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8 Signs You Might Soon Approach A Mental Burnout At Work (And How To Fix Them)

8 Signs You Might Soon Approach A Mental Burnout At Work (And How To Fix Them)

A typical capitalist society is built on a few basic, and quite fair postulates – you earn money for the work that you do, and the amount of wealth that you can accumulate is proportional to your ability to thrive in a modern day work environment. However, things are not nearly as clear cut in the real world as they are on paper, and some people end up working incredibly hard to earn their keep. While it is good to be ambitious and to want to invest a bit more energy than the average worker into furthering your career, focusing solely on your work all the time can lead to burnout. Here are some of the common signs that you have reached the point of burnout at work, and that it is time to make some serious lifestyle changes.

1. You lose your temper at every little thing

If you succumb to blind rage every time someone at the office does something mildly irritating, and find yourself giving sarcastic or cynical answers to even the simplest questions, then you are definitely pushing yourself a bit too far at work. We all have bad days, e.g. we may be a bit hungover on Monday or stressed over a breakup, but if you are constantly in a bad mood, it’s a clear sign of being overworked.

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2. You feel like you are always behind schedule

A common thing that most people who are near a mental burnout feel is the irrational fear of failure. At some point it seems that no matter how much work you put in, there is always something else to be done, and if you just finish up a couple of little things today you’ll be able to breathe easier tomorrow. However, tomorrow brings additional obligations and you get stuck in a self-perpetuating loop of worrying, working your fingers to the bone and then worrying some more.

3. You are constantly under tons of mental fatigue

You get to the office, make some coffee and have a few big gulps to wake yourself up, but even after 2-3 cups and several hours you still feel like there is a thick cloud weighing down on your head. This often happens when people push themselves a bit too hard and fail to get enough rest, both in terms of breaks at work and getting enough sleep art home.

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4. You feel that you lack control over your own life

With all the job-related stress, an airtight schedule and tons of little annoyances, it can feel like the entire world is plotting against you. However, if you find yourself blaming others for the fact that your life has become a hectic mess, and feeling like there is nothing that you can do to make things better, i.e. all the logical options that your friends offer like “well, just take a break” or “why don’t you talk to your boss” seem too simplistic, chances are that you have cornered yourself with added obligations and you just don’t want to admit it.

5. You don’t get any joy from the work you do

No matter how menial a task is, a person usually takes at least some pride in the fact that they have done a good job and have earned their paycheck fair and square. Every job has its boring and frustrating sides, but there are always a few redeeming aspects – e.g. the people at work are nice, you get good money for overtime, you get to travel or you meet interesting new people each day. If you can’t seem to get any pleasure from your work, and you once used to, then it’s not just about the job itself, it’s all the extra workload that is keeping you down.

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6. You don’t seem to have any time for friends and family

People who are constantly overworked usually spend very little time with friends and family, and their relationships tend to suffer because of their job. Seeing less of your friends and family throughout the week is a normal part of a responsible hard-working adult’s life, but if it’s been month since you’ve had a family dinner, a cup of coffee with a friend or did something fun and romantic with your significant other, then you might just have a problem.

7. You hardly get any sleep anymore

There are people who’ll brag about surviving with only 4-5 hours of sleep a night and joke about their caffeine addiction, like the fact that they have huge bags under their eyes, are all jittery and sluggish is a good thing. You can’t be nearly as effective when you don’t get enough sleep, no matter how much caffeine you have in you – it’s incredibly unhealthy for you, and you just can’t think as fast as you normally do. If you can’t go to sleep early, either because you are working late or are too stressed to relax, you need to reevaluate some of your life choices.

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8. You feel that your sex drive has been significantly diminished

It is common to experience a reduced sex drive while under a lot of stress, and this can be particularly damaging to a relationship. If you notice that you haven’t really been intimate with your partner in a while, and that you have started getting into fights over little things, it is likely that you are too preoccupied with your work.

What can you do to get back on track?

