Are You Burned Out?

Take the Burnout Test

To assess your stress level, complete the burnout test below, kindly made available by stress expert Dr. Arie Shirom. The Shirom-Melamed Burnout Questionnaire measures stress on the three levels that comprise the burnout condition: emotional exhaustion (EE), physical fatigue (PF), and cognitive weariness (Cog).

Answer each of the statements below by indicating how often you have the feeling during working hours. Almost always = 7 points; very frequently = 6 points; quite frequently = 5; sometimes = 4; quite infrequently = 3; very infrequently = 2; almost never = 1. Add up your scores for each of the three categories. To find your stress range, see below.

The Burnout Test

  1. I feel tired. (PF)
  2. I feel physically fatigued. (PF)
  3. I feel physically exhausted. (PF)
  4. When I get up in the morning to go to work, I have no energy. (PF)
  5. I feel fed up. (EE)
  6. I feel like my emotional batteries are dead. (EE)
  7. I feel burned out in my job. (EE)
  8. I feel emotionally fatigued. (EE)
  9. I am too tired to think clearly. (Cog)
  10. I have difficulty concentrating. (Cog)
  11. My thinking process is slow. (Cog)
  12. I have difficulty thinking about complex things. (Cog)

(Dr. Shirom says that men whose scores average 3.0 to 3.75 and women who average 3.6 to 4.0 are at the high end of the burnout range and should seek expert help for preventative measures.)

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Burnout leaves no resources left.

The Hostile Takeover of Burnout

The last act of the stress cycle, burnout develops from a condition of chronic stress. Emotional resources are stripped away until there is nothing left to counter the drain. It's a "gradual depletion over time of individuals' intrinsic energetic resources," says Tel Aviv University's Arie Shirom, a leading researcher on job stress and burnout. 

The result is a three-way, mind-body shutdown—emotional exhaustion, physical fatigue, and cognitive weariness. Numbness and cynicism set in. You may feel a sense of depersonalization and a lack of accomplishment. Withdrawal, detachment from work and relationships and symptoms of depression mark the advanced stages of the cycle. 

As the last stage of chronic stress, burnout comes with acute health problems. Researchers have found that burnout can increase the risk of coronary heart disease in some people by 79%. Burnout can also lead to upper respiratory infections, stroke, and depression. It's critical to stop burnout before it triggers life-threatening conditions.

Burnout is not just a personal threat, it's a toxin for organizations as well. It guts productivity, fractures relationships, and fuels absenteeism and medical bills. 

Download 18\u002Dpg. Stress Reduction Guide  

Burnout Symptoms

Job stress can lead to burnout when we suffer a loss of physical and emotional resources too great to replace. If coping efforts fail to restore the loss, and there's no interruption of the stress trigger(s) causing the drain, we can wind up stuck in a cycle of burnout.

Typical burnout triggers include overwhelming workload, lack of social support or reward, interpersonal conflict, lack of control, and a sense of impotence—that nothing you do makes a difference. Burnout often strikes the hardest workers.

The telltale sign of burnout is emotional exhaustion, but there are plenty of other clues:

Frequent illness
Upset stomach
Frequent headaches
Muscle tension and pain
Rapid heartbeat
Cynicism and negativity
Being late to work
Frequent mistakes
Sleep difficulty

The temptation is to ignore the signals of job burnout, but the adaptive process of chronic stress thrives on this. The adrenaline racing through the body masks the damage to overtaxed organs.

How to Stop Burnout

So what can you do about burnout? Deprive it of the oxygen that keeps it going, chronic stress, change the thinking and conditions that fuel stress, and build back up depleted emotional and physical resources. Our programs help you do that. Studies show that a coaching or counseling program is one of the most effective ways to exit the burnout trap. 

We help you change the way you work and react to work stressors, and adjust burnout drivers, such as overperformance, no recovery time, lack of reward and support, emotionally draining people and tasks, perfectionism, and unviable schedules.

It can feel very dark inside the burnout tunnel, but it's temporary, and there is a way out: Your decision to be proactive. Our programs help you regather crashed emotional resources, regain physical vitality, and get off the burnout treadmill. Find out how you can leave the stress-burnout cycle behind and get your health and energy back. Click the button below for a free consultation. We look forward to hearing from you.

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