As my closer friends know, I’m quite a busy man. Not only do I have to go to school, take care of multiple websites (in my spare time!) and of course also my other tasks in real life, but I’m also part of a very old online gaming club named the New Republic Navy. If I count the time together I spent on each part, I bet I come to 16 hours of doing some kind of work.
Some of the work I do in no time, other work takes a lot of time. And then there is the kind of work I put very (too?) much energy into. Like my „job“ in the New Republic Navy.
About a year ago I had almost the same situation I’m in now. I’m feeling exhausted, not willing to do anything, except one or two things I really enjoy. I have no interest in finishing or continuing some of my work (like one or two of my own websites…) and overall I’d like to sleep all day although at the same time I want to sleep at all.
As I had the same situation about a year ago, I came across a Wikipedia article about the so-called Burnout-Syndrom. After reading about symptoms and other signs of this sickness I decided to cut my online activity and engagement in many other parts of my daily life. A month later I was ok again, full of energy and ready to do what ever I’d like to do.
Today, I see those symptoms again and I decided to cut my activity again. But what is Burnout and what kind of signs or symptoms should you be aware of?
Burnout in general
Burnout? I never heard about it before, is it dangerous? I can’t answer this question as I’m not a doctor. Maybe Slevi is able to give more details since he is the one studying medicine.
I can only sum up Wikipedia’s article and tell you about my experience.
Wikipedia describes Burnout as:
Burnout is a psychological term for the experience of long-term exhaustion and diminished interest (depersonalization or cynicism), usually in the work context. It is also used as an English slang term to mean exhaustion. Burnout is often construed as the result of a period of expending too much effort at work while having too little recovery, but it is sometimes argued that workers with particular personality traits are more prone to experiencing burnout.
Further, it appears that researchers disagree about the nature of burnout. While many researchers argue that burnout refers exclusively to a work-related syndrome of exhaustion and depersonalization / cynicism, others feel that burnout is a special case of the more general clinical depression or just a form of extreme fatigue / exhaustion (thus omitting the cynicism component).
In more common terms, you are suffering from long-term exhaustion, fatigue and lack of interesting. Everything together is pointing to some kind of depression or better, extreme fatigue / exhaustion.
How can you check if you are showing first signs of Burnout? One theory states that someone who burned out had to be burning before. Are you burning? Those symptoms can be possible signs of burnout. Please keep in mind that those symptoms are often also caused by other sicknesses. If a half or more of the listed symptoms apply to you, I suggest you speak with your doctor to make sure you are well.
Warning Symptoms at the Beginning
- increased engagement for certain goals
- working almost without breaks
- ignoring personal needs
- limiting social contacts to certain areas
- chronic tiredness
- concentration disambiguation
- sleep disorder
- need for distance
- evading contacts
- negative attitude towards work
- neglecting work
There are way more symptoms, so I decided to stick with the one above because some of these I’m showing, at least that’s what I think after paying more attention to myself.
After I discovered that I may show some symptoms of Burnout, I had a look on how to make sure it won’t become real burnout. Wikipedia says, basically you shall take your free time and make sure you have your regeneration/recreation. Also you shall seek compensation for the work you are doing, like doing sports, music or any other kind of hobby.
What do I try to achieve with my article? First of all I want to get rid of my thoughts. Also, I want to increase the awareness about the Burnout-Syndrom. I believe my article is not the best one on this topic, but I hope it did reach its goal. Did you ever encounter Burnout? What is your own opinion on the whole story?