In a healthy job situation, we have value as members of the team. In fact, our work is challenging but rewarding, and we feel in control of our career direction.

Truly, this is the ideal situation and the type of work environment we all seek.

Unfortunately, instead of enjoying their dream job, many employees end up in a state of burnout.

What Is Burnout?

Burnout occurs when job-related stress becomes overwhelming. It is associated with three symptoms: (1)

Feeling depleted and exhausted

Workplace wellness: avoid negativity

Increasing negativity and cynicism about one’s job

Workplace wellness: stay motivated

Feeling ineffective and incapable of good job performance

We all experience these feelings at one time or another. However, having a week where you are exhausted doesn’t necessarily mean you are experiencing burnout. Just because you find yourself expressing negative feelings about your work is not a clear sign that burnout is present.

However, experiencing all three signs over an extended period should raise a red flag that workplace weariness may be setting in.

Risk Factors for Burnout

As many as 28% of workers experience burnout. (2) Some professionals, such as healthcare workers, are at an even higher risk of burnout due to the nature of their work. (3)

In truth, burnout on the job can happen to anyone due to overwhelming or poorly managed stress.

Burnout Rate Among Workers

Risk factors include: (4)

  • Having a high workload or long working hours.
  • Working in a job that is repetitive.
  • Taking on too much responsibility.
  • Making work an oversized part of your identity.
  • Having little control over what happens in your job.
  • Dysfunctional workplace environments.

Preventing and Managing Burnout

Failure to address workplace exhaustion leads to ongoing stress, difficulty sleeping, and lower immunity. In fact, it can even lead to health conditions such as heart disease and diabetes. (4)

If possible, prevent burnout through self-care and stress-reducing techniques. However, if this weariness is already present, it does not have to be a permanent part of life and can be addressed.

Exercising, improving sleep quantity and quality, and seeking out social support are great ways to manage or prevent burnout. In fact, sometimes you may need to involve management to address dysfunctional workplace situations. Occasionally, a more serious evaluation will be needed to determine if your current job is a healthy place to be.

Workplace wellness: Tips for avoiding burnout

Burnout Is Not Inevitable

Having a high-stress job or investing long hours in your career does not mean you have to experience exhaustion.

Proactively manage stress and tend to your wellness. This will give you the resources and resilience to thrive at your workplace. In fact, it’s never too late to address or improve your environment to bring your health back into balance.

Don’t let workplace fatigue creep up on you. Invest in wellness at work and find a reasonable balance between your job and your life. As a result, you will be better in overall health and happiness.