It could be that you have are suffering from burnout and confuse it to be stress. Burnout and stress are similar and without any advice from a doctor or a knowledgeable somebody, it might take you time to see signs or how to treat burnout.
According to HuffPost, both the terms are used interchangeably. “They exit in the same spectrum, but are some key differences,” wrote Kelsey Borresen in an article for HuffPost.
Stress is usually temporary and may help reach a certain goal and help with growth where-else burnout is “a response to extended, excessive stress that leaves mentally and physically drained, cynical, detached and less effective as a result.”
If left unresolved, burnout can give way to mental health conditions like clinical depression.
Here are some signs to look out for burnout:
- Sleep issues – permanently tired (physically, mentally and emotionally). No matter how much you rest, you never feel rested.
- Dreading to go to work – your job fills you with angst. You are less productive than you were before.
- Getting sick a lot – headaches, digestive issues and muscle tension.
- Losing motivation and sense of purpose – having trouble to push yourself to complete tasks and assignments.
- Isolation – less engagements and socializing with people. This is way more difficult because of Covid-19.
- Work performance is suffering – concentration, productivity and creativity is weak.
Burnout can be dealt with in various ways even when you show early signs.
You can look for ways to make your work feel meaningful such as asking your boss if you can work on the projects that excite you and delegate some of your responsibilities.
Take time out to do things that make you feel good like reading your favourite books, watching your favourite movies, shopping start a self-care routine.
Try to take some time off work if possible and reach out for support from loved ones.
If the aforementioned advice on how to tackle burnout may not work, it could be time to look for a new job.
Of course, leaving a job is scary but “your job isn’t as important as your health, and facing burnout means it’s time to accept a change is needed,” said an environmental psychologist Lee Chambers as quoted on Borresen’s article.