Tight schedules and deadlines are life stressors that we cannot avoid, but when relentless stress pushes you to a helpless state, we call that burnout. It is a severe problem that affects your service delivery in and off work and affects your team and those around you. Data that reveals the prevalence of burnout is quite elusive since it has not been separated from stress yet. However, a good number of us have experienced it, whether knowingly or unknowingly. Burnout presents with both psychological and physical signs. But even with these signs, it is still possible for one to assume that they are just tired. Therefore this article will go through some of the common symptoms of burnout that you can pick out and how to resolve them.
Signs of burnout
Burnout is mainly work-related, and thus it is common among workers. It is a lot of pressure that is built over time. Burnout may be manifested as physical or mental exhaustion. Most people do not take it seriously and may fail to address it, hence why most of the signs may be recurring. These symptoms also affect a person’s life quality since most people suffering from burnout can easily get depressed. Some significant signs of burnout that you need to look out for include;
- On and off headaches
- Reduced need for sleep
- A heightened cynical look at life and work
- Low mood
- Reduced productivity levels
- Quick to anger
- Emotional numbness
Spotting early signs of burnout on a family member or a colleague can be difficult, and even recognizing that you are suffering from burnout is not easy. It is the reason why most of these symptoms escalate to a level of depression. Also, recognizing it is difficult because the symptoms are different for everyone. If burnout is identified early, it is easy to work around it and eventually feel better. Primarily the solution lies within oneself. You have to be willing to take the much-needed rest.
How to Beat Burnout
Have you been feeling exhausted and frustrated emotionally and physically, and you are wondering where your energy went to. Does work feel like one big slog, and you cannot meet all the deadlines and targets. All you want to do is snuggle up in bed with all the curtains closed; You even find the sun rays irritating. Then this could be burnout, in as much, it is hard to identify it, but if you are unable to go about your daily activities due to fatigue, then you need to take some time off and take care of yourself. Thankfully in as much as burnout can feel insurmountable, it isn’t, and there are many ways to work around it. Some of them include;
Focus on the physiological part. Burnout mostly transcends from the physiological to the psychological; therefore, once you sort the physical aspect of burnout, it will be easier to deal with the emotional bit. Thus to heal your body, you need to ensure you get enough sleep, eat healthy foods, and engage in physical exercise. These activities will take your mind off all the stressors at work. Once you work on your body, you will get your mojo back, and thus you will be able to find an emotional balance.
Get clear on your priorities and values. Many people who suffer from burnout spend time doing things they do not value which triggers stress. For example, saying yes to an event, yet you prefer spending time alone or taking up roles at your workplace that you do not like doing. When priorities are clear, you are not likely to take tasks that you will struggle to carry out. Therefore once you know what you love, you will be avoiding stress which frequently leads to burnout.
Seek therapy. Most of us think that we have to have serious mental issues to see a therapist. But this is not the case. A therapist will help you handle your burnout before escalating to other worse levels, such as depression. Additionally, they will help you come up with a routine that suits you.
Avoid using numbing strategies. There are several numbing strategies that one can use to disconnect themselves from stressful experiences—addressing the situation is better since you will find a long-term solution to avoid reliving the same experiences. Therefore if you feel like the stress is getting too much, you can talk to a therapist about coping with it. You can also try out healthy habits such as enrolling in yoga or meditating. They are better than having to drink countless sachets of caffeine to stay active.
Burnout can differ in severity; hence there is no blanket solution to it. You have to find what makes you heal and relax and use it when you feel like you are an emotional wreck. Also, you have to stay in touch with your physical and emotional state to recognize if something is not correct. Professional therapist support can also help you snap out of a dark place; try it!