How would you know if you are in danger of work burnout, and how can you prevent it? Counsellor Sarah Barr examines the common issue:

Working in a stressful, high-pressured or demanding job can negatively impact on your mental health. This, coupled with issues at home, arranging child care throughout the summer holidays or dealing with an underlying mental health issue such as anxiety can all add to the stress you may face in your working life.

Below are five signs you that may indicate you are suffering from work burnout:

1. Sleep Issues

If you find it difficult to fall asleep or you waken throughout the night with thoughts of work this can be a sign of work burnout. Feelings of worry and dread can lead to anxiety and being exhausted the following day at work. Which further impacts on your stress levels.

2. Lack of support

A lack of support in the workplace can also lead to feelings of burnout. Ideally, every workplace should have a healthy support network in place. Someone you can trust to talk to in confidence. However this may not exist in every workplace.

If you feel you do not have a support network in your work, it may be helpful to talk to a trusted friend, doctor, counsellor, local citizens advice officer or a union representative. There are people available within your community who can and will support you.

3. No sense of pride

If you find your job to be mundane or feel like it has no meaning, you may lose a sense of pride in what you’re doing. This can also lead to burnout, as you are not meeting your own needs and creating a sense of achievement.

4. Striving for perfection

When we strive for perfection it can often lead to feeling stressed and frustrated. Doing the best you can each day is enough. This will vary day-to-day and that is okay. Remembering that you’re good enough and doing what you can do will help decrease stress levels.

5. No downtime

Achieving a work/life balance is very important to help maintain a healthy mindset. By not focusing on you and making time for family, friends and hobbies, workplace burnout can be a result.

So what can you do to ensure you don’t end up exhausted, overwhelmed and completely burnt-out?

1. Stop

Literally stop. Take a minute and ask yourself out of ten what number is your stress levels at. If above five, keep reading for tips and techniques that can be used to help reduce it.

2. Talk

Talking can reduce stress levels hugely. By saying it out loud you are acknowledging how you’re feeling. It can feel like a weight has been lifted off your shoulders. Talk to someone you trust, you will feel better for it.

3. Take time off

Allow yourself a break. If you have holiday days built up plan when you will use them. If you feel your working week is too long enquire about reducing hours/days if possible. Think outside the box and figure out how you can manage your time in a way that will help you and your health.

4. Listen to your body

We are all guilty of ignoring the warning signs our body gives us from time to time. We keep going, hoping the aches or pains will pass. However chances are they won’t, they will get worse. It is so important we listen to our body and talk to a doctor or visit a local therapist.

5. Be gentle with yourself

One nice way of doing this is to create a pamper box, filled with all your favourite things. From bubble bath, face masks, chocolate, candles, your favourite book, etc. Start a weekly ritual in which you give yourself permission to take care of yourself. You will feel better for it!

For further support or help in managing your stress or dealing with work burnout, I can be contacted through my Facebook page or by calling 0864477867.

Take Care~ Sarah.