Are you feeling overwhelmed, unmotivated, fatigued, or depressed lately? You may be experiencing burnout.
These days we work long hours, even taking work home with us. If we’re not working, we’re thinking about work. More work and more pressure to succeed can begin to weigh us down eventually. Instead of meeting our goals, they begin to slip away from us. This can affect both our professional and personal life at the same time. Burnout is chronic stress that can invade your every cell, both physically, mentally, and emotionally. Here are six symptoms of burnout to look for in your life
1. Loss of enjoyment and motivation
Lacking joy in your life, both at work and in your personal life, is a tell-tale sign of burnout. It leads to a loss of enthusiasm for your work, leading to delays in getting to work each day, or staying in bed longer than usual.
Fatigue is much more than feeling tired one day. Exhaustion seeps in, and you feel tired all the time. Drained of energy, chronic fatigue can be accompanied by a feeling of dread about what each day will entail.
If you lie awake at night, unable to fall asleep, or wake up every few hours and can’t get back to sleep, something isn’t right. Are you constantly preoccupied with your work, or worry about your work? This can have detrimental effects on your sleep and, ultimately, your health.
4. Impaired Cognitive Skills
Burnout can cause impaired cognitive skills such as an inability to concentrate and focus, and also forgetfulness. This can lead to difficulties in making decisions and solving problems.
5. Increased Physical Symptoms
Stress can wreak havoc on our bodies, and burnout is a culprit often found in stress-related illnesses. Physical symptoms to look out for include:
- More susceptible to illness, such as colds and flu. (Stress depletes your immune system.)
- Loss of appetite, possibly leading to unnecessary weight loss
- Shortness of breath
- Gastrointestinal disorders
- Muscle tension
Over the long term, chronic stress can lead to a variety of health issues.
6. Mental and Emotional Impairments
Just as stress can affect us physically, it can also negatively affect us mentally and emotionally. Examples of this include:
- Anxiety. A combination of worry, tension, and edginess reaches the point where it begins to interfere with your ability to be productive and may also affect your personal life.
- Depression. At first, you may feel sad and possibly hopeless. This can lead to feeling trapped in your current situation and seeing no way out.
Once you recognize and acknowledge burnout, you can move forward by changing certain aspects of your lifestyle.
Here is a list of things you can do to overcome burnout and get back on track to a healthy life.
Schedule Time for Relaxation
For many, learning to relax is easier said than done. However, with a little practice, it can make a difference in all areas of your life. Consider any of the following to help you disconnect and relax:
- Take a walk in nature
- Listen to music
- Read a good book
- Take a yoga class
- Learn to meditate
- Visit with family and friends
Take time for yourself. You deserve it, and so do your mind and body.
Unplug from Constant Technology
These days we constantly have access to emails and phone calls. To treat burnout, unplug from this constant technology. Limit the times outside of work that you check and respond to emails and phone calls. Establishing these types of boundaries in your life will lead to less burnout.
Establish a Hobby Outside of Work
Determine what hobby you are passionate about, whether that be woodworking, sewing, bowling, or fitness. Cultivate this hobby. It should be one that provides a sense of challenge and enjoyment.
Get Better Sleep
Getting less than six hours of sleep at night can accelerate burn out, leading to fatigue, less productivity, anxiety, and a decrease in motivation. Find a nightly ritual that works for you, such as a hot bath or shower before bed, reading, or soft music.
Consider Reaching Out for Help
If you feel past the point of being able to turn your situation around on your own, then it’s time to seek help. You can start with a family member, but be willing to seek out professional help as well.
These days burnout is common. It can lead to both mental and physical exhaustion, as well as illness. Once we recognize it in us or in those we love, however, we can take measures to overcome it and get back on track with our lives.