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Last Updated on December 18, 2020

How to Spot Job Burnout and Ways to Cope With It

How to Spot Job Burnout and Ways to Cope With It

Job burnout has become an epidemic in the last 10 years, and this shouldn’t be taken lightly. In the modern era, the pressure to measure up and lead a busy, jet-set lifestyle comes with a hefty fine.

The aftermath of burnout is a costly one, and you don’t want to sweep it under the rug or mislabel it. I’ve been there—thinking I was managing well and slaying not one but two careers. I thought I had it all in the bag, not realizing it had tipped upside down and in little time.

I’ve witnessed entrepreneurs, corporate workers, and creative industry professionals run themselves into the ground. They overwork, over-commit, and pack on the pressure to perform at their highest level. Countless times, I’ve heard, “I love my career, it fulfills me, but I think I’m developing stomach ulcers.”

If you dug a little deeper, you’d recognize that though you may love your work environment and what you do, it could also be draining you and putting your health at risk. I know people who work themselves until they collapse into bed or pull all-nighters to catch up on deadlines.

Punishing yourself and powering through without as much as stopping for a break is just one subtle sign of job burnout.

You get into a groove and are accomplishing mounds of projects each day, unaware of the damage it’s doing to your health. Somewhere down the line, your sense of happiness, stability, and enjoyment slowly fades. It’s a tragic downward spiral, and burnout surely can strip the passion from your heart, leaving you drained and potentially ill.

Managing a career is stressful enough, and if you’re an entrepreneur, the chronic stress and emotional exhaustion can feel like a thousand-pound brick on your back if you’re constantly functioning on overdrive. Here’s how to spot job burnout and some healthy ways you can deal with it in the long term.

Earliest Signs of Job Burnout

Whether you work at a corporation or are an entrepreneur working from home, burnout can be difficult to identify. Here are some of the major red flags.

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Groundhog Day Syndrome

Groundhog Day syndrome is just one subtle sign that you’re overtaxing yourself. I call it Groundhog Day syndrome because every day starts to feel the same, despite all the jobs you may be doing. That sense of dread dictates how much or little you accomplish.

Your enjoyment and fulfillment begin to dwindle. You start to ask yourself if you’re doing what you love or doing your job for all the wrong reasons.

When I was actively pursuing fashion, I didn’t even notice early on that my enjoyment for creating transitioned to immense pressure to “make it big.” It landed me in a continuous state of exhaustion to the point where I couldn’t focus on one task. I started new projects before finishing others, engrossed in producing high quantities of garments.

Focusing on the Wrong Things

To spot the early signs of job burnout, you need to pay attention to your mindset:

Are you about quality or quantity? Are you about money and accomplishing your wildest dreams or do you believe your work is also your calling?

It’s easy to confuse your true goals with dreams or unrealistic wants. Burnout can arise from the mindset of strenuous mass quantities, thus slipping into that Groundhog routine to reach that goal.

The worst thing to do is ignore or deny this vicious cycle in your pursuit of success. I did ignore these early signs of burnout and the consequences for me were substantial. I stopped loving my hours spent sewing. I stopped loving the creative process of which I’d devoted my 10,000 hours to.

It’s all right to want to be successful, but it’s not all right to neglect your mental, emotional, and physical health.

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Unusual Fatigue and Lost of Motivation

Early signs of job burnout include unusual fatigue and gradually escalating exhaustion. This fatigue may then merge into a lack of motivation. The consequences of ignoring the subtle signs might lead to an inability to focus or work as efficiently as you used to, dozing off in meetings or outings with colleagues. Lost hours and nights of sleep are another burnout warning sign.

At first, you might label this onset of exhaustion as stress, a rough patch, or a creative block. You may be able to identify the extra effort and lack of endurance to complete your work. The daily hustle, over time, derails your motivation, divides your attention, and causes restlessness.

When this extra push and effort feels strenuous, your mental health will be the first to warn you. Facing and accepting the earliest signs of burnout will prevent a full-blown, potentially career-ending crash.

