Work exhaustion: causes, symptoms and remedies

Do you remember the old days when you didn't work, you went home and forgot about it until the next day?

Baby boomers may have weak memories of such jobs, but for Millennials, Gen X and Gen Z, it's a world that never was. Today, our electronic devices connect us 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, with news, entertainment and social networks, and also with our work.

It is not surprising that earlier this year the World Health Organization listed work exhaustion as an "occupational phenomenon", which manifests itself among workers in three ways:

• Feelings of exhaustion or energy depletion.

• Greater mental distance from one's work, or feelings of negativism or cynicism related to one's work.

• Reduction of professional effectiveness.

Not being able to disconnect is an important factor in experiencing job burnout, says Stephen Christian-Michaels, strategy director at Wesley Family Services, a nonprofit organization that provides behavioral care and therapeutic support services, based in O& # 39 ; Hara.

"To what extent can a person do their job and then let it go?" He asks.

"There is an expectation that you're always on: you hear the beep and you can't let (the phone) lie," he says. "You can't turn off the work clock at home. You have a loss of enthusiasm to the point of not worrying."

Competitive demands

But what happens inside the workplace is also important.

"Many forces can affect the people we work with, the multiple competitive demands in the workplace, in addition to what happens at home," he says. "What is stressful for one person may not be for another."

"Burning is not just being tired. It's a multifaceted problem that requires multifaceted solutions. Simply being tired is relatively easy to rectify. If a long weekend away from work doesn't solve it, then it's probably exhaustion," says Monique DeMarco, a life coach, executive coach, speaker and hypnotherapist based in Aspinwall.

DeMarco says that clients often come to her with these concerns that may indicate exhaustion:

• Lack of control – not having autonomy in making decisions related to their work, not having access to the resources necessary to do their job, constantly changing priorities, financial pressures.

• Workload – feeling chronically overloaded or perpetually late.

• Rewards – feel that work rewards (such as financial payments) do not match the investment they make in the work.

• equity – Feeling that all employees do not receive the same treatment, not being recognized for their contributions.

• mismatched values – differ with an employer about what is important, which leads to a decrease in motivation.

Sometimes, what is happening in the world in general only adds to what is happening at home and at work, says Robin Jennings of the marketing department of Excela Health.

"We are much more confronted these days with the trauma of the world," she says. "He gets his daily dose of news and develops concerns about things he can't control. All those things can be internalized."

Managing stress

According to Jennings, it can be difficult for workers to tell supervisors that they are running out for fear of associated stigma.

To prevent the situation from developing, Excela created a "Unplug and Recharge" program for its employees. The 15-minute sessions are led by registered nurse Betty Minerva, who is also a health coach and certified in comprehensive stress management.

Participants work in mindfulness exercises, which include breathing, body exploration, diffusion of thought, guided imagery and stretching.

"We want to continue developing mindfulness, putting self-care as a priority, to better deal with stress," says Minerva. "When you realize that your head hurts or your shoulders are in your ears, you will have the tools in a toolbox to know where you get stuck in stress." Even in the midst of chaos, you can have more compassion and empathy with yourself and others. ”

Wesley Family Services has also worked to develop "a work environment that supports staff," says Christian-Michaels, especially those in direct care positions, where stress tends to be higher and salaries lower.

One of the approaches is to provide educational opportunities for those workers to qualify for higher paid positions, including certification programs, in-house training and on-site classes.

"We also have some mentoring programs, where other employees come together to teach them the tricks of the trade that a supervisor might not know, to facilitate the job," he says.

Building community

Employers and employees can also work together to eliminate stress, and building a community within the workplace is a good place to start, says DeMarco.

"It is important to create positive connections with coworkers," she says. Something as simple as agreeing to wear Steelers t-shirts and ordering pizza for lunch could be a way to start.

Having a co-worker to share stress and achievements is also good, he says, with a warning: "You don't want to share too much to the point of creating drama."

Jennings says that if more help is needed, that's where an employee assistance program can take over, if one is available.

An EAP, according to the US Personnel Administration Office. UU., "You can provide confidential assessments, short-term counseling, referrals and follow-up services to employees who have personal and / or work problems. EAPs address a broad and complex set of problems that affect mental and emotional well-being, such alcohol and other substance abuse, stress, pain, family problems and psychological disorders. "

Are you out of stock

An affirmative answer to any of these questions could mean that it is directed to exhaustion:

1. Has anyone close to you asked you to reduce your work?

2. In recent months, have you been angry or resentful about your work, colleagues, clients or patients?

3. Do you feel guilty about not spending enough time with friends, family or even yourself?

4. Are you increasingly emotional (crying, getting angry, screaming or feeling tense) for no obvious reason?


10 most stressful jobs

A list of CBS News classifies the following occupations as the most stress inducing. Other lists include emergency medical technicians, doctors, nurses, social workers, teachers, prison guards, fast food workers and retailers.

1. Enlisted military personnel

2. fireman

3. Airline pilot

4. police officer

5. Announcer

6. Event coordinator.

7. News reporter

8. Public Relations Executive

9. Senior corporate executive

10. taxi driver


Shirley McMarlin is a Tribune-Review writer. You can contact Shirley at 724-836-5750, (protected email) or via Twitter.


Daily and weekly TribLIVE email newsletters deliver the news you want and the information you need, directly to your inbox.

More health stories

Add a Comment

==[Click 2x to Close X]==
Most Popular Today!