What Is Burnout?
What is burnout exactly? Like other stress-related disorders, burnout results when you’re subjected to constant stress. Over time, the rhythms of your life and the responses of your body and mind are thrown out of balance. You’re perpetually tired and stressed, unable to enjoy the things you once did.
The negative effects of burnout spill over into every area of life and aren’t exclusive to the workplace. It can happen at home, in sports, in nonprofits and other service organizations, and in social causes. Anyone can experience burnout at any age ― it does not discriminate by profession, income, or status.
How Do I Know If I Am Burned Out?
A lot of the work we do these days is important and meaningful. We try to make a difference, help others, and leave our mark on the world. That’s a lot of pressure to live up to! It’s normal to have days when you feel overwhelmed, like you’re trying to drink from a fire hose. However, if this describes most of your days and you don’t know when it will stop—if you’re always stressed, feel inadequate, and are considering quitting your job—it may be time to ask yourself the question: “Am I burned out?” Answering this question requires examining your current emotional and physical state.
Below are some of the emotional signs that you are burning out:
- Increasing feelings of helplessness;
- A loss of motivation;
- Feeling detached;
- Experiencing self-doubt and a sense of failure;
- Feeling angry, negative and cynical;
- Feeling like you’re “not enough”
There are also physical indicators of burnout, some of which are listed below:
- Feeling exhausted all the time;
- Frequent stress headaches or body pains;
- Changes in appetite;
- Changes in sleep habits;
- Suffering from frequent illness.
Is It Normal To Feel Burned Out?
Burnout is a term used to describe feelings of emotional exhaustion that result in an individual experiencing a decrease in enthusiasm and energy. Burnout is different from stress because an individual with burnout still experiences high levels of stress, but they no longer derive satisfaction from their accomplishments. Burnout can affect anyone and can be caused by different factors. However, there are certain occupations (such as physicians, academics, and entrepreneurs) and individuals who may be at higher risk of experiencing burnout and should be particularly aware of the warning signs and consequences.
What Are The Best Ways To Deal With Burnout?
When you start to feel burned out, it can be hard to recognize the signs, even though they are there. Pushing through and continuing on with your normal routine will only create a larger problem in the long run, so taking steps now to address the issue sooner rather than later is essential. Below are 3 tips for dealing with burnout when it hits:
1. Recognize The Signs
One of the best ways to deal with burnout is to avoid it altogether. But if you’re not able to avoid it, then one of the best ways to deal with burnout is to recognize the signs and know when to seek out help. Although no two people will experience burnout the same way, there are a handful of tell-tale warning signs that you can look for. Watch for feelings like extreme fatigue or loss of passion or enthusiasm.
2. Manage Your Stress By Seeking Support
There are many things you can do if you’re dealing with burnout and want to reverse your symptoms. Burnout can be prevented if you know how to recognize it but if you’re already experiencing it then you will need to take action. You can learn several stress management techniques, including setting boundaries and seeking support, coping skills, physical activity, and changing bad habits if you wish to learn how to go about reversing the damage.
3. Build Up Your Resilience
A good way to build your resilience is to look at your current lifestyle and see how it can be changed to better manage your stress. Are you getting enough sleep? Eating healthy? Exercising enough? Developing a strong support system with family and friends can also be very beneficial for managing your stress levels. It’s also important to stay mentally active by using proven coping mechanisms such as journaling and meditation when dealing with stressful or difficult situations.
Burnout, in any form that you may experience it, is not something that you can deal with alone. Whether you’re burned out with your job, or with yourself, seeking outside help and support is often the fastest route back to feeling like your normal self. Getting professional advice on how to handle the particular stress in your life can help speed up the process of recovery. If you’re lucky, there may be an obvious solution in sight—but if not, it is still best to seek professional advice and begin to develop a strategy for dealing with burnout once and for all.