Burnout Syndrome: Causes, Symptoms & Strategies
By: Stacey Rodriguez
The term “burnout” has been a popular buzzword for the past several decades. In 2019, Burnout became officially been recognized as a syndrome by the World Health Organization (WHO). It is defined as a reaction to chronic occupational stress, however, lifestyle and personality traits often play a role in exacerbating this stress.
Causes often include:
-Working in a high pressure environment
-Work is mundane or unchallenging
-Lack of recognition/reward
-Not spending enough downtime socializing or relaxing
The syndrome is characterized by three dimensions: exhaustion, reduced professional efficiency, and cynicism (pessimistic views). These symptoms can manifest physically, emotionally, and behaviorally.
Common symptoms entail:
-Feeling exhausted most of the time
-Decreased satisfaction and sense of achievement
-Frequent headaches or muscle pain
-Changes in appetite or sleep habits
-Isolating yourself from family and friends
-Procrastinating essential tasks
On the surface, burnout may seem like regular stress, though there are several key differences which make the two fundamentally different. For example, stress involves over-engagement, urgency and hyperactivity. If chronic, stress often leads to anxiety disorders and a weakened immune system. On the other hand, burnout is characterized by the disengagement which follows a period of continuous stress, during which emotions are blunted; this produces feelings of helplessness and hopelessness which may lead to detachment and depression.
Now, during the Covid-19 Pandemic, the syndrome has become increasingly more common as the online workforce has melted the boundary between work and home. It’s more important now than ever to have strategies readily available to combat Burnout Syndrome.
Here are some strategies you can try from home:
-Reframe your outlook on work: focus on aspects of work that you enjoy, how your role helps others
-Set boundaries! Learn how to say “no” so that you don’t overextend yourself
-Eat a healthy diet: minimize sugar, refined carbs, and overly processed food
-Exercise regularly! Try to aim for at least 30 minutes per day
If you or someone you know is seeking therapy for Burnout Syndrome, please contact our psychotherapy offices in New York or New Jersey to talk to one of our licensed professional psychologists, psychiatrists, psychiatric nurse practitioners, or psychotherapists at Arista Counseling & Psychotherapy. Contact our Paramus, NJ or Manhattan, NY offices respectively, at (201) 368-3700 or (212) 722-1920 to set up an appointment. For more information, please visit http://www.counselingpsychotherapynjny.com/
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