Bad Day Or Burnout? Why You Need To Know The Difference

We all know that feeling of relief you get when the day is over, but what about those days we don’t often talk about, the crying in the toilet wanting to quit kind of days? The days where you don’t think you ever want to go back into work again, those are the important days. Sometimes it’s hard to tell whether it’s just been a bad day or whether you’re experiencing a burnout, here’s why you need to know the difference and how to treat them both!

#1 A bad day can happen to anyone

Generally, having a bad day (even in a job you love) is not unusual, you might be in a bad mood, unmotivated or struggling with your current tasks and you end up feeling low and unhappy. The problem with a bad day is that if you start having lots of bad or stressful work days, they can accumulate, causing a burnout.

#2 Deal with your bad day as best you can so it can be solved

If you are having a bad day at work (and we’ve experienced some of the worst, so we know what that feels like) it’s important to lift yourself up and deal with the issues. Crying in the toilets feels great, but it won’t necessarily help. If the issue is with a co-worker or a project you’ve taken on then it’s important that you speak to your manager. If you know the issue is down to lack of sleep or hormones, then at lunch time have some time to yourself or call a friend to cheer you up.

#3 Know the symptoms

A burnout doesn’t just come from a string of bad days, but from chronic stress. You could be stressed both at home and work and therefore experience a burnout. According to Psychology Today career burnout leads to physical and emotional exhaustion, cynicism and detachment and feelings of ineffectiveness and lack of accomplishment.

#4 Know yourself

Only you know what’s normal for yourself, you know what you enjoy doing and how you feel during a bad day, but if you regularly dread work and leisure activities, you might be suffering from a burnout or something more serious. The key is in knowing what is normal for you and then taking steps to change it, if you are feeling constantly indifferent to things you used to enjoy, it might be time to visit your GP, don’t feel silly about it, your health comes first!

#5 A bad day is temporary, a burnout lasts a while…

A burnout will leave you feeling lethargic and unmotivated. There’s a deeper problem here, that may be caused by hating your job or workload. You need to address this in order to feel better again, and try to resolve anything that’s causing you stress at home, too. Having time to yourself and doing the things you enjoy will make sure you stay happy and healthy, but don’t feel like you need to neglect your mental health in order to get ahead in your career.

Always take the time to figure out what’s wrong and visit your doctor if you’re worried about how things are going!