We are all susceptible to burnout of some sort, which is why we want to take some time to walk through the signs of burnout, ways to work toward recovery, and some resources available to us.
First, it’s important that we start with what burnout is. Burnout is often a result of overworking ourselves without taking adequate time to rest, relax, and recover. We can experience burnout from spending too many long nights working or studying. Or, perhaps, you’ve been showing up for others but not showing up for yourself. You may feel that life is overwhelming, demanding too much, and you’re unable to keep up.
So what does burnout look like? For many, burnout is characterized by feelings of exhaustion or unexplained guilt. You may notice that you are experiencing a lack of motivation for things that previously excited you. As a result, these are often accompanied by feelings of irritability and hostility toward others, including loved ones. And, for others, burnout may present as physical ailments and make us more susceptible to physical illnesses such as the common cold and flu. Here are a few other symptoms and signs of burnout to keep an eye out for:
- Losing Passion or Inspiration
- Higher Than Usual Anxiety
- Critical Self-Talk
- Insomnia or Changes in Sleep Patterns
- Neglecting Self-Care or Responsibilities
Burnout can have negative effects on your life, in both personal and professional settings. For instance, if you’re experiencing a lack of motivation and inspiration, you may notice your work performance begin to suffer. Additionally, our relationships with family and friends can suffer if we are feeling resentful, sleep-deprived, and in physical pain. But with proper treatment burnout doesn’t have to have a negative impact on our life.
While burnout isn’t a medically diagnosed condition, it is still very real and prevalent. In some cases, untreated burnout can lead to a medically diagnosed mental illness such as anxiety or depression. This is why it is imperative that we address and treat burnout, as it will not resolve itself on its own. Here are some useful tips for working toward recovery:
Give yourself a moment to breath
It’s easy to get so swept up in showing up for others that we forget to be present for ourselves. Take a moment to practice mindfulness. Focus on being present in the moment. Acknowledge and validate your emotions. Set aside time to relax doing things you love. This can be something as simple as treating yourself to a manicure or reading a book or starting your morning with a daily walk.
Reach out to those closest to you for help
Friends and Family know us better than anyone. They may even notice the signs of burnout before we do. They can be a trusted confidant to talk to and provide emotional support. If you are experiencing occupational burnout, consider talking to your supervisor. They can help create a more manageable workload and set clearer expectations.
HYDRATE and FUEL!
Feelings of anxiety and fatigue can result in a loss of appetite. Make sure you’re drinking enough water (we recommend 100-125oz) and eating enough for sustenance. Be sure to check out our blog post on Tips for Drinking More Water.
Get enough sleep
While burnout can cause changes in sleep patterns it is especially important to make sure you’re giving yourself adequate opportunities to sleep. Aim for 8 hours of sleep per night and be sure to shut off any technology 30-60 minutes before bed.
Ask for Professional Help
Sometimes we are ill-equipped to handle burnout on our own and may need some assistance or guidance. Primary Care Physicians, Therapists, and Psychologists are great resources. As an example, your Primary Care Physician can help you get connected to specialists and local resources. Therapists can help you set healthy boundaries with individuals who may be contributing to your burnout. Psychologists can prescribe medication to help with sleep and balancing our moods. There is no shame in asking for help! And remember, your Fitbliss Coach is always here to help.
Most importantly, each time you say “yes” to others make sure you are not saying “no” to yourself!
National Mental Health Resources:
National Alliance on Mental Health (nami.org)
Mental Health is Health (mentalhealthishealth.us)
Mental Health America (MHANational.org)
Mental Health First Aid (mentalhealthfirstaid.org)
National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH.NIH.gov)
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (Call: 1-800-273-8255)