Is burnout real? Once only recognized as a workplace issue, burnout is a common problem impacting individuals from all walks of life today. In a technology-driven, overworked, touch-and-go world, juggling the demands of your work, home, family, and social life can be a challenge.
Unfortunately, individuals are feeling the effects of today’s demands at faster rates than ever seen before. Combining daily stress with overthinking can quickly lead to burnout, but what exactly does that mean? Burnout is a form of depression that results from a chronic process of exhaustion, self-doubt, and lack of self-care. It doesn’t happen overnight. Instead, it simmers over some time as individuals try to balance daily demands with the overall pressures of life.
While burnout syndrome is a serious problem globally, there are steps you can take to regain your balance and bring yourself back to a positive emotional, physical, and mental state. Let’s discuss the common signs of burnout and the steps you can take to heal from this complicated yet common dilemma.
Recognize the Signs of Burnout
Have you been working long hours? Are you constantly juggling the stresses of work and home life? Do you feel completely exhausted? Burnout syndrome is on the rise. Even before the COVID-19 pandemic left millions of individuals harboring the immense pressure of a worldwide crisis, research showed that nearly 60% of individuals surveyed reported this common syndrome.
When the brain becomes too tired to handle the combination of stress and information overload, it begins to shut down. Now coined as an official medical condition, burnout syndrome occurs when you feel overwhelmed, emotionally drained, and fail to meet the demands of your daily life.
Before you can begin to create a strategy to reverse the effects of burnout and regain your balance, it’s vital to understand the types, triggers, and signs of burnout.
Different Types of Burnout
The first step to reversing the effects of any condition is to identify the source. Doctors distinguish the type of burnout you have using one of the following three categories:
- Individual Burnout is a byproduct of factors linked to negative self-talk. Many individuals are the primary source of their own stress and put themselves through burnout without knowing it. Low self-esteem and negative self-talk can cause significant strain on the nervous system, leading to more noticeable symptoms of the syndrome.
- Interpersonal Burnout is seen as a result of stressful work or personal relationships, interpersonal conflict, and environmental changes. This includes a toxic relationship with a family member, financial stress, and conflicts with supervisors or coworkers.
- Organizational Burnout is seen with employees as a result of workplace issues. In many cases, it can simply be that individuals aren’t fit for a job. Organizational burnout typically involves both employees and employers.
What Triggers Burnout Syndrome?
Day-to-day stress will always be a part of life. However, there are some stresses we can control. If you want to recover from burnout, it’s essential to recognize the triggers of your problem. The most common triggers include:
- Work stress
- Overall fatigue
- Emotional overload
- Unhealthy habits
- Lack of recognition at home or work
- Feeling like you have no control over work or life
- Unclear or overly demanding family or work expectations
- High-pressure and chaotic environments
- Lack of socialization or relaxation
- Absence of close and supportive relationships
- Perfectionist tendencies
Signs of Burnout
Most people have the occasional day when they feel helpless or overloaded. However, if you feel like that most of the time, you are most likely struggling with burnout syndrome. Burnout is a gradual process, but the signs and symptoms can be noticeable if you pay attention.
Physical Signs of Burnout
- Feeling constantly drained or tired
- Frequent illnesses
- Frequent headaches
- Constant muscle pain for no apparent reason
- Changes in appetite
- Intestinal issues
Emotional Signs of Burnout
- Feeling helpless or trapped
- Sense of failure or the constant feeling of defeat
- Detachment from personal and work relationships
- Loss of motivation
- Negative outlook
- Decreased sense of accomplishment
Behavioral Signs of Burnout
- Avoiding tasks or procrastinating
- Withdrawing from responsibilities
- Isolating yourself from others
- Food, drug, or alcohol dependency
- Increased irritation or frustration with others
- Skipping work, coming in late, or leaving early
If you have any of these recognizable symptoms, it’s essential to take action. Burnout is a serious issue that worsens with time, and constant exposure to stress can lead to premature death. The more aware you are of the signs and the more diligent you are with your recovery, the less impact burnout syndrome will have on your overall health and wellbeing.
Self-Care Tips for Burnout Recovery
Thankfully, there are ways you can heal the effects of burnout to regain your inner balance. Try these self-care tips!
1. Focus on Immediate Changes You Can Make
Just as it took time for you to reach this level of exhaustion, it will take time to make significant changes in your life. Still, there will be ways you can eliminate some stressors immediately. If workplace demands are causing your burnout, ask your supervisor to reassign a task or project to a coworker. If home life is a challenge, ask your spouse, children, or a family member to take a few chores off your plate. The faster you start to make personal changes, the more you’ll notice yourself begin to heal from the frustration and stress of burnout syndrome.
2. Prioritize Sleep
With more and more people working from home, it’s tough to distinguish between work and home life. Some individuals take so much pride in their work that they find themselves hustling around the clock to finish tasks. Working late into the evening makes it difficult to wind down when it is time to sleep. Insomnia is a common condition people face today. If you are headed down the road towards overwhelming exhaustion, take a step back and prioritize your sleep. It won’t just help you handle stress better, but it will also provide long-term health benefits.
3. Learn to Say No!
One of the biggest problems seen with individuals who are burnt out is their inability to say no! For every yes you give to others, you add more work and stress to yourself. This doesn’t just complicate your daily life, but it also takes away from your self-care and basic individual needs. Therefore, next time someone asks you to add another responsibility to your already overflowing list. It’s not only okay to say no; it’s often crucial to your wellbeing.
4. Reduce Your Screen Time
One of the leading causes of stress today is the devices we keep permanently attached to our hands. If you’re headed towards burnout, make a diligent effort to reduce your screen time. Swap TV time for a walk with the family. Put your phone, laptop, and tablets away every night by a specific time. Schedule period screen breaks throughout the day. Charge your phone in a different room from where you sleep. Electronic screens constantly keep individuals from connecting with nature and each other. Put the phone down and dive into something that recharges your soul.
5. Schedule “Me-Time” Daily
Taking care of yourself should be just as much a priority as tending to your work obligations and family responsibilities. Carve out time each day to give yourself a little love. “Me-time” can be anything from scheduling a doctor’s appointment and eating healthier to exercising or picking up a new hobby. Just 15 minutes of self-care a day can significantly reduce your stress levels. Make sure that whatever time you take for yourself is uninterrupted.
6. Tune Into Nutrition
Choosing nutritious, healthy foods, hydrating, and moving your body daily can reduce your stress levels. Even if it’s something simple like swapping take-out for a homemade salad or adding a 10-minute brisk walk to your day, making your health a priority can reverse the effects of burnout. Highly processed, carb-packed foods can spike blood sugar levels and cause you to crash. This only adds to your physical and mental exhaustion and increases stress. When you focus on your physical health, your mental and emotional health often fall in line.
7. Talk It Out
While your causes of burnout may seem too overwhelming to talk about, discussing your struggles can often resolve some of your stress in itself. Find someone who makes you feel loved and supported. Schedule a time to sit down and discuss your feelings. Those who know you best are often a great resource to brainstorm possible solutions to your burnout triggers. You can also reach out to a counselor, therapist, or psychologist who can offer helpful support as you regain your balance. In many cases, talking to a professional who has experience with burnout syndrome is the best option on your road to recovery.
Whether you are proactive with managing stress or seeking help for significant signs of burnout, our trauma therapy services, and treatment programs can help! For more information on healing the effects of burnout and My Recon Therapy, contact us to discuss your options.