How to recognize the signs of burnout — and take action

February 28, 2019
Here are five signs that it’s time to address your stress.

Stress affects everyone, and while not all stress is bad, severe or chronic stress can be overwhelming and may contribute to health conditions such as high blood pressure and digestive issues. Before you push yourself to the point of burning out, here are five signs that it’s time to address your stress.

  1. You have trouble focusing. When you take on too much, you can’t give any one task or project the full attention it deserves. Avoid the temptation to overcommit, and don’t be afraid to ask for help when you need it.
  2. You’re neglecting your personal relationships. Have you missed a school event, family dinner, or friend’s birthday party because you’re too busy with work? It’s normal for your work life to impact your personal life, and vice versa, but if your loved ones are constantly taking a back seat to your work, it’s time to reassess your work/life balance.
  3. Your health is suffering. Stress and overwork can take a toll on your body, leading to problems such as headaches, digestive issues, chronic pain, insomnia, and high blood pressure. To help alleviate stress, start by identifying what’s causing it; then create an action plan to address the problem, and see your doctor about any health concerns.
  4. You’re irritable. If you’re lashing out at those around you, it could be a sign you’re on overload. If you feel you’re about to lose your temper, pause and take a deep breath before you react. To improve your mood, make it a point to take a break during the day and go for a walk or do something you enjoy.
  5. You’re running on empty. Sleep and a proper diet are essential to health and well-being. When you take time to rest and refuel, you’ll be more likely to feel more energized and focused.

If you have medical coverage through the Board of Pensions, a new Call to Health* challenge starting March 4, Combat Burnout by Setting Boundaries, can help you learn how to develop healthy working relationships. The Employee Assistance Program (EAP)* also provides support to help you prevent burnout through free online resources, unlimited no-cost telephone consultations, and up to six free face-to-face visits.

*Call to Health and the EAP are available to employees and their spouses with medical coverage through the Board of Pensions; these benefits are not available to members enrolled in Triple-S, GeoBlue, or the Medicare Supplement Plan.