Job Burnout Symptoms

Herbert Freudenberger first coined the term burnout in 1974 and defined it as:[1]

“The extinction of motivation or incentive, especially where one’s devotion to a cause or relationship fails to produce the desired results.”

Now though, burnout has a new definition. We live in an era when measuring up and being a high achiever are vital for happiness. At the stage of burnout, the symptoms will be undeniable and have an intense grip on all facets of your health and life[2].

signs of burnout

    The symptoms of burnout can lead to serious conditions after a period of 2 weeks. By the 2-week mark, the symptoms are chronic:[3]

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    • Hair loss or thinning
    • Suffering chronic skin rashes
    • Irregular heart beats and palpitations
    • Sinusitis or thickening of mucus
    • Decreasing function of the immune system

    Severe cases with sleep-deprivation will take their toll. Job burnout symptoms can be misread as stress. When your body has had enough, the symptoms become indicators that you’ve gone too far and are utterly burnt out.

    Other symptoms are cynicism and loss of motivation, therefore diminishing your job performance. You stop caring about how you perform in a professional environment, and it will show. Functioning in burnout mode depletes your ability to create or work at your level best.

    In more serious cases, burnout has caused conditions such as depression and an inability to cope with stress or laborious tasks effectively. It’s not your job that’s to blame; it’s how you navigate and juggle your workload and how you respond to overwhelm (when everything hits the fan or gets chaotic).

    There is a balance, mentally and emotionally, you must master to avoid burnout in the future.

    Tips for Coping With Burnout

    Job burnout is not inevitable and can be avoided. Anybody is at risk and should make avoiding and coping with burnout a priority.

    One lesson I learned when burnout reared its ugly head was the rule of quantity. By that, I mean, if you’re expected to take on a certain workload or tackle a ridiculous number of tasks in an hour, a day, or a week and it’s not truly feasible, it’s time to press pause or step back.

    Granted, we pursue careers and put nearly impossible pressure on our shoulders to reach a destination of some kind—whether it be more money, a bigger promotion, writing more articles, etc.

    People pleasing and the desire to stay ahead of the game doesn’t have to mean piling on more than you’re able to legitimately handle. No matter how consumed with my work life I was, I didn’t realize how difficult I was making my own life by not saying no when necessary.

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    To avoid burnout in the future, consider asking yourself these questions (before your workload swallows you whole):

    • Do I need to say yes to this, and if so, what will it cost me?
    • Is this opportunity worth my time and effort?
    • How will my overall well-being be positively or negatively affected if I say yes to this offer or opportunity?
    • What’s more important: working in overdrive or strengthening relationships with family, friends and loved ones?

    Final Thoughts

    Once I devoted myself to self-care and finding passion in the work I was doing, the enjoyment returned without the added stress and pressure I afflicted upon myself. Engaging in activities such as yoga, swimming, bike riding, meditation, and mindfulness gradually brought me back to loving my work again.

    Job burnout zaps motivation and inspiration, which are imperative in helping you connect with your work on a deeper level.

    Spiritually, mentally, and emotionally exude goodness to others instead of bottling up and overworking. Burnout stems from all kinds of stressors, so it’s important to keep your mindset in the right place, especially in chaotic times.

    If you’re not happy with your job, reflect and see what you could change to better cope with the stress and prevent burnout in the future.

    More on Dealing With Burnout

    Featured photo credit: Adrian Swancar via unsplash.com

    Reference

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    Tessa Koller

    Author, Motivational Public Speaker and Artist

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    Published on April 5, 2021

    9 Best Energy Supplements To Fight Fatigue And Tiredness

    9 Best Energy Supplements To Fight Fatigue And Tiredness

    When it comes to energy levels, the solution is relatively simple. Make sure you get ample sleep, exercise regularly, and have a well-balanced diet. But as much as those things are simple, performing them on a regular basis can be difficult.

    Worse, you could be doing these and still find energy levels draining quickly.

