Emotional exhaustion is a stereotype, which is typical of professional behavior. Some of the symptoms of emotional exhaustion are feeling of guilt, insomnia, negative attitude towards work, alcohol addiction and etc. The consequences often occur as psychosomatic disorders as well as changes in the cognitive and behavioral aspects of the individual. There are different interpretations of burnout stages. There are two major burnout stages: 1) early stage- the emotional exhaustion of the individual is not affected yet, and 2) further stage, where emotions are completely absent. At the beginning of the early stage,   there is a desire to prove oneself at the workplace, which is accompanied by neglecting own needs and denial of the problems that arise at the workplace. As a result, apathy arises together with depersonalization and absolute emotional and physical exhaustion. Symptoms of burnout are similar to the ones of a particular type of neurosis- the so-called “neurasthenia”. Besides the constant feeling of fatigue, there have been observed headaches, sleeping disorders, a decrease in efficiency, as well as an increased desire to use alcohol, caffeine, and tobacco.

High levels of burnout in employees can bring around a lack of satisfaction in work and work presentation. Different types of social support have a positive effect on the well-being of individuals. Constant interaction with clients might be a predictor of burnout in employees. Apart from the frequency of interactions with clients and colleagues at the workplace, another major problem is the lack of attention to the emotional nature of interpersonal relationships.

There are particular rules that exist about the emotional expression at the workplace that could disconnect the individual from their emotional identity. Among these rules, emotional expression as well as masking one’s emotions, are observed as an expected part of the employees’ presentation. Processes of the control of the employees’ emotions are also viewed as predictors of burnout. Masking negative emotions such as anger and fear, occurs as a main predictor of emotional exhaustion.

How to recover from burnout?

  1. Control the arise of different emotions.
  2. Diversification of activities- either physical or psychological. Likewise, doing sports and reading books might lead to diversification of the routine.
  3. Setting realistic goals to escape emotional exhaustion.
  4. There are different breathing techniques, yoga, and meditation, to deal with stress and burnout in everyday life.

Simona Tsvetkova, project L.I.K.E. intern