Taking a vacation won’t cure your burnout. Here’s why
By Emily Hagan | Published on Oct 17, 2023
Have you ever been told that going on a vacation will solve your constant exhaustion? Well, it’s time to reconsider if you’re planning on taking some time off. The truth is, a few days of vacation won’t help with severe burnout.
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According to a study published in the Journal of Applied Psychology, the relief you feel from vacation fades away within a week or two once you’re back at work. Sure, taking a break from your routine can provide some relief, but many people report feeling stressed while on vacation due to the mounting workload they’ll have to face once they return.
Experts suggest that burnout occurs when you’re unable to strike a healthy balance between work and personal life. Taking a vacation is merely a temporary solution to burnout. The problems will persist unless you address them properly. It’s not a straightforward process, but exploring the causes of burnout and your options can help ease the burden.
“Addressing burnout is not straightforward. Exploring the causes and your options can ease the burden. A vacation can, perhaps, offer you a pause and help you analyze what needs to be changed once you get back, but a vacation in itself won’t cure the problem. However, taking a long weekend vacation or simply putting away work on weekends can help you revitalize,” explains Dr. Rahul Khemani, a renowned psychiatrist at Wockhardt Hospital, Mumbai.
Understanding the Nature of Burnout
Burnout is a state of mental and physical exhaustion when the demand for energy exceeds the supply. While it’s commonly associated with work pressure, burnout can also be caused by other consistent stressors. It can result from a demanding job, a rigorous schedule without breaks, relationship problems, or caring for a loved one with a serious condition.
Overall, burnout leads to lethargy, stress, and depleted energy levels. If you consistently push yourself too hard, it can lead to exhaustion and burnout.
Key Symptoms of Burnout
Recognizing the symptoms is crucial in identifying burnout. Here are some key signs to watch out for:
- Forgetfulness and difficulty concentrating
- Diminished pride in your work
- Losing sight of your goals or yourself
- Difficulty maintaining relationships and being present with loved ones
- Frustration and irritability with co-workers
- Unexplained muscle tension, pain, fatigue, and insomnia
Unfortunately, burnout is not good for your mental health. “The obvious impact is that it can negatively affect your work and productivity. It keeps you from enjoying hobbies, family time, or relaxing outside of work. It also increases the risk of depression and suicide. In addition, it also causes a rise in the risk of developing physical ailments such as diabetes and cardiovascular diseases,” concludes Dr. Khemani.
Ladies, before booking that vacation, it’s important to find the root cause of your stress and exhaustion. Addressing the underlying issues will help you find lasting solutions to burnout. Remember, taking care of yourself and finding a healthy work-life balance is key to avoiding burnout in the long run.