    Fortunately, there are several options out there to help you with pushing back fatigue and tiredness. Most of these solutions stem from supplements. These little pills pack all kinds of helpful nutrients to get you through the day. Below we’ve selected some of the best energy supplements available.

    Before getting to the list, here are some of the criteria that we used to determine what are the best options to offer you:

    • No fillers – One of the big issues with supplements is that they contain needless fillers in them that provide you with no benefit. We’ve checked many of these products to ensure they are from natural and pure sources and that these companies don’t put in fillers.
    • Improve mental functions – Fatigue isn’t just a physical thing, it’s mental too. The supplements we recommend help you in overcoming both sides of fatigue.
    • Metabolic benefits – These supplements are known to help burn energy stored in fat while preserving energy in your muscles.
    • Energized without the side effects – When people think of energy, they also keep in mind the downsides like crashing, jittering, irritability. These are known side effects for energy boosters, but they’re not part of these supplements.

    Now let’s dive into the 9 best energy supplements for fatigue.

    1. Fish Oil

    One of the best energy supplements on the market is fish oil. Fish oil supplements are able to provide a wide variety of benefits to individuals. It’s essentially the supplement to be using if you’re looking to improve brain or heart function or both.

    We recommend Infuel Fish Oil as they make a perfect blend of fish oil and Omega 3 healthy fats which directly support development of our brains, eyes, nervous system and maintaining a healthy heart. All of these feeds into our energy levels because these supplements provide us with essential fats that our body can use. Furthermore, stronger brain development is an invaluable tool to fighting off fatigue.

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    2. Ashwagandha

    Ashwagandha is one of the most important medicinal herbs in the Indian Ayurveda and it’s one of the world’s oldest medicinal systems. Over the years of its study, researchers have been able to uncover that Ashwagandha is able to increase our body’s resilience to both physical and mental stress.[1]

    Because stress is one of those aspects that drains our energy levels physically and mentally, it stands to reason that having supplements of this nature can provide us with more energy. Beyond that, there is also research that suggests we can alleviate fatigue associated to exercise with this too.

    NaturaLife Labs supplement of Ashwagandha comes to mind as a reliable source. It’s organic, vegan, and gluten free. Each capsule provides 2,100 mg with nothing but ashwagandha root powder and extract, making it highly potent compared to other brands.

    3. Rhodiola Rosea

    Another notable herb grounded into supplement form is rhodiola rosea. It grows in cold, mountainous regions and is used as a natural substance to enhance our coping abilities with stress.

    From that research, there have also been a small collection of studies that looked into the physical and mental fatigue aspect too. Out of the vast majority of those studies, there was evidence of rhodiola rosea enhancing both physical performance and easing mental fatigue.[2]

    Out of the various brands that provide this supplement, Bronson’s Rhodiola Rosea is a great fit. It’s gluten and soy-free and provides 1000 mg of 100% natural rhodiola rosea. These are also safe for vegans and vegetarians alike.

    4. CoQ10

    CoQ10 stands for coenzyme Q10 and is something that our body makes naturally. They are found in all of our cells though our heart, kidneys, and liver have the highest levels of this. What CoQ10 does though is produce energy for us and also protects themselves from oxidative damage.

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    So why bother with having specific supplements of these? Well as we get older, things start to decline and our cells may not be able to produce as much energy as before. If we want our body cells to stay in shape, providing these supplements can help.

    One of the best ones out there to look at is Nature Made’s CoQ10 vitamins. These supplements are gluten free and only contain soybean oil, gelatin, glycerin, water, and soy lecithin, making them ideal for most individuals. They also provide great benefits to those who take Statin as statin drugs are known for reducing CoQ10 levels. This replenishes them and doesn’t conflict with the use of those drugs either.

    5. Vitamin B12

    Vitamin B is a typically good vitamin to have. But if you’re looking for the best energy supplements in this category, B12 is the best. B12 is all about helping your body transform food into energy that you cells can then use.

