Working Burnt Out Is Not The Only Option

April 8, 2007 by  
Filed under STRESS

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By Mari Taylor

For weeks David had been plagued by aching muscles, loss of appetite, restless sleep, and a complete sense of exhaustion. At first he tried to ignore these problems, but eventually he became so short-tempered and irritable that his wife insisted he get a checkup. Now, sitting in the doctor’s office and wondering what the verdict would be, he didn’t even notice when Theresa took the seat beside him. They had been good friends when she worked in the front office at the plant, but he hadn’t seen her since she left three years ago to take a job as a customer service representative. Her gentle poke in the ribs brought him around, and within minutes they were talking and gossiping as if she had never left. “You got out just in time,” he told her. “Since the reorganization, nobody feels safe. It used to be that as long as you did your work, you had a job. That’s not for sure anymore. They expect the same production rates even though two guys are now doing the work of three. We’re so backed up I’m working twelve-hour shifts six days a week. I swear I hear those machines humming in my sleep. Guys are calling in sick just to get a break. Morale is so bad they’re talking about bringing in some consultants to figure out a better way to get the job done.”

“Well, I really miss you guys,” she said. “I’m afraid I jumped from the frying pan into the fire. In my new job, the computer routes the calls and they never stop. I even have to schedule my bathroom breaks. All I hear the whole day are complaints from unhappy customers. I try to be helpful and sympathetic, but I can’t promise anything without getting my boss’s approval. Most of the time I’m caught between what the customers wants and company policy. I’m not sure who I’m supposed to keep happy. The other reps are so uptight and tense they don’t even talk to one another. We all go to our own little cubicles and stay there until quitting time. To make matters worse, my mother’s health is deteriorating. If only I could use some of my sick time to look after her. No wonder I’m in here with migraine headaches and high blood pressure. A lot of the reps are seeing the employee assistance counselor and taking stress management classes, which seems to help. But sooner or later, someone will have to make some changes in the way the place is run.”

Thousands of Americans are suffering from work burnout. Burnout is an exhaustion of physical or emotional strength or motivation usually as a result of prolonged stress or frustration. Job burnout leaves you feeling powerless, hopeless, fatigued mentally and emotionally drained and frustrated. This can cause migraines, affect your immune system, cause digestive disorders, heart disease, strokes, high blood pressure and emotional distress. Burnout can also develop into Dysthymic Disorder.

Burnout is defiantly not an excuse to get out of work, but it is a real serious health condition in America today and becoming worse. Many Americans are reaching burnout levels coping with the tremendous stress of their jobs. Massive growing layoffs cooperate down sizing, pay cuts and growing work hours, resulting in employees now handling the work load of two or more employees. High job demands and being unnerved by a supervisor or co-worker can put a great deal of stress as well as being belittling. This taking a toll on the employees confidence and self esteem. Making them feel inadequate. Emotional demands and job work load demands are also both contributors to burnout. If this continues stress and burnout is going to keep growing and Americans are going to become distressed. To many responsibilities from taking on to much work load is where distress starts. It is very much known that these levels of stress can cause hypertension, heart attacks and many other physical ailments as I stated above. Burnout and work related stress is the most common health problem attributed to employees working long hours and taking on high work loads.

Professionals in careers that are fatiguing, afflictive and dispiriting seem more reluctant to recognize the symptoms of burnout. The pressure of career ensures the joy and happiness of life remains out of arms length, giving a sense of happiness that can no longer be reached. Realizing your reaching burnout levels is difficult. Employees who are the most stressed and burnt out don’t realize there is a problem.

American working class have the least amount of vacation time from there jobs then any other equally developed work society. Most people on vacation will check in with there job or come back to work early from vacation. A high percentage will bring their work home with them mentally as well as bringing home work projects to work on. This not only limits the employees time away from work but it also takes time away from families, resulting in the family members feeling ignored and isolated, not appreciated and they feel a sense of distress. Per a survey by Northern National Life, 40% of workers say there job is extremely or very stressful. A quarter of employees view there job as there number one stress factor in there life. Per Princeton Survey Research Association, three quarters of employees believe there work has more on the job stress now, then there was generations ago.

They’re some early warning signs to watch for and recognize, becoming very irritable with family and co-workers. Work attendance starts falling; you no longer have a desire to be at work. You have no motivation or sense of achievements. You lose relationships with co-workers you disassociate yourself from work functions. You’re beginning to feel physically sick, experiencing symptoms I stated previously. If you begin to experience any of these symptoms it is time to make some changes in your life, and or your job.

Relieving stress and burnout can be a long ongoing process. Some traditional methods to easing stress and burn out are making sure you get plenty of sleep, being well rested. Exercise is good for the mind not just the body. Exercise is a way for the body to release tension and pent up frustration, a good cardiovascular workout is great for the mind not just the body. A nice calming walk is a great way of exercise as well as relaxing and can be a sense of meditation, a nice walk in nature is a great way to bring peaceful thoughts to your mind. Yoga, Meditation and Tai Chi are also great mind and body stress reducing and relaxation exercises. Some companies have developed stress management programs for there employees. But is it working? A lot of employees are beginning to telecommute. It’s cost effective for the company, but for an employee who gains freedom from the office it can still be stressful, due to work load and time sensitive deadlines. Home based businesses are one of the fastest growing business sectors in America. With the right one it can be non-stressful, and a time freedom opportunity. This gives you back your life, family time, restoring happiness and your sense self worth. Substantial incomes can be generated with the newer home based business models. When a home based business option is chosen to provide the better quality of life one may dream of it is imperative to select a home business that will not become a home based stressful job.

© Copyright 2006 Mari Taylor all rights reserved
Information about the Author:
Mari Taylor runs, just one of the successful home business opportunities of Ritz-Taylor & Associates, Inc., where she is a Co-owner. Mari takes a leadership role when assisting entrepreneurs with home based business start-up, marketing, growth, and profits.

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2 Responses to “Working Burnt Out Is Not The Only Option”
  1. Thanks for the comment Pam!

    I’m sure the author Mari Taylor would be glad to read that .. I liked the article too ..

    AND PS: Your Weasels look cute .. if you were interested in guest authoring a good Weasel Story over at .. let me know hart (at) PetLvr (dot) com

    // HART

  2. Pam says:

    This is one of the best articles on work stess and burnout that I’ve read. Great job describing the phenomenon and pointing out the importance of making changes.

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