How to Deal With Workplace Burnout
Check for Depression
РІР‚СљOver the last decade, it has become increasingly clear thatР’В burnoutР’В is a euphemism for depression,РІР‚Сњ says Renzo Bianchi, Ph.D., a psychology researcher at the University of NeuchР“Сћtel in Switzerland whoРІР‚в„ўs published reams on the burnout/depression entanglement. Many longtime burnout researchers hotly disagree with this (understandably). But whether burnout and depression are one condition or two, itРІР‚в„ўs smart to get screened. Depression has well-known, effective treatments (burnout doesnРІР‚в„ўt yet), and accessing those could give you a clear-cut framework to attack the problems that are making life gray and joylessРІР‚вЂќincluding what the hell to do about the work situation.
Stop Using Instagram as a Window
ItРІР‚в„ўs infuriatingly easy to constantly check out what everyone else is doing (working on a deck in Bermuda, retiring at 35)РІР‚вЂќand subconsciously calculate how you stack upРІР‚вЂќgiven that your peers now include 700 people on Instagram and LinkedIn youРІР‚в„ўve met once or havenРІР‚в„ўt seen since 1995. Add to that the bumper-sticker notions of РІР‚Сљfollow your passionРІР‚Сњ and the like that are far more present in our peripheral consciousness now than they were in your dadРІР‚в„ўs working prime, and it all takes the sheen off your particleboard desk, making your 24/7 toiling seem meaningless and woefully inadequate.
The obvious but still helpful solution: Limit social-media dip-ins and create a mantra that gives you a psychic lift (e.g.,Р’В At least IРІР‚в„ўm not a company drone/BS-talking consultant!).
Find a New Ear
Most burned-out people feel isolated and alienated, and they areРІР‚вЂќstrong relationships are the greatest buffer against, and remedy for, burnout. Seeking emotional support from a buddy and bending a sympathetic ear will make you feel betterРІР‚вЂќfor a while. РІР‚СљYou get some catharsis, but it doesnРІР‚в„ўt solve any of your problems,РІР‚Сњ says Irvin Schonfeld, Ph.D., professor of psychology at CUNY in New York.
Of course, the ideal person to talk to is your manager. But assuming youРІР‚в„ўve already tried working with them to set priorities (maybe somethingРІР‚в„ўsР’В noturgent every once in a while?), and youРІР‚в„ўve set limits on work (no checking emails on the weekends), find someone to talk to who can help. ThatРІР‚в„ўs no small feat, naturally, since youРІР‚в„ўre probably certain that every drop of help from every viable, non-shitty person has already been wrung. Possibly true, but prioritize spending precious social time with any breathing human who can help you fix a work problem to lasting effect. ItРІР‚в„ўll give you the double benefit of feeling less alone and less powerless.
РІР‚СљThereРІР‚в„ўs a point of no return in burnout,РІР‚Сњ says Leiter. When the negative associations tied to your work become too strong, he says, РІР‚Сљpeople reach a point where they just have to get out.РІР‚Сњ Recovering from burnout can take a painfully long time. РІР‚СљResearch shows it takes about two and a half years if a person doesnРІР‚в„ўt get any professional help,РІР‚Сњ says Wilmar Schaufeli, Ph.D., a professor of psychology at Utrecht University in the Netherlands. By then, of course, youРІР‚в„ўll have likely kissed your paycheck and professional momentum goodbye. So stomping out a flame before it torches you can be one of the best careerРІР‚вЂќand personalРІР‚вЂќmoves you ever make.
Article By: Ron Geraci