What is burn out? Are you burnt out? How does one identify burn out? What are the impacts of burn out? How do you manage being burnt out? These are questions I have asked myself, and have been asked over years. And I have simply recognised it in others who don’t think about it, who don’t recognise it themselves and who just don’t know how bad it is and what it can do and lead to.
Essentially burn out occurs gradually over a period of time. It comes from multiple stressors that leave us feeling physically, mentally and emotionally exhausted. When you’re feeling so tired it’s hard to get going in the morning to start your day or hard to get going to start that next task that is always looming. You just simply lack the energy and getting going requires all the effort you can muster. You feel overwhelmed and drained by the constant demands of “work” – professionally and personally!
You may struggle with getting to sleep or staying asleep. Research indicates that sleep struggles contribute to chances of heart disease, kidney disease, high blood pressure, diabetes and a number of other illnesses that affect our physical wellbeing. Burn out can cause headaches, stomach pain, muscle and joint pain and overall contributes to a rundown immune system, which makes us vulnerable to colds and flu. I can personally resonate with all of these, and I know people close to me who are experiencing some of these symptoms now because they are so burnt out.
Again, something I can personally resonate with is having trouble concentrating and being forgetful. One doesn’t think that it might be as a result of burn out. If you are prone to depression in life generally, you are even more vulnerable to feeling depressed as a result of burn out. You tend to procrastinate, be indecisive and reactive. And we all know this means not being productive.
You might often feel a sense of failure. You often doubt yourself, which contributes to being indecisive. You can feel trapped, helpless and defeated and at times can’t explain why. It is very hard for you to feel satisfied, to feel a sense of achievement or accomplishment.
- Remember to breathe.
- Take a break often and for longer periods once in a while.
- Take leave from work. Leave days are there for a reason so take them!
- Say NO or I CAN’T (I’m sorry).
- Don’t be “always on” so give yourself time to “switch off” and recover by not always being preoccupied with work.
- Speak to those close to you about what you are feeling. Getting things out of your system is always a first step.
Being accommodating to everyone and all things, having ambition, accomplishing your goals and creating the life you want are critical, but remember it is always going to be best achieved and most enjoyed feeling well physically, mentally and emotionally.
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Until next time…
Yours in Adapting & Being