3 Signs You Need Time Off Work
Feeling stressed and burned out? Don’t feel guilty – here are signs you need to take a break and recharge.
You know the feeling: the creeping sentiment of dread every time your alarm sets off in the morning or when you begin to hear your boss’ voice. Stress and burnout can happen even to the most productive and high-powered individuals – especially when they dedicate too much of their lives to work and too little to personal pursuits, or rest and recreation. When your work-life balance is out of order, it’s easy to feel jaded, exhausted, and a little disgruntled when it comes to work. Perhaps you should take some time off.
Health breaks are necessary when you’re feeling overwhelmed at work and not just when you’re physically sick. That said, unplugging isn’t always easy to do – especially if you’re the . But if you push too hard, you’ll burn out fast, which would be counterproductive to your career plans. Taking time off can improve your well-being in more ways than one.
Should You Take a Break?
American psychologist Herbert Freudenberger coined “burnout” in the 1970s. He used it to describe the consequences of severe stress and high ideals in “helping” professions. These included doctors and nurses who would often end up feeling exhausted, listless, and unable to cope after the sacrifice required for their positions.
But while frontliners are undoubtedly modern-day heroes, burnout no longer applies to just compassionate vocations. Anyone can feel professional fatigue. It can happen when a career-driven person is stressed out, an employee feels overworked, or even a stay-at-home parent who thinks they take up too many responsibilities in the household.
And while hybrid and work-from-home schemes have helped more employees achieve better work-life balance, these setups may also quickly veer into overwork if you can't set boundaries. Do you feel burned out? According to the , there are that you are:
- Exhaustion. Do you usually feel physically and emotionally drained, unable to cope, and downbeat? Exhaustion can also manifest physical symptoms such as back pain or stomach issues.
- Feeling alienated from work-related activities. Burned-out people find their jobs increasingly stressful and frustrating. It’s not uncommon for them to start being negative and express cynical thoughts about work. They may also distance themselves from colleagues, withdraw from tasks and work-related events, and feel numb.
- Reduced performance. Someone who feels stuck in a rut will perform poorly. It takes a longer time to finish projects and the quality usually declines. Burnout can also affect how they perform household responsibilities. They find it hard to concentrate, feel restless, and have a grueling time coming up with ideas.
If you spot these red flags, do something about them before they worsen. Take time off or book a vacation and allow yourself to rest and recharge.
Signs You Need Time Off Work
You feel like you’re drowning in tasks.
Perhaps you took on a new role at work, or you’ve just been dumped with a tad too many responsibilities for one person. Whether you’re overwhelmed with new responsibilities or simply reaching a tipping point that has been a long time coming, sometimes the best way to cope with everything is to rest and take a break.
Work smarter, not harder. Exerting yourself to the hilt while on the verge of burnout won’t let you do what you need to do.
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You’re starting to resent work.
Maybe you loved your job once, maybe it’s always been just about the daily grind for you, but you’re beginning to drag your feet at work – from the daily stand-ups to the weekly reports, even your colleague chatter. You may even begin to question your career choices. Your stress is starting to manifest in negative thoughts about the workplace.
Your thoughts could likely affect your performance at work – conversely, no one likes a downer in the office. Taking a respite can clear your head, rejuvenate you, and provide a renewed perspective on your career.
You’re running out of ideas.
You find it hard to pitch concepts – something that used to come naturally to you. Even finding suitable words for emails is few and far in between. It’s starting to affect your productivity and work performance.
Burnout can dampen your creativity. It’s like stepping on the gas when you’ve run out of fuel. Fill up and rev up your mind again through a well-deserved health break or vacation.
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There’s no need to feel guilty about taking vacations. It’s part of maintaining a healthy career and work-life balance. So go on, take that time off – you deserve it.