The talk of burnout is one that’s increased over the last couple of decades as career expectations become too great for most people to handle. With sleep deprivation so prevalent besides, the chances of having meltdowns are seen in headlines of people having very public breakdowns. But have we been misinterpreting exactly what a burnout is? While it’s usually related to doing too much work, the real interpretation of what a burnout is goes much further. A wide line exists between what might be designated stress from what’s considered a real burnout.
Can We Define What a Real Burnout Is?
What many of us don’t realize is that a burnout isn’t necessarily related to having too much stress. Even if stress can bring it on, those who have stress usually can see a light at the end of the tunnel if they can get their life more simplified. When someone has a burnout, there’s more of a feeling not unlike depression where there’s no motivation to continue. This might be the result of working one’s self into a frenzy, yet not feeling like it really matters or if it’s getting them anywhere.
Unfortunately, far too many jobs exist like that, particularly in jobs that pay minimum wage. Despite the controversies over raising the national minimum wage, it seems people under the gun of minimum wage are working harder than ever for smaller pay. And because the signs of burnout may not be apparent in the person suffering from it, this can be especially dangerous if the person keeps on working despite the obvious symptoms.
Keep in mind that burnout may not be related to your job completely. Helpguide.org notes that your worldview is going to be a partial factor. It could be from clinical depression, though many people have burnout due to experiencing too much misfortune in their life. In some cases, those situations are things they can’t control, which is why employers should recognize symptoms to help employees feel more worthy in their jobs.
What’s the Difference Between Stress and Burnout?
Every employer should recognize what the symptoms are in an employee burnout so they can conscientiously help them. A stress symptom will usually mean over-engagement or overeating to a problem. Someone with burnout won’t show any reaction and be more apathetic.
Anxiety problems are also strongly associated with stress, where a burnout is more signs of detachment and depression. It’s possible that a burned out person may keep working because they don’t recognize symptoms, yet they may be calling in to feign sickness regularly due their apathy. This is going to be noticeable if an employer confers with their staff daily.
Most importantly, stress affects people physically, where burnout affects you strictly emotionally. However, the feelings of apathy can certainly affect someone physically eventually if they start losing any interest in their life.
If you’re a busy company with employees having heavy expectations on job performance, keep an eye out on these differences so you can offer help. Having in-house counseling and rewarding your employees will make the difference in eliminating both stress and burnout so no comparison has to be made.