Don’t burn out – time to take your leave!

Burn-out is not easy to fix, so preventing it is vital Download The Chicken Sound. If you’re experiencing the symptoms, don’t just ‘push it for another few months’. It may be time to take some leave and step away to re-charge your batteries.

The scary thing about burn-out is that it can creep up on you: adjust to every symptom and, sooner or later, you’ve reached the end of your capacity. Once you hit burn-out, it will take more than a holiday to get you back on the road – the key is to recognise what is happening and stop it in its tracks.

Warning signs of possible burn-out

  • Waking up tired and never hitting an energy cycle is a big red light that you might be approaching burn-out
  • Constantly thinking about work in your free time, accompanied by feelings of dread, is another possible sign.
  • Some health issues are associated with depression and anxiety, such as frequent headaches, digestive issues, back pains or low energy levels. If you’re starting to experience any of these, it could be your body telling you something about stress.
  • If you’re battling to fall asleep more often than not, then you could be close to the edge of burn-out.
  • You used to train, and you used to eat clean, but now you just can’t be bothered. It’s easier to get a take-away and eat it with a few beers before you try to get some sleep. Losing interest in your own health is a ringing alarm.
  • You used to love testing a new game, leading your pub-quiz team to victory or joining friends for a glass of wine, but not anymore. All you want to do now is crash on the couch and stare at your phone or television. When it comes to friends, family or colleagues, all you’re thinking is: “Please, nobody talk to me right now.”
  • You’ve become pessimistic about work and distrustful of your bosses and colleagues – you may also be taking more sick days and missing deadlines. All these point to possible burn-out: take steps!
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Put out the fire

If you’re showing two or more of these signs, you need to act and act fast. Here are some immediate interventions:

  1. Take your leave. If you’re approaching burnout, take a break and give yourself some time to rest and some space to gain perspective.
  2. Don’t underestimate healthy lifestyle choices. Eating fresh vegetable, going for a run and getting 8 full hours of sleep all seem simple enough, but you’ll be surprised how much they improve your energy levels and drop your stress!
  3. Speak to your boss. Don’t wait for burn-out to hit you and affect your work performance! Speak to your employer about what is happening and find some strategies to help decrease stress. They will increase and improve your work output!
  4. Change jobs. If the current position you’re in is a poor fit, or a toxic workplace, start looking around for another position or a different line of work. It may not be possible to leave immediately, but you can start the process of changing your career now.

So, now you have the checklist – maybe it’s time to contact HR!

Joanne Hart for 2016