Once you’ve established that you are nearing burnout, based on some of the signs outlined above, you can try some of these tactics to help you recharge your batteries:

  • Take a nice long vacation and forget all about work for a while – the quickest and most effective way of recovering from a mental burnout is to forget about the job for a couple of weeks and go somewhere fun. If you have some vacation time lined up and a bit of money saved up, then pick a nice location and get some rest.
  • Give up the nine to five and start working from home – this is quite a drastic measure, but it is often the best solution. If you don’t see things changing any time soon, you can simply leave the company and start your own business from home. Now, running your own business can be just as stressful, but setting up a functional online shop is fairly simple nowadays, and you will have all the freedom in the world to set up a schedule that works for you.
  • Don’t bite off more than you can chew – while showing initiative at work and taking on more challenges with time is a good think, you have to make sure that you don’t burry yourself in the work. If you need more than 9 hours of work, including breaks, to get things done, then it’s time to reduce your workload. A small bonus or a pat on the back isn’t worth losing your nerves over.
  • Talk to the boss about implementing software that allows you to reduce the workload – sometimes people get bogged down by all the mindless grunt work that has to be done in addition to more creative and challenging parts of the job. There is all manner of business process management software that can make everyone’s life a whole lot easier if effectively implemented. If you approach your boss with your concerns and offer a good solution at the same time, there will be no need for things to get hostile.
  • Avoid taking your work home with you all the time – it may be necessary to finish up a few things at home from time to time, but if you are always bringing tons of work home, you won’t be able to get some peace and quiet. Don’t doubt yourself too much, and separate your work and private life.
  • Make it a point to schedule some quiet time with friends at least once a week – you need to spend at least a few hours a week talking with friends or just laughing and having fun. It is a good way to vent, get some advice and recharge your batteries, so make sure to fit the ones closest to you into your schedule.
  • Get some exercise and go to bed a bit earlier – working out gets the blood going, makes you feel energized and focused, carries tons of health benefits, makes you feel better about yourself and helps you get to sleep a bit earlier. Getting a good 8 hours of sleep will do wonders for your concentration and stress levels.

You need to make sure that you are taking several of these steps, and actively trying to minimize your workload and to balance your work and your personal life.

No one can be satisfied at work all the time – even those who love what they do get bored or frustrated at times – and everyone will have to take on a bit of extra work sometime, but if you are always stressed, tired, chasing deadlines and spend very little time with the important people in your life, you are definitely experiencing a mental burnout. Luckily, there are a bunch of things that you can do recover, but you need to identify the signs

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Nemanja Manojlovic

Editor at MyCity Web

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Last Updated on May 21, 2019

13 Bad Habits You Need to Quit Right Away

13 Bad Habits You Need to Quit Right Away

Creating your productivity ritual — a routine that helps you to maintain a peak level of energy can get you the best out of your days.

Part of creating your productivity routine involves removing activities that drain you (what I call “kryptonites”), and that includes your bad habits.

Like it or not, bad habits are bad for you — mentally, physically, emotionally and even socially in some cases. While some bad habits are harder to quit than others, it doesn’t change the fact that you need to get rid of them. Here are 13 bad habits to quit right away:

1. Stress Eating

I used to be a serious stress eater. I would eat whenever I felt unhappy, stressed, disappointed, anxious, or even… happy! My eating had nothing to do with being hungry, and everything to do with using food to fill my emotional voids.

While eating would comfort me, this feeling was momentary and would disappear right after I was done eating. Instead, what I had left would be the same emotional void that triggered me to eat in the first place (be it unhappiness or stress), a 2,000 excess calorie intake over what I should have eaten for the day, and anger at myself for having stress ate.

I’ve since overcome stress eating. I have healthy eating habits and a healthy relationship with food today where I no longer use food as a tool to fill my emotions.

If you are a stress eater, don’t fret — here’s how to manage your stress better:

How to Manage Stress (A Step-by-Step Guide to Turn Stress Into Success)

2. Nail Biting

Not only is nail biting unhygienic, it is also socially repelling, leads to dental problems like malocclusion of the anterior teeth,[1] potentially cause stomach problems,[2] and lead to severely deformed fingernails in the long run.

People who bite their nails tend to have shorter nails than the average person; their nail plates also experience scarring and may eventually become absent.[3]

Understand what triggers your nail biting behavior and replace it with another neutral to positive habit. Make habits to break habits.

