From family obligations to a demanding career, among other challenges, it’s no surprise that burnout has become increasingly prevalent among men. If you’re looking to avoid this exhaustion and ultimately increase performance in everything you set out to you, this guide is for you. It sheds light on everything you need to know: from the basics of burnout, its symptoms, and leading causes to practical strategies on how to help men avoid it. Let’s dive in.
What Is Burnout?
Burnout is a condition characterized by the inability to think and act effectively as a result of prolonged exposure to stress. It is a state of physical, emotional, or mental exhaustion that can occur in any area of life: at home, workplace, or in personal relationships .
One of the most challenging things about burnout is that it is not diagnosable. Thus, people who have it may go on without even knowing it; they may feel simply overwhelmed or just tired and need rest. This can lead to a delay in consulting a doctor or healthcare provider for help, which can worsen the situation.
Another major problem with burnout is that it can often be a self-inflicted vicious cycle that serves as a gateway to more problems. For example, many people who suffer from burnout find it difficult to be productive, communicate with family & friends effectively, or engage in activities they would normally find fun. This often leads to a feeling of loneliness, which in turn intensifies the feeling of burnout.
Burnout can affect people of different professions, including physicians, social workers, teachers, etc. This is why it is important to discover it on time and get it out of the way.
The Symptoms of Burnout in Men
While burnout in men can be easily mistaken for exhaustion or being overwhelmed, there are certain symptoms that can help reveal it for what it is. Here are some of them to look out for :
- a feeling of being useless or unproductive;
- sleep problems;
- unnecessary frustration, irritability, or annoyance;
- loss of interest or pleasure;
It is worth noting that work burnout symptoms may vary from one individual to another. Some people may also experience physical symptoms such as headache, upset stomach, muscle pain, and other symptoms associated with stress. If you start noticing changes in behavior, such as feeling a pressing need to detach yourself from friends & family or experiencing a feeling of reduced personal accomplishment, it could be a sign that you are experiencing burnout. Seek help from your doctor as soon as possible.
The Main Causes of Burnout
One of the main causes of burnout stems from a person’s job, but it can come from other factors such as lifestyle and personality traits. In fact, there are 3 major categories of burnout causes: work-related causes, personality traits, and lifestyle causes. Let’s take a look at each of these categories .
Taking on too many responsibilities or working too hard for long hours can impair getting proper rest and ultimately lead to burnout. Lack of recognition, working in a high-pressure environment, doing repetitive work, and setting unrealistic expectations for yourself can create a constant sense of pressure that can lead to work burnout.
Perfectionism, emotional sensitivity, neuroticism, and lack of assertiveness are some of the leading causes of burnout. Individuals who constantly set high standards for themselves and seldom regard their efforts as being enough are often likely to experience this condition Also, those who are unable to turn down additional work tend to have insufficient time for relaxing or socializing, and that can lead to burnout. Dropping these traits and learning to delegate excessive tasks to others can help improve the symptoms of the condition.
Not getting enough sleep or not eating healthily, taking on way too much responsibility without accepting help from others, and lack of supportive relationships can bring about reduced productivity, which can result in burnout. Building quality relationships and adopting great lifestyle practices can help prevent the condition or reverse it.
How to Help Men Avoid Burnout?
It is common for men dealing with financial pressures, family problems, or health concerns to experience burnout, as establishing a work-life balance can be quite challenging. While there is no one cure-all for burnout, there are great ways to avoid it :
Manage your thoughts: This is a super-effective approach to managing stress. Understanding that thoughts are nothing but thoughts and there is no need to define them can go a long way in helping you avoid burnout. Also, mentally detaching yourself from thoughts about work immediately after work may also help with relieving stress.
Promote work recovery strategies: Relaxing after work and engaging in recreating and mastery activities on weekends can help crowd out negative ruminations from work with positive emotions. Engaging in these activities, as well as adopting other recovery strategies, can help drive out the conditions that power work burnout.
Try to speak about what bothers you: Speaking up about work, financial burdens, or even relationship problems can be challenging for most men. However, it is essential to prevent burnout. Speaking up whenever you feel overwhelmed will go a long way in helping you avoid this condition or recover from it quickly.
What’s more, seeking care or treatment for sexual health problems can help prevent or reverse burnout. Sexual activity triggers the release of some feel-good hormones, such as endorphins, among others, which improves mood and abate stress . While this is common knowledge, some men shy away from sex because they’re suffering from erectile dysfunction (ED) or other sexual health problems.
Fortunately, drugs such as Viagra, Cialis, and Levitra can treat these problems, and they can be gotten with relative ease. For example, you can simply buy Viagra online in the US without even having to show your face. Generally, avoiding burnout or recovering from it is a proactive step that can have a positive impact on your overall health and well-being. It will help you thrive both in and out of the workplace.
Burnout is a real problem that affects many men without them even knowing it. Fortunately, there are several strategies that you can use to recover or prevent it altogether and go on to achieve a healthy work-life balance. Prioritizing self-care, setting realistic goals, making time for relaxation & family, and seeking support when necessary can help change the conditions that drive it. Speaking up is not a sign of weakness; rather, it is maturity and a sure way to achieve a meaningful life.
At this point, it is worth noting that anyone can experience burnout: from an accountant working ceaselessly at the office to a stay-at-home mom tending to her kids. It is advisable to always watch out for the signs and work towards dealing with them before it causes more emotional and physical damage.
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Burnout Prevention and Treatment. By Melinda Smith, M.A., Jeanne Segal, Ph. D. and Lawrence Robinson. Retrieved: March 13, 2023. Helpguide.org.
What Is Burnout and How to Overcome It. By Joe Robinson. Retrieved: March 13, 2023. Mensjournal.com.
7 Healthy Reasons You Should Have Sex — Right Now! Written by Madeline R. Vann, MPH. Medically reviewed by Justin Laube, MD. Retrieved: March 13, 2023. Everydayhealth.com.