You can't always control your work environment—sharing space with certain people and long task lists can leave you mentally and physically exhausted. Sometimes, the paycheck doesn't feel worth the headache.
Normal day-to-day stress is one thing; feeling on the brink of a burnout is quite another.
Job burnout is real. Multiple chronic stressors over an extended period can leave you feeling drained and unable to perform at your best. Overwhelming feelings and unchecked tensions can wreak havoc on job performance, health, happiness and relationships.
Here are five signs you're headed for a burnout and tips on how to rectify the situation, courtesy of 13 On Your Side Health Reporter Valerie Lego.
A clear sign you're falling into burnout? You feel tired. All. The. Time. Exhaustion can be physical, emotional and mental. Feeling completely spent after a day's work isn't ideal.
If you need time away from your desk or a mental break?
"Go for it," Lego said. "Take time out to decompress, to rest. That way, you can look at your work with a new focus."
2. Easily Overwhelmed
There will always be overwhelming days, with more things to do than hours and heightened anxious feelings—even dread. But when your normal everyday duties send you into a near spiral, you're probably close to burning out. This is when Lego advises prioritizing. Ask yourself, "What needs to get done first? What's the most pressing?" and start there.
"If you need to say 'no' to certain projects when you start feeling overloaded, that's OK," Lego said. "You're allowed to say no."
3. Feeling Stuck
Feelings of stagnation signal feeling burnt out in your position. This is when it may be time to grow. "If you're feeling stuck, it's time to give yourself a new experience," Lego suggests. Stress and burnt-out feelings thrive on silence and inaction; speak up and make moves to pull you out of that rut you feel stuck in.
4. Cramped and Cluttered
Sometimes, feeling stuck is rooted in how your work space looks. If you work in a cluttered or cramped space, try some organizing to clear out the burnout. "Changing your desk around and cleaning up your work space can help you feel grounded," Lego said.
Working in a dirty and cluttered workspace could keep your mind cluttered and, left long enough, make it hard to work. "Find little things for your desk and workday that you can rely on for a little pick-me-up. It'll give your mind a break and can reset your focus."
5. Your Needs Are Neglected
Being selfless is good. Neglecting your mental and physical well-being for the sake of others is not. If you have a tough time keeping up with healthy habits—exercise, diet, regular sleep—you're burnt out. Add lack of interest in your normal social activities and seeing friends and family, and it's a recipe for disaster.
This, Lego notes, is when you need to put yourself first. Step away from your work space. That may mean a stress break or day off, to do the things you enjoy. It's important to engage in self-loving activities in time away from your job and find balance.
"Pamper yourself, if that's what it takes. Go home after a rough day and just sit under a heated blanket and watch a couple episodes of your favorite show. Go get a pedicure or go on a hike."
It's easy to fall into feeling you must outwork the next person. And it's natural to want to make a good impression on your boss. But not at the sake of your mental, emotional, or physical health and well-being.
April Simone Stevens is a Grand Valley State University alumna and beauty blogger who enjoys dabbling in graphic design and video production. Residing outside of Grand Rapids, April Simone enjoys beer tasting, delicious food and visiting Grand Rapids Art Museum as often as possible. Follow her on Instagram at @spotlightvanity for updates.