Aleteia logoAleteia logo
Aleteia
Tuesday 13 April |
Saint of the Day: Pope St. Martin I
home iconLifestyle
line break icon

Here’s how to tell if you have “burnout syndrome”

OVERWORKED WOMAN

Shutterstock

Javier Fiz Pérez - published on 01/23/18

Work is important, but so is healthy self care.

Burnout syndrome consists of work-related stress evolving into a habitual state of chronic stress. This syndrome is characterized by progressive physical and mental exhaustion, a complete lack of motivation regarding one’s work duties, and especially by important changes in behavior of those who suffer from it.

The symptoms of burnout syndrome are very similar to the symptoms associated with work-related stress in general; however, in the case of burnout, these symptoms are more intense, especially in the area of changes to behavior or character. Let’s look at some of the emotional and physical symptoms:

1. Emotional symptoms

Mood changes: These are the principal symptoms of burnout syndrome. A worker suffering from burnout is often irritable and in a bad mood. In many cases, his manners disappear, and he creates unnecessary conflicts with clients. Suspicion, defensiveness and sarcasm frequently become habitual. In some cases, however, this change of attitude takes a totally different form: the worker simply shows indifference towards clients, and even towards his coworkers.

Lack of motivation: The worker loses all interest in working. Goals and objectives give way to discouragement and to the oppressive thought of having to support stressful situations that are beyond his ability to handle, day after day; and every work day seems long and interminable.

Mental exhaustion: Burnout gradually wears a person down, reducing bit by bit his resistance to stress, such that his mind has to work harder and harder to face stress-causing factors.

Lack of energy and diminished performance: This is a logical consequence of the previous point. Since the person manages his internal resources poorly, his capacity for productivity diminishes, and his performance declines. Furthermore, every drawn-out situation of work-related stress results in cognitive deterioration over the medium and long term, which can manifest itself in memory loss, lack of concentration, and greater difficulty in learning new skills or learning how to carry out new tasks.

2. Physical symptoms

Burnout syndrome doesn’t only affect us on a psychological level; its effects on a physical level can be very harmful to our health. Among the physical symptoms it causes, we may see:

Effects on the musculoskeletal system: Sufferers of this syndrome often experience muscle and joint pain resulting from the tension created by work-related stress, which often provokes muscle contractions.

Various psychosomatic symptoms: People with burnout often suffer from gastrointestinal problems, cardiovascular problems, skin conditions, headaches, dizziness, alterations to their sexual appetite, and a greater risk of obesity.

For these reasons, it is of fundamental importance that we take care of both our physical and psychological health, so that our quality of life will not be affected. It is consequently vital that everyone make an effort in the workplace to create a positive climate of collaboration that stimulates greater productivity without compromising workers’ health and serenity.


WOMAN CRYING

Read more:
What to do when you feel on the verge of major burnout

Tags:
Health and WellnessPsychologyWork
Support Aleteia!

If you’re reading this article, it’s thanks to the generosity of people like you, who have made Aleteia possible.

Here are some numbers:

  • 20 million users around the world read Aleteia.org every month
  • Aleteia is published every day in seven languages: English, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Polish, and Slovenian
  • Each month, readers view more than 50 million pages
  • Nearly 4 million people follow Aleteia on social media
  • Each month, we publish 2,450 articles and around 40 videos
  • We have 60 full time staff and approximately 400 collaborators (writers, translators, photographers, etc.)

As you can imagine, these numbers represent a lot of work. We need you.

Support Aleteia with as little as $1. It only takes a minute. Thank you!

Daily prayer
And today we celebrate...




Top 10
1
PRINCE PHILIP
Cerith Gardiner
11 Interesting facts about the late Prince Philip
2
JESUS
Fr Robert McTeigue, SJ
A simple test to see if you really believe Christ is risen
3
Archbishop Georg Gänswein
I.Media for Aleteia
Gänswein: Benedict XVI expected to live only a few months after r...
4
SAINT FAUSTINA,CELL
Fr. Patrick Briscoe, OP
St. Faustina’s coffee cup and lessons for Divine Mercy Sund...
5
DIVINE MERCY
Aleteia
Here’s how to celebrate Divine Mercy Sunday at home
6
Philip Kosloski
Why you can eat meat on Easter Friday
7
Sister Bhagya
Saji Thomas-ACN
Catholic nun faces conversion charges in central India
See More
Newsletter
Get Aleteia delivered to your inbox. Subscribe here.