Do you find yourself thinking “I’m sick of my job” when it used to be a job you loved doing? Are you feeling burnt out? You’re not alone — in Canada 47% of workers report feeling exhausted and the countries stress levels are above the global average.
If you want to understand how to identify and end burnout, we’ve got you covered. Keep reading as we break down the five main stages of burnout and how you can recover and love your life (and your job!) again.
The 5 Stages of Burnout
Many people think burnout and stress are the same things, but they’re actually completely different — burnout occurs when stress is prolonged. It can cause psychological symptoms like depression and mental fog, and physical symptoms such as muscle tension, frequent illness, and sleeplessness.
1. Honeymoon Phase
The first stage of burnout is the honeymoon phase. This is when you’re generally happy in your job, and you’re unaware that anything is wrong yet.
Many ambitious and hard-working people start to feel like they need to be doing more and achieving more at a faster rate, which causes them to ignore any potential red flags in the workplace and create unhealthy strategies for coping with being busy.
Make sure you start to create healthy coping strategies at this stage to manage your workload effectively and set boundaries when it gets more demanding.
2. Stress Starts
When stress sets in, your days start to feel harder and longer. You’ll start to experience common stress symptoms like increased fatigue, irritability both in and out of work, forgetfulness, and lack of appetite.
It’s common to become inefficient at work and have difficulty focusing. If this sounds like you, check out our stress management course at Coursetter.
3. Chronic Stress
If your stress is left unmanaged, it can turn into chronic stress. At this point in stages of professional burnout, you start to experience stress symptoms in a deeper way.
You may start to rely on caffeine, alcohol, or drugs as opportunities to escape from work, which can cause your physical fitness and well-being to take a hit as well. Outside of work, you might struggle to relax and have fun and find yourself withdrawing from your friends and family.
4. Burnout Starts
When chronic stress becomes the norm for you, this is when things start to get serious. The neglect of your mental, physical and emotional needs leads to your burnout symptoms intensifying.
Your attitude towards work has completely changed to being pessimistic, and you’re probably not enjoying your job at all. This may manifest as feeling totally overwhelmed if you function well under pressure, or it could manifest as extreme fatigue and inability to get through the workday.
5. Habitual Burnout
This is the most severe stage. If your burnout is negatively affecting your health, career, and the other people in your life, and you feel unable to recover, this requires immediate support.
Usually, medical assistance is required because many people with habitual burnout either end up collapsing or have severe mental or physical health problems as a result.
How to Recover and Love Your Job
If you’re questioning, "how can I start to love my job again" start by taking care of your body and mind.
Exercise often and eat well to keep your body in good shape, and this will help you mentally too. Try to get the recommended amount of sleep and take breaks when needed — you can’t be productive if you’re exhausted! Start to see taking care of yourself and putting yourself first as non-negotiable.
Speak to your manager and colleagues about how you’re feeling, and don’t be afraid to ask for breaks and time off whenever you feel like you need them. Remind yourself why you started your career path and know that it’s never too late to learn something new and make a change if you’re longing for a fresh start.
At Coursetter, we provide programs for personal and professional development to support you whether you’re looking for a career change or to sharpen your existing skills. Check out our full course catalogue, and if you’re feeling inspired, contact us today to learn more about getting started!