What is your risk to burn out?

Burnout is what is also known as professional exhaustion syndrome. Burnout occurs as a result of long-term stressful situations in the workplace. In general, this feeling of anxiety at work occurs when your job requires an intense personal commitment. Indeed, it requires a lot of physical and mental energy, and it is a difficult rhythm to maintain in the long term. It is sometimes difficult to detect as such, since there is no particular event that has triggered this malaise, but a long period of anxiety. But even in your own home, you can experience this same state of unhappiness.

1. Burnout is not depression

First of all, we must not confuse burnout and depression. Indeed, if sometimes we can feel the same apathy in front of certain situations, they do not have the same causes. Burnout can cause certain symptoms of depression (desire to do nothing more, chronic fatigue, loss of motivation, etc.). However, these symptoms generally appear following professional overwork. Consequently, this leads to a loss of desire to work or to go to work. In addition, the lack of social and relational activities can also lead to a burn out.

2. What are the signs of burnout?

The signs of burnout are both physical and psychological. Generally, physical symptoms appear, and we can confuse them with fatigue or a small temporary illness

First of all, physically, we can be tired all day long, in spite of decent hours of sleep, sleep disorders (insomnia, night wakings…), digestive disorders (stomach aches, bloating etc.) with a loss of appetite, and a tendency to get sick more easily. Moreover, you feel pain in your back, lumbar region or in your joints. Finally, you will tend to have more cramps

On the other hand, we may find that we are more easily irritated. We feel that we are losing the meaning of our work or our life. Or we may feel anxious and stressed about all situations, even those that we didn’t previously feel anxious about. In addition, we may also feel overwhelmed by events or work. We are unmotivated, and hermetic to all proposed activities, almost apathetic. Thus, we may tend to isolate ourselves, to become more unpleasant or less warm with others. 

It is also possible to feel frustration or a loss of meaning in your professional or personal life. 

Even if the physical symptoms diminish, it does not necessarily mean that you are better and no longer suffering from burnout.

3. What are the consequences of burnout?

In the long run, burnout can have consequences in different areas of your life. 

Indeed, it is possible that we become more and more irritable with our entourage and create an emotional detachment towards our loved ones. That you don’t feel like doing anything, staying at home. Thus, even at home, you start to feel a malaise that makes you suffer. Moreover, you can have auto-aggressive behaviors, by trying to make you evil and to make you violence. Know that this pain is not necessarily physical. 

In addition, this feeling of frustration can lead to eating disorders. Indeed, you may see your appetite diminish little by little, and your body may become the center of your preoccupation, which must not grow bigger. On the other hand, it may be that in order to fill all the emptiness and pain that you experience on a daily basis, you fill yourself up as much as possible. For example, you have hyperphagic fits and you eat even if you do not feel hungry.

In addition, you may be tempted to use substances (alcohol, drugs, tobacco, medication) until you become dependent on them. This consumption will allow you to anaesthetize your pain in a temporary way but it will only lead you into a dynamic in which it is even more difficult to leave. 

To conclude, burn out increases the risk of depression, obesity, cardiovascular diseases, gastrointestinal pathologies, diabetes, etc.

4. What is the difference between burn-out, bore-out and brown-out?

As we have seen, burnout is a professional exhaustion due to too much pressure or too much work intensity over a long period. 

Boredom is the fact of being bored at work and this creates exhaustion and a decrease in personal and professional fulfillment. In this context, there is a great questioning about the meaning of life. 

Brown out is the fact of feeling a lack of meaning in the work done, and creating a lassitude in the professional environment. We can see a strong disengagement from the position held in these cases.

5. How to prevent burnout?

First, pay close attention to the warning signs. Don’t let your work, feelings and emotions overwhelm you. Listen to yourself! 

When you start to feel chronically and intensely tired, especially on work days. But also when you feel a particular dislike for your job or your company, it is possible that you are starting to enter a burn out. Thus, you will see your efficiency at work decrease as well and you feel less focused, or you start to forget more and more things. In addition, you often feel sad, without necessarily knowing why.

6. What treatment for burnout?

It is important to take care of it as soon as possible. There are several stages of burnout and the earlier you take care of it, the less symptoms and discomfort you will experience. 

In order to get rid of the pain, it is possible to stop working if your stage is too advanced. In any case, a therapeutic follow-up is necessary in order to reduce and eliminate the symptoms of burn out. Indeed, the therapist will allow you to regain self-confidence, to find the desire to do professional activities again. Furthermore, the consultations will allow you to return to work, which must be prepared. An unprepared return to work will increase the risk of relapse.

7. Does personal burnout exist?

Personal burn out is a difficulty in managing one’s daily life in one’s private life and in managing one’s home and personal life tasks. For example, we can be overwhelmed by administrative tasks, children, the house… Sometimes, family responsibilities are too difficult and too numerous, and our body and mind cannot keep up. It is possible that it is the repetition of tasks that exhausts you. However, it is important to be able to communicate with your family, and to organize, through a schedule, all family tasks. Divide the tasks among the different members of your family. Remember to take time for yourself and do an activity, regularly, that you enjoy and that makes you feel good. 

Burnout in your relationship can manifest itself in the same way. Indeed, you may be psychologically tired of your love relationship. This is because there is too much dissonance and it causes the same symptoms as professional burnout. But this does not mean that your relationship is doomed to failure. Therapy can help you understand yourself, your expectations in your relationship, and how to get back in tune with your partner.

8. What solution?

It is important not to let unhappiness and burnout grow within us. Even if it seems weak and we find alternative solutions, burn out can take over and completely ruin your life. The more you let this feeling get to you, the harder it will be to get out.

Virtual Reality Exposure Therapy (VRET) allows you to work on different aspects, whether they are of substance (feelings of anxiety or inefficiency for example), or of form with solutions and tools to return to work in a more serene way, and to learn to listen to your needs.

Virtual reality therapies allow you to appropriate physiological sensations and to accept that you can feel certain sensations. They will increase your self-confidence, your self-esteem and will help you manage your emotions.

You progress according to its temporality and are followed in your progression. You are always accompanied, supported and listened to. In this way, you will be able to serenely find your way back to serenity and you will leave behind you these obstacles that may have spoiled your daily life.