What to do when burnout comes?


In this current semester, my workload are unusually high. In the last three months I often work from early morning and finished late night. I teach so many classes (On average, I teach 10 classes a week. In one particular busy week I had to teach 20 of them!). I also do two research project and have to supervises ten students. Some of them are ‘unique’ so I have to gave them more attention.

At the first month of the semester, I was fine. I am able to cope with all the job. However, in the past week, I found something wrong with my body and mind. I, strangely, don’t really care anymore about some of my job. I was very tired and sleep is not enough to vanquish it. I found my creativity dropped and my concentration is worse than ever. So, I decided to find out what is wrong with me on the Internet. And..

I think I am burned out.

Before we talk more about burnout, let we look at some definition of burnout:

Burnout is a psychological term that refers to long-term exhaustion and diminished interest in work. Burnout has been assumed to result from chronic occupational stress (e.g., work overload). – Wikipedia

There are many signs of burnout, some of them are:

  • Negative attitude and thinking
  • Feeling hopeless
  • Lack of concentration
  • Apathy towards your work, chores, and other tasks. Simple case: ignoring your mess and daily routine.
  • Feelings of stagnation.
  • A lack of interest in social activities.
  • Unhealthy eating and exercise habbit.
  • Feeling like you’re never doing enough.
  • Neglecting your own need.
  • Putting the needs of others ahead of your own.
  • Personal values and beliefs lose their importance.
  • Short temper.
  • Constant exhaustion.
  • Feelings of inefficacy.
  • Feelings of detachment from what you care about.
  • Boredom.
  • Psychosomatic complaints, such as headaches, lingering colds, and other issues with a cause that’s difficult to identify.
  • The denial of these feelings. (At least I doesn’t have the last syndrome :mrgreen:. )

So, what you do when you feels like this? Perhaps I will take a little break and reassess my life goals and hang out with my friends and family (I rarely saw them this semester).

Related Links:
LifeHacker: Burnout is Real
Forbes: Signs You are Burning Out
MindTools: Recovering from Burnout

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