant stress makes you feel physically exhausted and mentally disillusioned, you may be experiencing burnout. This term refers to severe stress accompanying overwork. A stressful lifestyle can cause depression, leading to substance use and addiction. Many career-driven professionals develop substance addiction because they use drugs and alcohol to self-medicate.
Physical and Mental Symptoms of Workplace Burnout
Many working professionals fail to catch some of the early warning signs of burnout. They may have been under pressure and stress for so long that they have failed to see how the body reacts. The first sign is often exhaustion. As a normal reaction to stress, exhaustion by itself is not a problem. However, the long-term building up of feeling drained and emotionally exhausted without being able to cope is a warning sign. Chronic exhaustion may lead to body pain and gastrointestinal problems.
When your body shows this early sign of chronic exhaustion, it will surely lead to a reduction in your productivity. Your work performance will decline, which becomes a vicious cycle because you feel more stressed about only making slow progress. Then you might need to put in more hours at work while neglecting family responsibilities. Working professionals who are experiencing these symptoms tend to lack creativity because their mind is in a state of deficit.
Gradually, people with burnout symptoms find their jobs increasingly challenging. They may start becoming cynical about work and relationships with colleagues.
Another warning sign of burnout is workplace alienation. These people may find excuses to distance themselves emotionally from people at work. They feel unmotivated to invest more into these social activities and feel numb about all work-related things.
Common symptoms of work-related burnout include physical, emotional, and behavioral signs characterized by lack of energy, sense of failure, and isolation.
The Relationship Between Burnout and Depression
Working professionals with depression may also display the above-mentioned symptoms. However, in situations of burnout, the problems are mostly work-related. While in depression, a person’s negative thoughts and feelings are not just about work but about all areas of life. Depression has a range of other symptoms, including low self-esteem, a sense of hopelessness, and suicidal tendencies. These are not typically considered symptoms of burnout.
It is essential to know the distinction between these two conditions so that you are not given a wrong diagnosis. Burnout may indeed increase the risk of a person developing depression, but these two can also happen separately. The tricky thing about work-related burnout is that there are no generally accepted questionnaires in the medical field. It is crucial to find out other causes with your health provider.
Making Lifestyle Changes to Cope With Burnout
There are many obvious causes of burnout, including overwork, lack of supportive relationships, taking on too many responsibilities, and sleep deprivation. Certain fast-paced and overcompetitive industries are notorious for producing these lifestyle features for employees. If you experience cycles of burnout that cannot be relieved because of overwhelming work demands, maybe it is time to consider changing your industry for the sake of your own health.
However, many working professionals also willingly give in to such a busy and overworked lifestyle. Some can tolerate sleep deprivation for years. This is also why many professionals in high-pressure positions tend to develop substance addiction problems. They are simply using another unhealthy method to deal with the stress from the original unhealthy rhythm of life.
Sometimes work-related burnout can be relieved by making certain lifestyle changes. First of all, you need to prioritize your health above all else. That is simply the starting point of personal accountability. You need to set boundaries at work so that you do not yield to unreasonable demands. You also need to set boundaries to protect your time with family and friends. Investing time in building meaningful relationships is an important part of a healthy and balanced lifestyle.
Learning to Relax While Working
You can add relaxation techniques to your day’s work schedule. For example, try not to skip your lunch break. Use it to have a nutritious meal and take a walk outside. Plan many breaks during a workday so that you can get enough release from the constant pressure. Encourage your employer to have a staff mental health awareness campaign in the workplace. This can reap positive benefits for employees’ well-being as well as productivity.
A general rule to cope with potential burnout is not letting your work dictate your life. Consider you as more important than the work you are doing. Be your own advocate at work and claim back the space that belongs to you. With a more supportive work environment that has higher mental health awareness, work can again become a source of joy.
Do you know that burnout due to over-stress may affect all our bodies’ systems, including nervous, cardiovascular, musculoskeletal, respiratory, and endocrine systems? For those in recovery from addiction, learning to de-stress is critical for preventing relapse. One should work with trained therapists to learn recovery-supportive techniques. At Capo Canyon Recovery, near Mission Viejo, CA, we take pride in our holistic methods, which are incremental to your path to sustainable and long-term recovery. We focus on each stage of recovery, both physical and mental health. Our inpatient residential care and outpatient, long-term care programs offer curated benefits. We provide unmatched comfort during your stay with an in-house chef, luxurious beds, and our organic garden. At Capo Canyon Recovery, you can feel confident that we will help you achieve long-term sobriety. By coaching you to cope with upcoming stress and challenges, you can start your journey with experienced recovery experts today. Call us at (800) 804-8714.