We all have those days in the office when everything just seems blah. You may have a huge project on your plate, but all you can do is to stare at a blank spreadsheet on your monitor before leaving your cubicle to buy your nth cup of coffee.
Sometimes you feel that you’re in the wrong job. You’re probably even using the reason “I'm burnt out” loosely.
“A lot of burnout really has to do with experiencing chronic stress,” says Dr. David Ballard of the American Psychological Association on Forbes. “In those situations, the demands being placed on you exceed the resources you have available to deal with the stressors.”
So are you really heading towards a burnout, or are you just bored? Here are a few ways to determine your feelings.
1. How do you start your work day?
How you react to facing your shift for yet another day can hugely determine your general feelings towards your job. Do you heave a resigned sigh every time to step into your office but still try your best to focus on what needs to be done? Or do you feel violently anxious about being back? If it’s the former, then you’re probably bored. However, if you’re anxious about every thing and you feel like exhaustion is creeping upon you even if you’re just walking from one department to another, you’re probably on your way to a career burnout.
2. Is what you’re feeling spilling over your private life?
Boredom at work is often caused by all-too repetitive tasks and lack of career growth. This feeling is often left behind in the office once you finish your shift. On the other hand, unhappiness rooted in worry and dissatisfaction can follow you out your cubicle. This cloud of gloom will continue to hover over you and cast its shadow on your private life. You may need to pause if you feel that your career is negatively affecting every thing else.
3. Can you determine what causes you to feel this way?
If a pending burnout is like a nimbus cloud about to unleash a storm on you, boredom is a blanket – all-encompassing, uncomfortable, but definitely something you can kick off. It is a general feeling of disinterest that has no single source. When you're not challenged at work or your efforts are left unacknowledged, it's typical to get bored. But to be unhappy, it usually stems from a toxic environment—whether it be a terror boss, overflowing deadlines, or uncontrollable situations.
Unhappiness leading to a burnout has deep-seated emotional causes, and may need more than just an interesting project or a new team to remedy.
4. Are you often angry?
Boredom is disengagement: You don’t really care much for anything. A creeping burnout is something else all together—it can transform your dissatisfaction into anger, turning you into a very sarcastic and even sadistic person that can’t find good in anything or anyone in and outside the office. Negastar, to put it bluntly.
5. Do you often feel sick?
When you’re disinterested with your work, you may hear yourself sighing more often, but a pending burnout may manifest itself physically. Be wary if your anxieties are resulting in stomach cramps, cold sweats, headaches, and other pains.
Boredom can be remedied by a change in routine. It can be as simple as trying a different route on your way to work or changing up your wardrobe, or you can take it a step further by talking with your boss about how you’re feeling stagnant with your job and what you both can do to shake things up. You can also try doing other activities outside of work which can help give you a renewed sense of wonder and creativity.
If your anxieties are getting the better of you, give yourself a break. Take a vacation, go somewhere far away, and think about what you want to do next. A new environment can help you calm down and give you the chance to reflect on what’s been going on with your life. Think about how you feel about going back to work. Do you dread it? Do feel like you’ll never fit in the environment, or that it’s a dead-end job? Then maybe it’s time for you to move on. No position is worth your physical, emotional, and mental health. There’s always something better for you out there.
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