Burnout is real and it’s being recognized as a diagnosis.
Dr. Jamal Lake, a clinical psychologist at the Cognitive & Interpersonal Therapy Centre in Toronto, has seen a steady increase in the number of people experiencing burnout; many clients don’t even immediately recognize that they’re at the brink of burnout, but instead seek support for its various symptoms, from stress and relationship difficulties to moodiness.
In fact, burnout has become so common that this past spring the World Health Organization provided an official diagnosis for the condition. Burnout is an occupational phenomenon that presents long-lasting emotional, physical, and mental exhaustion and diminished sense of accomplishment caused by excessive and prolonged stress. Its sneaky symptoms, however, are sometimes harder to pinpoint.
So here is what you need to look for to recognize if you’re headed for a burnout diagnosis as well as what to do to rectify the situation.
DISCLAIMER: This advice is not intended as a substitute for the advice of a qualified healthcare practitioner. Always seek medical advice that is specific to you and your situation.
You feel chronic exhaustion
You lack motivation and feel detached
You lack enjoyment and excitement in your life
You’re always frustrated and irritable
You’re feeling guilty and anxious
You lack focus
Lack of productivity and poor performance
You’re driven by fear of failure
You can’t stop
Your physical condition is deteriorating
“If you experience depressive or anxiety symptoms, it is important to seek out professional assistance in order to address these symptoms before they become chronic and potentially accelerate burnout,” says Dr. Lake. Therapy can help you work on cognitive awareness, stress reduction strategies assertiveness and problem solving skills. It can also help you identify opportunities for self-exploration in times of change and conflict. “Seek support from family, friends, colleagues, organizations and/or professionals. Sometimes the best thing we can do for ourselves is to reach out.”
Prioritize sleep and schedule relaxation
Work on other aspects of yourself
Remember that time the high-achieving Jessie Spano reached her breaking point in ‘Saved by the Bell’? Don’t let yourself get there.