Stress can be overwhelming enough as it is, especially while you work. It can be hard to concentrate when it comes to dealing with your day-to-day tasks, but after a while, mental burnout can start hitting you out of nowhere. Mental burnout is the cost of caring, unfortunately. It's the result of spending your days thinking about work, what needs to be done, and sometimes even stress outside of work. If you work in a high-stress field, it can feel like those problems and pains are constantly knocking on your door. Mental health professionals and the average worker deal with mentally challenging situations all day long. It happens to us all no matter how much we want to avoid it. We all can experience work fatigue, secondary stresses, and burnout because we are continually exposed to situations that are pretty fast-paced, while more work gets piled onto us.
To deal with mental health as it is while working in a professional world requires an unusual level of courage, empathy, and resilience — which is why so many people tend to change jobs so often in the first place. You may be reading this article as a person with a job that suffers from mental health issues and who has recently reached your limit. Take comfort in knowing that you're not alone in feeling this way. If you're possibly wondering how to work a job that isn't killing you after experiencing too much stress at work, we have some tips for you.
What Is Mental Burnout?
Mental burnout happens way more often than you may realize. You may have even had it happen to you without you realizing it. Mental burnout can happen in any profession where people have to emotionally process intensely negative situations. Burnout is not a diagnosable condition, but a syndrome, which is a group of symptoms that tend to appear in clusters. The three main components of burnout syndrome are emotional exhaustion, feelings of depersonalization, and reduced personal accomplishment. Most people who suffer from burnout tend to feel emotionally drained, both by their daily work and by the general state of the world.
In extreme cases, they may even feel like they're losing touch with reality like they're not themselves anymore. These symptoms may end up being ramped up if you are suffering from a lack of sleep or insomnia.
Why Do Work Professionals Experience Burnout?
To do our jobs we have to be focused on the task, and limit distractions while we work on whatever needs to be done. We prioritize our tasks for the day and try to do our best to hit the ground running. Work professionals with mental health issues have to be willing and able to enter the workspace with an open mind yet be aware that it is possible something can trigger you out of nowhere. Sometimes, people are too overwhelmed or shut down to be able to express their feelings while we work, so mental health issues can be hard to spot in the workplace, even if you are the one suffering. Working with these issues is hard to balance with the tasks of a daily job, but most of the time those who have suffered from it for many years tend to find ways to lower the feeling of anxiety, depression, paranoia, and many things that come with mental burnout.
Strategies for Regaining Your Well-Being
There's no one-size-fits-all solution to protecting your mental health while working in the professional world since everyone is different and adapts to stress in many different ways. There are some strategies that might be useful in your situation that may be completely unhelpful or even harmful to someone else in the same situation. The best thing you can do for yourself is to figure out what works best for you to recognize when you need to take action to protect your mental health. You also want to be aware of others who may be suffering, as your anxiety could be triggering them as well. Here are some suggestions that may help. You will want to make sure you're getting enough sleep – Sleep isn't just a break from your responsibilities — it helps you process and stores away the day's emotions, so you don't have to deal with them all at once. If you lose sleep and try to work with mental burnout on top of it, you will end up losing focus, empathy, and even a willingness to do your work altogether.
If you're getting too little sleep, the emotions you encounter during your day will build up inside you as you go without the rest you need to process them. Get enough time away from work – If you have too little "downtime," you'll never have a chance to process your day and make sense of the emotions you encountered. Make sure you're getting enough time away from work so you can decompress and make sense of the emotions you stored during the day — and make some room for your own emotions, too! Find support at work – Although you shouldn't rely on your coworkers as a substitute for therapy or other self-care strategies, you can build up your support network at work, so you have people to turn to when you need help.
Work professionals deal with mental health issues in every profession there is in the world. Unfortunately, this is a struggle we all wish there was a cure for, especially if you are constantly dealing with it on a daily basis. While there is no magic "cure-all", being aware of yourself, your surroundings, and having a willingness to take a break when needed will be more helpful to you than silently dealing with it.
In addition to this, you will want to take a bit of a step back, relax and find a way to reassess what your next steps will be. Take a weekend to plan out your work week for the following week. Sometimes structure helps us feel less anxious as we are expecting what is coming to us. If you have a job that is draining your mental health, you don't have to quit! You can protect yourself from burnout and make your job more sustainable by taking care of yourself and finding the right support network. Be sure to look into some online resources for support networks in your area.