No one is exempted from stress. Every single person you see is stressed out by something. Psychologists define stress as a reaction to a stimulus that triggers a “fight-or-flight” response, releasing adrenaline throughout your body. That’s why small things can stress you out such as traffic or watching a close game. It’s your body’s way of reacting to a certain situation. However, chronic stress is another story. It can wear you down physically, mentally, and emotionally. Burnout is a result of chronic stress. It doesn’t happen overnight. It’s a result of long-term, accumulated stress that suddenly prevents you from performing normally. It causes exhaustion and lack of interest in what you do. Work-related stress and burnout are serious conditions that need to be addressed immediately. You can’t keep on ignoring it especially if it’s starting to affect your job and your relationships. If you’re experiencing any of these red flags then it’s time to step back and slow down before things get out of hand.
1. You’ve neglected your health.
Are you a frequent visitor in your company clinic? Do you experience unexplainable sluggishness to the point where you’re almost dragging yourself to work? Are you showing some teenage acne and skin dryness even if you’re perfectly sheltered in an air-conditioned office? Do you often have headaches or flu-like symptoms? All these are the result of your immune system going down. Stress and lack of sleep makes you vulnerable to getting sick. When your health is compromised it also prevents you from working at a high level. Don’t spread yourself too thin because you’re not doing yourself or your company any favors by doing so.
2. Your fuse is getting shorter and shorter.
Have you been the Ebenezer Scrooge of your company lately? Seeing nothing but pessimism and saying nothing but “Humbug!” (or something similar) in your head? Being unusually irritable and cranky is another sign that stress is getting to you. Burnout is literally consuming your fuse, making you impatient over the littlest things. When you find yourself making a big deal over minor issues and lashing out at people, it’s time to go home at exactly 5:00 pm or better yet take a long weekend off.
3. You’ve stopped doing what you love.
Passion is a powerful emotion that drives you to do the things you love. May it be a sport or a hobby, there’s something you’re passionate about. You don’t even mind doing it repeatedly because you enjoy it! It’s something you used to make time for but now you suddenly stopped doing it because of work. You’ve allowed your job to take over your “ME” time, leaving you drained and empty. There’s a reason why work-life balance is advocated by companies—you need to have a life outside of work.
4. You can’t keep track of your commitments.
Overlapping commitments and being late for appointments are signs that you have absolutely no control of your day. This is what burnout does to you. It diminishes your ability to think clearly and be organized. Psychologists even define it as a chronic state of being out of sync in the different areas of your life. On a normal day, you need to be able to know what you need to do without rushing from one commitment to another. There is a huge difference between a disorganized desk and a disorganized life. We’re sure you wouldn’t want to fall into the latter category.
5. You have no time for yourself and your loved ones.
Working overtime to get that promotion while missing family dinners is like giving your best performance in an empty theater. No one’s really there to cheer for you. Your loved ones usually take the brunt of your stressful work. Have you ever had that moment when you’re there but you’re not really there? Your mind is preoccupied with things to do that you don’t even understand what your kids are saying? You promised you’ll be there or you’ll catch up but you didn’t make it, yet again. You don’t even have time to hang out with your friends outside of work! Now that’s burnout slowly engulfing you and your home from top to bottom.
There is nothing wrong with slowing down and taking a break. In fact, the fuller you are from within, the more you can give your best in your job. So what fills your bucket? Watching movies, reading a book, engaging in sports, date nights, family getaways—anything that keeps your mind off the stresses of work—do those things. Sometimes it could be something as simple as an unhurried meal or eight hours of sleep. You owe it to yourself to slow down. Do you know that stress can be managed and burnout can be prevented? The answer to that can be found in the word stress itself. Yup, it’s REST. Remember that you call the shots when it comes to your body. So give yourself the chance to relax, rejuvenate, and rest. It’s not only worth it but you also deserve it.
About Pepper Virtual Assistants
Pepper Virtual Assistant Services is a business solutions firm that specializes on administrative assistance, customer support, CRM, copywriting, and personal virtual assistance. We take pride in our reliable service and responsive client handling which embodies our team’s optimal performance.