CHANGING CAREERS / JUL. 26, 2015
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A Job Change Probably Won't Solve Your Burnout Problem

Changing your job isn’t going to eliminate your burnout. Lots of people think a new situation will improve an old way of feeling. You will drag those emotions with you wherever you go. The real solution is to understand the source of your issues, to address those issues with treatment, and to learn how to cope with your feelings.  

See Also: 5 Steps for Coping with Career Burnout

All Jobs Cause Some Level of Stress or Frustrations

Stress in the workplace is an all-too-familiar phenomenon as it can be found from the greasy kitchens of a fast food restaurant up to the highest echelon of the food service corporation. It does not discriminate by job type, as all jobs are vulnerable to stress, from a construction worker to a financial analyst. It’s prevalent in all sectors, both public and private, and it can similarly affect both part-time and full-time workers.

Stress is a scourge on the working class, and those working overtime may especially find they’re both mentally and physically exhausted. Additionally, negative workplace dynamics can begin to take a physical and emotional toll. No one can operate under stress forever, and eventually you will burnt out if you continue at such a demanding pace.

Don’t Force Your Good Health to Work Overtime

If you must work overtime, and many Americans must, don’t allow it to cause you to burn out. If you notice yourself becoming irritable, exhausted, and fatigued, you should take a break from extended hours. Don’t risk depression by working more than eight hours a day, or beyond the standard forty hour work week. Besides, the public policy research organization, The Cato Institute, warns that there’s not much payoff for overtime work because “a surprisingly large share of the bonus wages goes straight to the tax collector.”

The Difference between Tiredness and Burnout

Normal exhaustion can be remedied by more sleep for longer periods of time, or even more restful sleep on a more comfortable mattress. Vitamins and proper nutrition can help to balance a tired body, and although they’re beneficial to someone with burnout, the condition is often more serious than just tiredness.  

Burnout begins once the body and mind are overtaxed; it’s as though your body’s internal balance has been thrown askew. All reserves are depleted, and no amount of good rest or nutrition can refuel your internal batteries. At this time, you may experience a weakened immune system, insomnia, the inability to make responsible choices, slow responses, and even the effects of long-term depression.

Burnout is serious, and it can cause long-term or permanent damage if it’s not treated accordingly.

Look to the Professionals for Guidance

There is treatment for burnout, and it’s quite effective at giving workers the tools needed to better manage time, careers, and stress levels. Work related burnout treatment balances a calming environment with counseling from “highly credentialed professionals.” Counseling is an effective way to cope with burnout.

Professional support is often essential in the journey back to positivity and to the feeling of overall restfulness. Specialized treatment, meaning treatment specifically designed to treat burnout, helps workers determine the essence of the burnout, or what’s causing it and how to cope with it. Getting to the root of the problem, and becoming proactive about a solution will nurture creativity, and help you express personal growth and talents.

The support is often provided in both singular and community sessions, so you’ll become enriched by individualized treatment, and comforted by those who are like-minded and suffering from burnout.

Burnout is NOT Chronic Fatigue

According to Prevention.com, chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) is a “mysterious condition characterized by ongoing feelings of sleepiness that aren’t alleviated with more rest, and don’t seem linked to other health problems.” Only a doctor can diagnose chronic fatigue, but it’s characterized by not improving after six months even after long periods of rest, exercise, improved diet, or counseling.

Chronic fatigue may improve with burnout treatment, but long-term self-care is necessary to remain healthy. According to a Journal of Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics, inflammation may cause CFS because the research isn’t concrete. In any regard, CFS is more dangerous than the traditional burnout. Leonard Jason, PhD is a CFS expert and reminds users there’s an easy way to determine if you have CFS or if you’re suffering from normal fatigue. “If you take a vacation from work, or spend a weekend catching up on sleep, you should feel better. If that doesn’t help, then the issue may be more serious.”  

So, if you’re still feeling burned out, even after adjusting your diet and exercise regimen and subscribing to burnout treatment with a trained professional, you may have CFS. There’s no definitive test for this disorder, and most doctors will recommend taking a break, exercising more, working less, and seeking treatment for a period of six months. If nothing improves, your doctor may begin to monitor your thyroid and check you for inflammation.  

Diet and Exercise Help Nurture a Better Attitude

No matter if you’re suffering from normal fatigue, burnout, or something more serious, diet and exercise will always play an integral role in getting better. Eat right and exercise often. Physical exercise releases endorphins and promotes cardiovascular health. Overall, a healthy body can result in a healthy attitude.

If you’re fatigued, and even during burnout treatment, participate in enjoyable physical activities. If you’re a water-lover, take time to swim. Use aerobics as a way to interact with old friends and new people. Stress can be reduced if you have a healthy outlet, and a professional can help teach you time management tools in order juggle healthy physical activities and ample relaxation, even around a busy work schedule.  

See also: Are You Experiencing Job Burnout? Test Yourself

Burnout shouldn’t be a reason to quit your job; unless, after treatment, you determine the job doesn’t meet your skill set. Analyze whether or not your job is a good match. If the job absolutely doesn’t cater to your strengths, or allow you to utilize your talents, then it may be time to pursue something else. Workers tend to flourish once their talents are no longer hidden, but valued and respected.

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