For example, if you bite your nails when you are stressed, go for a walk or listen to music instead the next time you feel stressed.

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3. Hanging out with Naysayers

We all know these people — people who play devil’s advocate to every idea you have and every goal you want to pursue. We are already our greatest self-critics, so it doesn’t help when there’s someone beside us, ever ready to pounce on what we say and tear it down.

Hang out less with these naysayers and spend more time with supportive people who share constructive feedback instead. You will be much happier this way.

Learn how to get rid of naysayers with these 10 Ways to Ignore the Naysayers and Achieve Your Dreams.

4. Being with People Who Don’t Appreciate You

Haven’t all of us been in this situation before? Trying to please people who don’t appreciate us? Bending over backwards to be there for people when they are never there for us?

While we give without expectations of return, we need to draw a line with people who don’t value us because these people damage our souls.

Stop spending time with people who don’t appreciate you, and spend more time with people who do instead.

Unsure who you should get rid of? Learn about it here: 5 Kinds of Toxic People That You Need to Get Rid of Now

5. Smoking

Smoking is one of the leading causes of preventable death globally.[4]

In just the United States alone, about 500,000 deaths are attributed to smoking-related diseases annually. A recent study estimated that as much as one-third of China’s male population will have significantly shortened life-spans due to smoking! Gender-wise, male and female smokers lose an average of 13.2 and 14.5 years of life respectively — that’s over a decade of life right there.[5]

Not only that, smoking causes pre-mature skin aging (i.e. wrinkles), yellowing of teeth, bad breath, and worse of all — jeopardy of the health of people around you, including your loved ones. Studies have shown that non-smokers exposed to second-hand smoke are at risk to many of the health problems associated with direct smoking.[6]

Smoking risks

    6. Excessive Drinking

    All of us know that drinking too much alcohol is bad for us, but do you know how bad it really is?

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    According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, drinking too much — be it on a single occasion or over time — can seriously damage your health:[7]

    • Brain problems: Alcohol interferes with the brain’s communication pathways, making it harder to think clearly and move with coordination.
    • Heart diseases: Cardiomyopathy – Stretching and drooping of heart muscle, Arrhythmias – Irregular heart beat, stroke, high blood pressure
    • Liver diseases: Steatosis or fatty liver, alcoholic hepatitis, fibrosis, cirrhosis
    • Pancreas problems: Pancreatitis, a dangerous inflammation and swelling of the blood vessels in the pancreas that prevents proper digestion.
    • Different types of cancer: Mouth, esophagus, throat, liver, breast

    If you drink a lot, perhaps cutting it out right away will be tough. Cut down the number of glasses you drink each time, followed by the number of times you drink a week.

    If need be, seek help from an AA group — you aren’t alone in this. Change starts from today.

    7. Eating Junk Food (Including Diet Soda)

    Junk food — they are everywhere in our society today. From McDonald’s, to KFC, to Burger King, to 24-hour takeouts, junk food such as fries, highly processed burgers and sodas has become a staple in our society today.

    If you think, “Hey, but junk food is tasty!”, think again:

    A study by Paul Johnson and Paul Kenny suggests that junk food consumption alters brain activity in a way similar to addictive drugs like cocaine and heroin.[8]

    “After many weeks with unlimited access to junk food, the pleasure centers of rat brains became desensitized, requiring more food for pleasure.”

    And you wonder why you seem to crave fast food when you just had some the day before?

    While it may not be possible to remove junk food completely from our diet right away, we can reduce our junk food consumption starting today. Instead of soda, opt for a fruit juice (fresh juice, not the carbonated kind) or mineral water. Instead of fries, switch to mashed potato, a salad, or rice (many food outlets allow for this today). Instead of a fried meat patty, go for a grilled one.

    Where possible, opt for healthy food joints like salad bars and delis as opposed to fast food outlets. Every little step goes a long way.

