Work Stressors And Sleepless Nights=Burnout


Three Work Stressors That Lead To Burnout

Are you facing work burnout this season? Work stressors can lead to sleepless nights and set you up for burnout. Truth is sleep matters more than you think. If you break down how you spend your time, you’ll find it is predominantly dedicated to sleeping and working. In fact, the average person spends around 26 years sleeping, and around a third of their life working – so it’s important to find balance. 

With work being such a huge part of most people’s lives, finding a work/life balance is a crucial part of maintaining our mental health. Long hours spent on the grind can take their toll on us mentally, and if you’re still stressed over work when you’re trying to fall asleep, it can have a negative impact on your health and wellbeing.

Here, we take a look at three common workplace stressors that can cause insomnia if left unchecked, and how to deal with them.

One Risk For Burnout Is The Inability To switch off

Whether you’re a workaholic or you just struggle to detach from your 9-5, living with a chronic inability to switch off from work is a recipe for disaster when it comes to sleeping well. If you find yourself tossing and turning with feelings of anxiety, and opening your laptop or phone ‘just to check’ if that co-worker or client responded, you aren’t allowing your body to relax enough for a decent night’s sleep.

When we’re stressed and anxious, our bodies release hormones called adrenaline and cortisol into our bloodstreams. These put our bodies into a state of high alert in order to help us run away or protect ourselves from the perceived threat – a response known as ‘fight or flight’. The trouble is, we often try to ignore these feelings rather than actively calm and soothe ourselves, which can lead to a difficulty in falling asleep and an unrestful night.

Try to set yourself strict working hours and avoid logging back in after hours. You can set a status on your workplace chat system to let colleagues know when you’ll be available, or set up an automatic reply. If you have clients who you worry will need you unexpectedly out-of-hours, consider setting up an emergency response answering system – that way, you can rest peacefully knowing that your business isn’t being neglected. 

Yes, Burnout Happens When Your Workload Is Overload

We all thrive with our own favorite workloads. Some people work fast and like to be constantly challenged, while others prefer to take their time and enjoy a steady and comfortable stream of work. If you’re feeling overburdened, stress can take over and leave you feeling overwhelmed – which can make it very difficult to sleep.

At the same time, if you aren’t feeling challenged enough at work, you can become disheartened, feel unfulfilled and unmotivated. Both of these scenarios can lead to burnout, which can be devastating not only for your mental health and sleep patterns, but also for your career. People who reach the point of burnout feel disengaged, numb and hopeless, which can lead to serious mental health issues.

Workplace communication is key for finding the perfect balance that allows you to enjoy your work without over-worrying about your tasks or feeling unfulfilled. Building positive relationships with your coworkers, and feeling comfortable with asking for help when you need it is vital for establishing a healthy workload.

Burnout: Role Conflict Can Lead To Sleepless Nights 

If you’re lying awake until the early hours worrying, but you aren’t sure why, you may be experiencing role conflict. This occurs when you take on multiple responsibilities or roles which don’t necessarily combine with each other. Perhaps you’re in charge of managing a team in one department, but have begun helping with responsibilities in another and now your meetings clash. 

Role conflict can also apply to work and home life imbalances, such as a single mother working non-school hours. When we feel we are being pulled in different directions, it can be impossible to fairly divide our responsibilities, attention and time – which feels awful. Guilt, anxiety and frustration can very easily prevent us from drifting off at bedtime, and can also lead to procrastination and low mood. 

To help yourself feel more in control, it’s important to recognise why you are feeling this way and actively work to resolve it. Again, communication is key. Explaining your position to your co-workers, employer or other significant people in your life can help you reorganize your responsibilities in a way that feels more manageable.

Burnout: Listen To Your Gut Feelings And Find Solutions

Ultimately, if you’re finding yourself up all night unwillingly, you need to listen to your body. Practicing mindfulness can help you pause and notice why you are feeling anxious, overwhelmed or stressed, by learning to detach from our internal white noise. Once you’ve identified the areas of your job which are stressing you out, work to resolve them with good communication and self care. As you switch from reactive to proactive responses, you should find that sleeping becomes a whole lot easier.

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