Is your job sucking the life out of you? If so, you’re not alone. Job burnout appears to be an epidemic, so much so that The World Health Organization now recognizes burnout as an occupational phenomenon (1) — yes, it’s that big of an issue and something we absolutely have to talk about as it relates to our overall energy levels.
It’s easy to just write off feeling tired as the norm. Understanding more about the causes of low energy can help you lead a healthier life but we also wanted to outline specifically what job burnout is, how to spot job burnout, and why job burnout may be an underlying cause of fatigue. Plus, we’re sharing some simple hacks to help support energy levels if job burnout is something that’s affecting you.
What is Occupational Burnout?
The World Health Organization defines occupational burnout as “a syndrome conceptualized as resulting from chronic workplace stress that has not been successfully managed.” (2)
They characterize it by three different dimensions, including: (3)
- Energy depletion or exhaustion
- Having an increase in mental distance from work or feeling negative towards your job
- Noticing a reduction in professional efficacy
Why Does Job Burnout Occur?
Feel like you may be dealing with poor energy levels due to occupational work stress? What we know based on the World Health Organization’s definition of occupational burnout, is that this time of stress can absolutely cause energy depletion and even exhaustion.
This is where self-care, nutrition, and living a healthy lifestyle comes into play. In order to support the body during times of increased stress, we have to fuel it with what it needs as a way to help prevent a state of total burnout.
The Risks of Ignoring job Burnout
If you are dealing with job burnout, it’s essential to speak with your doctor as it can interfere with other aspects of your health, such as sleep habits and overall mental wellness. So, if you suspect that it’s something that’s affecting you, always speak with your doctor first.
According to the Mayo Clinic, Ignoring occupational burnout can also increase the risk of: (5)
- High blood pressure
- Heart disease
- Type 2 diabetes
- Increased risk of illness
- Substance misuse
So, while we all have some level of work-related stress, having these stress levels get to a point where our energy levels are totally depleted can put us at risk for some serious health consequences.
How to Fix Job Burnout and Take Action to Support Your Health & Energy Levels
Ready to combat work stress? In addition to speaking with your doctor about your options, taking care of yourself is key.
You might want to take a look at some other things that could be causing you reduced energy levels but when it comes to job burnout, here are some daily habits that aren’t only important when dealing with work stress, but as a daily practice to support energy levels and optimal health.
#1 Develop a Regular Exercise Schedule
Exercise does more than just support a healthy weight, it’s a key part of keeping our stress levels in check too. If you are dealing with work stress that may be causing your energy levels to be much lower than you would like, consider adding more movement into your day.
The Anxiety and Depression Association of American talks about how, when stress affects our brain, the rest of our body feels the impact of that stress as well. But, when we are able to get our body feeling a bit better, then our minds will as well. (6) This is huge when talking about the effect of work-related stress and energy levels. And, studies suggest that exercise may help combat fatigue, while also improving cognitive function.
The bottom line is that the research suggests that regular exercise may be extremely beneficial for all of us dealing with stress and may be a key player in helping us improve those energy levels.
And, the good news is that you don’t have to go to the gym for an entire hour to feel the effects. Just five minutes of aerobic exercise has been shown to trigger some anti-anxiety effects. (7) So, if you only have fifteen minutes to fit in a quick walk, go for it — there’s nothing to lose.
#2 Prioritize Sleep
We can’t talk about energy without talking about sleep. If your job is causing energy depletion, there’s an even bigger reason to make sure that you are making sleep a priority. Sleep is when the body is able to rest and restore, so it’s an essential part of self-care.
#3 Find Time to Relax (Daily)
Relaxation is important every single day, but when you are dealing with work burnout, it’s even more important to make sure that you are scheduling in time to just relax. Even if you only have an extra 20 minutes each day, do one thing that helps you unwind and relax.
Deep breathing is also helpful — when you find yourself tensing up at work, stop and take a few deep breaths before returning to your task.
#4 Practice Mindfulness
Practicing mindfulness may prove to be a valuable tool not only at work but in many other aspects of life. All it involves is being in the present moment, aware of what’s going on around you, and taking in how you are feeling in that exact moment without any judgment.
Just practice being still when you are sitting at your desk at work and just take notice of what’s going on in your surroundings. Practice some deep breathing here and just be present. It can be a powerful tool to just be still even among the chaos of daily life and may be an amazing tool when dealing with the stress work throws your way.
#5 Skip the Caffeine
While drinking coffee may seem like a good way to boost your energy levels, too much isn’t a good thing. And, during times of stress, it may be the last thing you want to be reaching for.
A study found that caffeine increased the stress hormones cortisol and epinephrine, and increased blood pressure. (8) When dealing with chronic work-related stress, that’s the last thing we want to do.
Instead of relying on caffeinated beverages for energy, focus on living a healthy lifestyle where you get enough sleep, exercise, and eat well, in addition to considering some natural energy-boosters that may also help promote an overall sense of calm like Holy Basil tea. (9)
You’ll also want to watch out for stimulating supplements that contain caffeine that may make your stress levels worse.
Instead, consider natural energy supplements without caffeine like:
- TruMIND Decaffeinated, designed to help promote memory and cognition.
- TruRELAXX, designed to help protect the body from stress, calm the mind, and provide daily adrenal support.
Some key ingredients found in natural energy supplements like TruRELAXX, include:
- Ashwagandha: Studies suggest that ashwagandha may help improve resistance towards stress and thus support a better quality of life. (10) Not only that, but when we are better able to handle stress, we may find our energy levels start to improve. Ashwagandha is commonly found in natural supplements for energy and mood, but this adaptogenic herb is found in combination with other powerful herbs, vitamins, minerals, and amino acids that all work synergistically together in TruSigma’s TruRELAXX blend.
- Holy Basil: Holy Basil is another one of those amazing natural energy supplements that studies suggest has a positive effect on stress and cognitive function. When we aren’t depleted due to chronic stress, we may find our energy levels start to improve. (11)
- St. John’s Wort Extract: Studies suggest that Saint John’s Wort may help manage stress and mood (12, 13).
Occupational Burnout is Real: Don’t Ignore It
If you suspect that you may be dealing with work burnout and it’s taking a toll on your energy levels, don’t ignore it. With more attention being brought to this widespread issue, the more it is being accepted and recognized as something that we need to be taking seriously.
Always speak with your doctor about your concerns about occupational burnout. And, remember that it’s never too late to start taking care of you.