In the international classification of diseases, emotional burnout syndrome is referred to as “problems associated with the difficulties of managing one’s own life.” The term “burn-out” in 1974 was introduced by the American psychologist George X. Freidenberg. He interpreted it as “the extinction of motivation and a decrease in activity in the workplace” and believed that he was exposed to specialists working in crisis centers and psychiatric clinics. Later it became clear that the state of burnout is observed in all professions, presupposing constant, close communication “man-man”.
Burnout syndrome is a consequence of prolonged stress experienced in the workplace, as a result of which negative emotions are accumulated inside and can not be expressed. It arises as a result of the stress of the body’s resources (for example, when entering a new job) and is in fact a way to protect the body from overwork, partially or completely “turning off” emotions.
The main symptoms of the syndrome are:
• physical fatigue, fatigue, exhaustion,
• lack of sleep, insomnia,
• impaired well-being (nausea, dizziness, excessive sweating, increased blood pressure, ulcers and inflammatory skin diseases)
• scant emotional life, indifference, apathy, feeling of loneliness, decreased interest in life,
• irritability, pessimism, aggressiveness, suspicion,
• personal detachment from work, falling interest in new theories and ideas, alternative approaches to problem solving.
Do not confuse “burnout syndrome” with “chronic fatigue syndrome”. “Chronic fatigue does not weaken the desire to work, whereas in the burnout syndrome the very purpose of the work fades, the meaning of activity is lost. Chronic fatigue can become one of the first symptoms of the syndrome, “comments Lyudmila Yurganova, a psychologist, consultant on family problems of the Insight Clinic.
Speaking about the category of people exposed to the syndrome of emotional burnout, the psychotherapist of the European registry, the head of the PPL Consultation Institute Natalia Gulina identifies people whose values are in a mess.
For example, when a person seeks to earn as much money as possible and equates it to his success in life, he embarks on the path of emotional burnout. Lack of long-term goals, inability to switch also contributes to the development of the syndrome.
At the same time, when a person understands what and what he is doing, knows how to set long-term goals and look forward, he gets an opportunity to assess the consequences of his way of life and learn how to effectively allocate time and treat rest and relaxation as the main components of his professionalism.
In addition, the risk group includes employees who:
• by service, have to communicate a lot and intensively with different people (managers, sales managers, medical and social workers, consultants, teachers). “Burnout” comes especially quickly if the individual psychological characteristics of the employee do not agree with the professional requirements of the profession: calmness, shyness, a tendency to isolation and concentration on the subject of professional activity;
• experience internal conflict in connection with work. Often these are women, torn between work and family, who have chosen a “male” profession and are forced to constantly prove their professionalism;
• live in a large megalopolis in conditions of imposed communication and interaction with a large number of strangers in public places.
Adds the chance to “burn out” the general situation in the workplace: stuffy rooms, the inability to hide from the all-seeing eye of the authorities, overload, constant rush or constant monotony, conflicts with the boss or colleagues, lack of prospects for promotion.
What if you find yourself experiencing these burnout symptoms? Natalia Gulina believes that first of all it is necessary to stop and ask yourself the question: what will happen to me at this rate of work in a week, month, year? When we honestly answer this question, we understand that we need to understand how we live. And this means to make all spheres of your life complete: fill it with emotionally rich interaction with relatives and friends, include rest, allocate time for relaxation. Make life a life, not a survival – learn to correctly allocate time, recover, maintain health and overall activity.
Therefore, do not hurry to leave for vacation or change work – these measures, of course, are effective, but they do not solve the problem, but only postpone for a while.
If you have found signs of burnout syndrome, we recommend the following:
1. Decide on your goals and desires. Work should bring you not only money, but also a sense of self-fulfillment and pleasure.
2. Be yourself in the work – do not strive to meet the requirements that are alien to your personality, but find the activity that is ideal for you. Be careful and considerate of yourself!
3. Work to live, not vice versa.Make your personal and family life bright and full, communicate with friends, go to nature, do hobbies and sports, plunging completely into these activities.
4. Switch! Do pauses in the work day, when you can leave thoughts about work and in a relaxed atmosphere to have tea and chat with colleagues. Leaving the workplace, do not take work with you home in a bag or in your head.
5. Study in your work as less as possible to “join” the client, patient, student, etc., get involved in his emotional state to the extent that it is really necessary.
These simple advice are just the first steps to establishing a balance between life and work. And the phrase “the best treatment is prevention” is very appropriate here. Today, arrange a walk with friends or family or read your favorite book – understand that this is no less important part of your life.