The luxury advent calendars to buy now (before they sell out!)
The luxury advent calendars to buy now (before they sell out!)

Sarah Finnan

These 5 foods help reduce menopause symptoms, says health expert Dr Zoe Williams
These 5 foods help reduce menopause symptoms, says health expert Dr Zoe Williams

IMAGE

Candlelit concerts, dark magic and ghost tours: haunting things to do in Dublin this mid-term break
Candlelit concerts, dark magic and ghost tours: haunting things to do in Dublin this mid-term...

Sarah Finnan

World Menopause Day: The definitive guide to menopause signs, symptoms and solutions
World Menopause Day: The definitive guide to menopause signs, symptoms and solutions

IMAGE

‘Deconstructing stereotypes’: The cult witch movie you need to watch on Halloween
‘Deconstructing stereotypes’: The cult witch movie you need to watch on Halloween

Jennifer McShane

The quilted jacket is the staple to see you through winter
The quilted jacket is the staple to see you through winter

Holly O'Neill

This picturesque Victorian Bray home is on the market for €975,000
This picturesque Victorian Bray home is on the market for €975,000

Megan Burns

Sunday Service: There’s a new free self-care series made by women, for women
Sunday Service: There’s a new free self-care series made by women, for women

Sarah Finnan

‘A botanical paradise with spectacular views’: The hotel you need to visit on your next trip to Cork
‘A botanical paradise with spectacular views’: The hotel you need to visit on your next...

Shayna Sappington

‘I’m an obstetrician who became pregnant with twins via an egg donor. This month they turn 5’
‘I’m an obstetrician who became pregnant with twins via an egg donor. This month they...

Amanda Cassidy

Image / Editorial

How to extinguish burnout before it takes over your life


by Colette Sexton
12th Mar 2019
How to extinguish burnout before it takes over your life

Colette Sexton, news correspondent at The Sunday Business Post, on how to tackle work burnout before it harms your professional and personal life.

Workaholism is seen as a badge of honour by many these days. More often than not we describe ourselves not by our hobbies and interests but by our jobs. That kind of society can cause us to put pressure to value work above all else, including relationships. How often have you cancelled plans with family and friends to get just a bit more work done? While this can be unavoidable at times, it should not be a frequent occurrence. The more of yourself you pour into your work, the more likely you are to experience burnout.

The American Psychological Association’s David Ballard describes job burnout as “an extended period of time where someone experiences exhaustion and a lack of interest in things, resulting in a decline in their job performance”. Signs of burnout include feeling unmotivated, under-appreciated, emotionally drained, alienated by colleagues and bosses, exhausted, and cynical.

While burnout has always been a problem, it is thought to be getting worse. Research from University of Kansas professor of journalism Scott Reinardy in 2015 showed that female journalists are experiencing more job burnout and more intend to leave the field or are uncertain about their futures than their male counterparts. The survey of more than 1,600 journalists, including more than 500 women, found the trend of women experiencing burnout and intending to leave the field is increasing in comparison to his 2009 study. The 2015 study showed 67 per cent of women either intended to leave journalism or were uncertain about their future compared with 62 per cent in 2009 and 55 per cent of men in the 2015 study. And it’s not just journalists. Burnout is a frequent mental health problem among physicians, especially among clinicians in surgery in Germany, according to research published in The International Journal for Quality in Health Care.

While in the middle of a burnout, you will not be able to function normally, personally or professionally, and it also has several serious health side-effects. These include fatigue, depression, substance abuse, vulnerability to illnesses and anxiety.

Avoiding burnout is key, and there are several ways to protect yourself against it. Firstly, take breaks – whether that is a long lunch, a mental health day or even a 10-minute walk to recharge and make sure to take your holidays. Some 52 per cent of employees in US reported having unused vacation days at the end of 2017, according to Project Time Off from the US Travel Association. No-one will thank you for not taking your time off. Even Gay Byrne, one of the most successful people in Irish media, has said his biggest regret was giving so much time to RTE.

Secondly, if you’re feeling overwhelmed and overworked, it is worth talking to your boss or a trusted mentor about your feelings. You can also check if your employer provides Employee Assistance Programmes which offers confidential counselling and guidance for employees. If you need some time off, then talk to your doctor and your employer. A Finnish study in the Journal of Psychosomatic Research in 2008 found that men experiencing burnout were more likely to take extended sick leave than women. It is not a sign of weakness – it is a sign of strength to acknowledge the problem and deal with it before it takes over your life.

Finally, make sure to have a life outside work. Get a hobby, do some exercise, meet your friends and make sure to get at least seven to eight hours of sleep a night. Taking this steps will not only improve your professional life, your personal life will benefit too.

Also Read

How to extinguish burnout before it takes over your life
premium EDITORIAL
Business Club members get your complimentary tickets to The IMAGE Business Summit 2021

Don’t miss this year’s IMAGE Business Summit, with an expert line-up, skills masterclasses, keynote addresses and more.Back by popular demand,...

By Shayna Sappington

How to extinguish burnout before it takes over your life
AGENDA, EDITORIAL
No, the Olympics haven’t given athletes ‘anti-sex’ cardboard beds

Despite some media coverage, the beds are actually focused on sustainability as opposed to intimacy restrictions. Recently, distance runner Paul...

By Jennifer McShane

How to extinguish burnout before it takes over your life
EDITORIAL
8 easy ways to keep your brain healthy that you can do right now

Your brain health is just as important as that of the rest of your body, says psychologist and neuroscientist Dr...

By IMAGE

How to extinguish burnout before it takes over your life
EDITORIAL
How to let go of toxic people, and the signs to recognise

By Niamh Ennis

How to extinguish burnout before it takes over your life
EDITORIAL
This spatchcock chicken recipe will make your weekend

This is a great way to get a juicy roast chicken, bursting with flavour.     Bord Bia’s Spatchcock Chicken...

By Meg Walker

How to extinguish burnout before it takes over your life
EDITORIAL
How to limit drips and brush strokes while painting kitchen cabinets

Painting kitchen cabinets can be transformative and can be achieved relatively low-cost, but you need the right equipment, and a lot of...

By Amanda Kavanagh

How to extinguish burnout before it takes over your life
EDITORIAL
5 houseplants we guarantee you can keep alive

For those who buy houseplants with the best of intentions and end up killing them, here’s a selection you’ll be...

By Hannah Hillyer