It’s normal to feel overwhelmed every once in a while, but knowing how to differentiate between stress and burnout is important. Are you experiencing burnout symptoms?
Understanding the reasons behind burnout and how to deal with it properly will prevent it from taking control of your life. Here’s everything you need to know about this common affliction:
The term burnout originated from Herbert Freudenberger, in his book, Burnout: The High Cost of High Achievement. He referred to it as the “extinction of motivation”. Burnout can prevent you from delivering results in a professional setting, as well as in your personal life. Burnout is a result of the accumulation of stress that can stem from a job, your lifestyle, personality traits, or any other problem. Three factors that characterize burnout are exhaustion, cynicism, and disengagement or a lower level of productivity.
The difference between stress and burnout is that stress is the result of a lot of pressure, physically and emotionally. You feel like you’re doing too much but understand that it is temporary while burnout takes it a step further, and can often leave you feeling hopeless and unmotivated.
Being in a state of burnout can take a toll on your life, emotionally, mentally, and physically. Checking in with yourself every once in a while and staying conscientious about the ways you look after yourself can have a significant impact when it comes to preventing burnout.
Here are some of the most common symptoms of people who’ve burned out:
With the start of something new, we usually feel anticipation, as well as some anxiety for what the future holds.
The unknown is a factor that initiates stress. It starts building up with any major change happening in our lives such as a new job, moving somewhere else, losing someone special, getting married, or anything else.
The second stage is when burnout symptoms start appearing like anxiety, fatigue, change in appetite, lower productivity, etc. At this stage they’re still frequent bursts, so you might experience good as well as bad days in your mood.
Stage three is when it turns into chronic stress and starts taking a physical toll on you in addition to your mental health. You may experience burnout symptoms like getting angry or irritated easily, distancing yourself from family and friends, avoiding problems at work, losing interest in any hobbies, gaining a cynical attitude towards people, and even physical illness.
The final stage of burnout occurs when you feel your anxiety and stress become a debilitating problem in your personal life. Getting medical intervention at this stage and taking a pause from work is necessary to help you recalibrate and get the support you require to recover.
It is never too late to start working on yourself and figuring out ways to get out of this funk. Firstly, you’ll need to find the reason for your burnout and work on eliminating it. For example, the most common type of burnout is work stress. This is especially true if you have a demanding job that adds a lot of pressure on you.
Taking active steps towards managing your workload can help you find new and effective ways to cope. Developing healthy responses to overwhelming stress and implementing daily practices that prioritize your well-being can be a really useful way for you to ensure you’re able to move through your week without getting burned out. For example, when you’re beginning a new job, prepare yourself the night before by picking out your clothes for the week, reading a good book, and ensuring you get at least seven to nine hours of sleep.
A smart way to prevent burnout from happening is dealing with it before it even begins by paying close attention to your emotional and physical well-being.
To overcome feeling burnout or avoid it completely try the following tips:
The first step is acknowledging you have a problem. Once you do, you can start making changes in your life. These don’t need to be drastic changes - implementing a few daily practices can go a long way in helping you cope better with stress.
Surround yourself with family and friends and talk to them about your problems, they will see things from an outside perspective. When you’re feeling burnt out, it’s hard to find solutions and think clearly, including people you trust in your problems may help you find solutions faster.
When we’re feeling overwhelmed, we forget to practice self care. Burnout comes with self doubt, but you need to start loving and supporting yourself by taking care of your emotional and physical well-being. Create a healthy sleep life balance by getting enough sleep every night, eating nutritious meals, and taking the time to meditate or go to the gym on the weekend.
Sleep-deprivation can often lead to poorer mood regulation, heart health, and contribute significantly to your stress levels. To avoid exacerbating the effects of stress in your life, be sure to catch up on at least seven to nine hours of consistent sleep each night.
If you’re experiencing burnout symptoms, then you need to find the source of this burnout to start working on it. Burnouts can be from work related stress, relationship problems, or a major change in your life. Things like self-care, surrounding yourself with family and friends, and setting reminders to do the things that make you happy can help with your burnout.
People who experience burnout often describe feeling hopeless and empty, it is being demotivated at work and in your life - not wanting to do anything. It is a result of accumulated stress and burnout symptoms can be severe if not handled properly.
Burnouts can last for a long time if not handled properly and early on. You need to find the source of your burnout and eliminate it to start feeling better. Start making positive changes in your life and focus on self care.
It can differ from one person to another, depending on your mentality and the reason behind your burnout. If not dealt with, burnout can lead to depression, or worse. It can last for weeks, months, or even days, so it is recommended to start working on the source of the burnout as soon as possible.
Recovering from burnout is simpler than it might feel like. Implementing daily wellness practices, prioritizing a good night’s sleep, and managing your workload effectively can help ensure you’re able to look after yourself and be the most balanced, effective version of you.