    Here’re some healthy snacks ideas for you: 15 Healthy Snacks You Should Always Have At Home

    8. Eating Too Much Red Meat

    There has been conclusive evidence that consumption of red meat increases the risk of colorectal cancer; and suggestive evidence that it increases the risk of oesophageal cancer, lung cancer, pancreatic cancer, and endometrial cancer.

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    In addition, some studies have linked consumption of large quantities of red meat with breast cancer, stomach cancer, lymphoma, bladder cancer, lung cancer and prostate cancer![9]

    Personally, I’m a vegetarian so I don’t consume red meat, but for those of you who consume red meat, do watch out and limit your intake — better still, cut it out of your diet. World Cancer Research Fund recommends limiting intake of red meat to less than 300g (11 oz) cooked weight per week, “very little, if any of which to be processed.”

    Of if you’re thinking about becoming a vegetarian, check out this guide: 5 Practical Tips For Starting a Vegetarian Lifestyle

    9. Watching Too Much TV

    I stopped watching TV since eight years ago and I have never regretted it. Every once in a while I will switch on the telly to see what is on, and then I will switch it off because it’s just the same boring shtick over and over again.

    Watching TV, particularly well-written dramas, can be a good way to unwind. However, remember that TV isn’t your life.

    Spending three hours every night watching TV will not change your life for the better. Rather, using that time to reflect on your life, take stock, and take action on your goals will.

    It’s not easy to remove TV from your daily routine right away, but follow these 6 Steps To Remove TV From Your Life.

    10. Being Late

    Not only is being late being rude to others, it also means that you’re always rushing from one place to another, playing catch up in your agenda, and having to apologize to every person you meet.

    Stop being late and not being punctual, but practice being early instead. Target to arrive 15 minutes earlier before any appointment and bring along something to do in those 15 minutes (or longer if the other person turns out to be late). Then you can stop playing catch up and stay ahead in life.

    Learn more tips about how to be more punctual here: How to Be On Time Every Time

    11. Being in Bad Relationships

    Are you always dating the wrong guys/girls? Do you end up with jerks all the time? Well, you may not be able to stop yourself from meeting bad partners but you can certainly stop yourself from furthering contact with them, spending time with them, or even… entering into a relationship with them.

    I used to invest myself in this guy who was nothing but toxic for me. After a good five months of experiencing nothing but getting burned over and over again, I realized that he was a total waste of my time and I deserved better. I decided to cut him off, and it was soon after that I met my soulmate.

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    Learn about why you shouldn’t stay in a bad relationship and how to deal with it if you’re in one: Why Trying Hard to Stay in an Unhappy Relationship Is Not Love, but Fear

    12. Leaving Things to the Last Minute

    Burning the midnight oil isn’t fun — it’s exhausting.

    Those of you who got through college by burning the midnight oil would have learned this the hard way. Not only is it damaging for your body, it is also mentally draining as you’re constantly in a hyper-tense mode, feeling anxious about whether you can finish your work on time.

    Start today on a new note. Rather than react to your deadlines, be proactive about them by planning ahead, identifying what needs to be done for the week, and getting things done in advance.

    By staying ahead of your tasks, you can also use your extra time to plan ahead in your life and get more things done.

    Take a look at this guide and learn how to stop procrastinating: Procrastination – A Step-By-Step Guide to Stop Procrastinating

    13. Focusing on the Negatives

    In every situation, there are two ways you can react: zoom down to the problem areas and crib about how things aren’t the way you want, or celebrate the areas that are going well and work on making everything better.

    Many of us see the importance of doing the latter but in practice, we do the former. Why though? Criticizing and focusing on the negatives is easy but it doesn’t empower nor inspire us to be better.

    Make a change — for every negative encounter you run into, I challenge you to identify three things that are good about it. Practice doing this for one week, and by the end of the week you’ll find that your first instinct is to think positive, not negative.

    And here’re even more ways to help you stay positive: 11 Tips for Maintaining your Positive Attitude

    The Bottom Line

    So here you find the 13 most common bad habits and their consequences on your mind and body. The good news’ you can quit them all.

    Just spot out your own bad habits and take my suggestions to quit them. Then you’ll find your life a lot healthier and happier!

    Need more tips to break your bad habits? Check out these articles:

    Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

    Reference

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