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Workplace Burnout: Causes and Tips to Recover.

Did you know that nearly 44% of American workers have reported that they feel burnt-out at work?

From unreasonable deadlines, unmanageable workloads, and added stress of emails and text messages, burnout is becoming a public health crisis.

Not to mention that job burnout currently accounts for an estimated $125 billion dollars in health-care spending as the physical stress of burnout is leading to chronic diseases such as diabetes, coronary heart disease and gastrointestinal issues.

What does burnout look like and how can you prevent it or reverse it?

Here are some helpful tips:


There is a multitude of things that can cause one to experience burnout. Typically, these are things like trying to reach unrealistic expectations, unclear job duties, underutilization of an employee’s strengths and skills, and too much to do with too little of resources.

Signs of burnout:

Mental – Losing interest in work activities. Don’t care attitude.

Physical - Sluggish, slow moving.

Emotional – Lack of motivation to complete job tasks.

Lacking purpose – Forgot “Why” you liked or wanted your job in the first place.

If you are unsure if you are experiencing burnout, ask yourself the following questions:

1. Am I cynical or critical about my job?

2. Do I have to drag myself to work every day?

3. Am I irritable with co-workers?

4. Do I lack energy to complete my job tasks?

5. Do I have a hard time focusing?

6. Do I lack satisfaction in my achievements?

7. Am I being utilized for my skill set and strengths?

If you answered yes to three or more questions, it is possible you are experiencing burnout.

What you can do:

Burnout is very complex and needs to be addressed on an individual basis. What works for one person may not work for another. Creating a self-care plan can help. Keep in mind that reversing burnout is most effective when it is intrinsic (coming from internal motivation to change vs external motivators).

Below are some tips to help with burnout:

1. Evaluate your “why”

Take a minute to write a short journal entry on what it was about your job or career choice that made you choose that path? What excited you about your job when you first started it? What are some things that you still enjoy?

2. Power of positivity

A positive mindset can be very helpful during times of burnout. At the end of every day, write down one thing that was positive about the day and how you contributed to that positive thing. Then in the morning, when you wake up write down one positive thought for the day and focus on that while you are at work.

3. Healthy lifestyle plan

Create a plan to start incorporating healthy foods into your diet. Keep track of foods that you are currently eating and find areas to swap out high-fat, sugary foods and caffeine with fruits and vegetables.

Make a list of physical activity you enjoy. Decide on how many minutes a day you can commit to that activity and a way to track your progress.

4. Speak to your manager

In times of burnout, it is best to be transparent with your manager. Let them know that you are struggling and ask them to help you brainstorm ways to get back on track. Take this time to first get clear on any unclear expectations.

Bring a list of your strengths and skills set to the meeting and ask your manager if there are ways to incorporate these strengths into your work so that you can have a feeling of satisfaction and accomplishment.

5. Process map your life

Employees who are burnt-out have a tendency to spend their time being unproductive. This is a natural response to stress, however, can lead to countless hours of complaining and frustration. In addition, life is busy and you can get stuck in the whirlwind. If you are feeling that you have too many things on your plate and not enough time, then it is time to take a look at how you are spending your time during the day. You can do this by keeping track of how you are spending your time each day. Then evaluate your log by looking for areas to improve and ways to be more productive in your day.

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