    Beyond that, studies have found the vitamin helps with the body’s nerves and blood cells. It also prevents a type of anemia that can render you weak and tired.

    A lot of people are deficient in this area which is to be expected since not everyone is eating a lot of animal proteins like meat, fish and dairy products. It’s particularly bad amongst vegans and vegetarians.

    Fortunately, there is a good option for everyone to get their vitamin B12 they need — Naturelo’s Vegan B12 vitamin. Their protein is solely plant-based and provides a high among of B12 – 1000 mg per capsule. The main source of their B12 vitamin comes from Spirulina which is a rich, plant-based source of natural B vitamins, protein, and various minerals, giving you a clean supplement to boost your energy levels.

    6. Iron

    Our body also needs iron in order to function too. With a lack of iron we develop anemia which can then lead to sensations of weakness and fatigue. Iron is essential because it fights off that by providing red blood cells carrying oxygen to the body’s tissues.

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    Overall, iron is able to help you with fighting back fatigue because of this essential function. The only issue is that a lot of iron in food sources stem from meats and seafood.

    When looking for a pure and helpful supplement to look for, Naturelo Iron is the one. This particular supplement is appealing because it also provides you with vitamin C. Vitamin C is able to prevent iron deficiency so it pairs nicely with the iron supplement. Along with purse ingredients made from iron-rich whole foods and great absorption, you’re able to combat fatigue easier with these supplements.

    7. Melatonin

    Melatonin is a natural hormone that our brain produces that puts us to sleep. When we wake up, there are very low levels and it goes up over the day. But if you’re trying to stop feeling tired why would a supplement that produces this sleepy drug be helpful?

    Well, melatonin also serves as a way to fight off insomnia. Many people have sleeping issues because of high amounts of screen time (which disrupt the cycle of releasing melatonin). This insomnia leads to people feeling more exhausted physically and mentally.

    So by increasing your melatonin through a supplement, you’ll be able to get sleep when your body actually needs it. This process alone will be able to recharge you and energize you.

    And it’s not like you need a lot of melatonin in your body for it to work. Take Nature’s Bounty Melatonin. They provide 3mg of it per capsule and it’s more than enough for individuals to fall asleep to. Best of all, these supplements are suitable for vegetarians as well.

    8. Tyrosine

    Tyrosine is an amino acid that our body naturally produces as well. They are essentially the drugs behind making the chemicals that send messages from our body to the brain. Those chemicals are believed to decrease when we are in mentally or physically demanding activities. This leads to us being unable to concentrate and eventually feeling tired physically and/or mentally.

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    As such, being able to supplement our tyrosine levels will be able to help us fight off feeling tired and mentally exhausted. And one particular brand that can assure this is Swanson Tyrosine. Their Tyrosine supplement is Non-GMO and each capsule provides 500 mg, a healthy amount to keep you focused and mentally energized.

    9. L-Theanine

    The last on our list is L-Theanine. It’s an amino acid that is actually commonly found in tea and mushrooms. Considering the fact that tea – and coffee – are able to keep us energized, it makes sense that L-theanine provides similar perks.[3]

    What’s also nice about this particular supplement is that it also works well with coffee. Coffee has caffeine which naturally boosts our energy levels as well. The problem is coffee also provides side effects like nervousness, irritability, restlessness and a crash after a power boost. L-theanine with coffee though seems to prevent those side effects.

    One particular supplement of L-theanine we found beneficial was Nature’s Trove L-Theanine. They use natural ingredients and are made in the US, GMP NSF Certified and Kosher Certified. They’re also suitable for vegetarians as well.

    Final Thoughts

    Life does have a way of taking a toll on our bodies and there will be days where we are completely drained. There are several ways for you to combat this with working on a balanced diet, exercising regularly, and getting a proper amount of sleep.

    But for those looking to maintain higher energy, these supplements will provide a good opportunity for you to maintain higher energy levels and give you the natural boost that you need.

    More on Energy Boosting

    Featured photo credit: Aditya Saxena via unsplash.com

    Reference

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