Corporate or Occupational burnout results from long-term, irresolvable job stress. Burnout is characterized by a set of symptoms that includes exhaustion resulting fromwork’s excessive demandsas well as physical symptoms such as headaches and sleeplessness, “quickness to anger,” and closed thinking. The chronic state of stress that results in burnout can also lead to…
Physical and emotional exhaustion
Cynicism and detachment
Feeling ineffective and lack of accomplishments
The costs of employee disengagement, stress, and burnout are no longer hidden. Stress and burnout have become an increasing and often-discussed phenomenon over the last decade.Various research studies have estimated the costs of work-related stress around the world as: $650 billion in Europe, $3.9 billion in Australia, $2-8 billionCanada, and $300 billion in the United States!!
The consequences of employee disengagement are particularly damaging. Studies have found that disengaged employees are less productive, more likely to steal from their company, negatively influence their coworkers, miss more workdays, and drive customers away. In the United States alone, actively disengaged employees cost an estimated $450-550 billion per year in lost productivity!
At Atmantan, we recognize and address the huge impact that workplace culture and stress can have on our personal wellbeing and health behaviors. This endeavour is undertaken as companies and we realize that when any employee finds meaning, purpose, and impact through his/her work, their individual wellness is enhanced and they all in fact become better employees.
The physical and emotional exhaustion is apparent at the individual level and this varies from person to person. The various signs are of these are…
Chronic fatigue- In the early stages, you may feel a lack energy and feel tired most days which when sustained leading to feeling physically and emotionally exhausted, drained, and depleted.
Insomnia- One may have trouble falling asleep or maintaining sleep rhythms which in later stages gives rise to severe sleep deprivation.
Physicalsymptoms- symptoms may include chest pain, heart palpitations, shortness of breath, gastrointestinal pain, dizziness, fainting, and headaches etc.
Loss of appetite- In the early stages, one feels less hungry and tends to skip meals which when continued can cause weight and health issues.
Frequent illness- Since the immune system gets weakened, one will be more prone to infections, colds, flu, and other immune compromised conditions.
Memory loss/ absent mindedness- Impaired attention and forgetfulness are early signs.
Anxiety and/or Depression- In one hand one may experience mild symptoms of tension, worry etc. which can also interfere in your ability to work productively and may cause problems in your personal life. On the other hand, one can experience mild form of Depression feeling sad, hopelessand feeling of low self-esteem.
Anger- Can start initially as a tension and irritability which can advance into severe outbursts of anger and serious arguments at home and in the workplace.
Cynicism and Detachment usually affects the individual and can have an adverse effect at work.
Loss of enjoyment at work or personal life. This is characterized by not wanting to go to work or eager to leave early, to trying to escape from given tasks.
Pessimism.This starts with negative self-talk and later on one loses the trust on anyone around.
Isolation.This is seen as wanting to sit idle or not interested in socializing
Detachment.This will be characterized by trying to remove oneself from the environment and the responsibilities.
Ineffectiveness and Lack of Accomplishment will be evident looking at one’s performance at work.
Feelings of hopelessness. Similar to depression and pessimism, one might experience a feeling that nothing is going right or nothing matters and keeping asking the question to oneself i.e. “what’s the point?”
Irritability.This often shoots from feeling ineffective, unimportant, useless, and an increasing sense that you’re not able to do things as efficiently or effectively as you once did.
Lack of productivity and poor performance. Despite long hours, and persistent stress, prevents you from being as productive as you once were which often results in incomplete projects and an ever-growing to-do list.
How to combat Occupational Burnout?
One of the best ways to prevent corporate burn out is to manage the turbulence in your mind by practicing various stress adaptation techniques and by stimulating the defense mechanism in your body. The first lesson one has to learn is to not ignore the rules of basic maintenance of the body, which are…
Rule 1 – Eat well
Rule 2 – Sleep well
Rule 3 – Drink well
Rule 4 – Breath well
Rule 5 – Exercise regularly
You will be amazed to see how different you feel when you start incorporating these five rules in your routine life!
Some healthy tips for managing stress and preventing burnouts…
Base your meals on starchy carbohydrates – complex carbs provides you slow release of energy and they are abundant in soluble fibres.
Eat lots of fruit and vegetables – Fruits and vegetables of different colours provide you with the essential micronutrients such as vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients and anti-oxidants.
Eat more fish – Including a portion of oily fish – Oily fishes are plenty in omega 3 which are one of the most essential fatty acids that helps in managing stress
Cut down on saturated fat and sugar – The extra calories and saturated fat intake triggers the incidences of metabolic syndrome which can in turn put a tax on your health.
Eat less salt – No more than 6g a day for adults. Extra salt is also another reason for higher incidence of hypertension and stress
Get active and be a healthy weight – obesity add fuel to stress responses
Drink Well – Proper hydration is not only useful in managing stress, but also helps to provide good sleep
Don’t skip breakfast – A healthy breakfast has also been shown to have positive effects on one’s mental performance and increase their concentration throughout the day.
Sleep – Sleep plays an important role in your physical health. For example, sleep is involved in healing and repair of our heart and blood vessels. Sleep also plays a critical role in immune function, metabolism, memory, learning, and other vital functions.
Breathe well – Breathing correctly means that our bodies are being supplied with the right amount of oxygen, replenishing our brain and other vital organs with essential nutrients. If you are not breathing correctly, your body can be devoid of oxygen, leading to a host of conditions. Your skin can suffer as it is not receiving enough fresh oxygenated blood, your muscles can tire easily during day to day activities as they are not getting the right amount of oxygen and you can feel constantly tired and lethargic because there are not enough vital nutrients being carried in the blood.
Regular exercise – Exercise increases your overall health and your sense of well-being, which puts more pep in your step every day. But exercise also has some direct stress-busting benefits. It pumps up your endorphins. Physical activity helps bump up the production of your brain’s feel-good neurotransmitters, called endorphins.This also improve the ability to sleep, which in turn reduces stress.
ATMANTAN, Wellness Centre Mulshi, Pune - 412108, Maharashtra, India