In a world where productivity culture is promoted continuously, we often struggle to say no, and tend to take on more than we can handle, despite the rest needed for our minds, bodies, and spirits.
Burnout is the outcome of prolonged stress, being overworked, and getting insufficient rest.
You’ve probably heard it being used to refer to a short-lived period and manageable state of fatigue, but the reality and outcomes of burnout if unaddressed can often last longer than many of us believe. The longer one is in a state of burnout, the harder it will be to recover.
While burnout looks different from one person to another, some of the signs and symptoms are common.
What are the signs of burnout?
Constantly feeling tired:
Burnout can feel like a long period of exhaustion, one that sleep will not cure.
In fact, you may get many hours of sleep and still feel restless, because burnout keeps one’s brains in a constant state of preoccupation and stress.
Feeling easily frustrated and impatient:
Minor inconveniences can feel major to those experiencing burnout.
A small misunderstanding will lead to anger and frustration, because burnout can make one feel irritable and easily upset.
Being 100% productive in all areas of life is neither realistic nor achievable.
Burnout resulting from being overworked in one’s job, constantly tending to various responsibilities and maintaining social connections all while attempting to care for oneself can leave a person feeling unaccomplished and unsuccessful, despite how hard they try.
Difficulty completing tasks:
As a result of needing to constantly be responsive and productive, limited rest and the excessive load of work and responsibilities, it becomes difficult to concentrate and complete tasks. You can become forgetful, inattentive, and unable to concentrate.
Altered mood and motivation:
Experiencing burnout can lead one to lose the desire to enjoy life.
You may no longer want to be in social spaces, engage in interesting activities or leisurely things. As one’s body and mind continue to require rest, it’s possible that you begin to lose the motivation to take part in time-consuming activities.
Over time, you might lose the motivation to do work that is necessary for your careers, family obligations, and well-being.
Physical results of burnout:
One can experience constant headaches, weaker immunity, and changes in overall appearance and appetite.
These changes can happen because of the constant stress and exhaustion.
What can you do about burnout? How to manage it?
Prioritise time to disconnect, rest and recharge
Rest (passive or active) is necessary, productive and can benefit your mind, body, and spirit. Here is our last blog about the different forms of rest! It can not only prevent burnout but also help you manage it.
Prioritise nutrition, adequate sleep, and quality time
Engage in laughter (LOTS OF IT), develop good sleep habits and focus on having healthy meals, your body will thank you in many ways for giving it care and nurturing experiences.
Listen to your body
When you sense you’re low in energy, make sure you listen to your body. This can mean rescheduling tasks and plans or finding ways to lighten your load or share responsibility with others. Express to those around you that you need time to rest in order to show up in your best state.
Learn to say no
It’s important to not take on more than you can handle, it’s also important to acknowledge that you will do your best work when your mindset and physical health are looked after. Read our blog on the power of non-negotiables to help you!
Ask to be supported by your peers, colleagues, and family members, it’s also important to seek professional help when necessary. A therapist can help you identify burnout and work efficiently through it. Our team is always here to help!
It is also crucial to seek support from your doctor and have a full check up!
Practice self-compassion: remind yourself that work promotions and excessive work don’t define your value as a person. You deserve compassion, you deserve rest, you deserve understanding and care. Here is our self compassion guide to help you!
Many of us are immersed in what often feels like endless obligations, tasks, and responsibilities.
You must remember that you too, like those you care for, need rest and ease. Remind yourself that being productive in reasonable intervals is more important and more meaningful than doing too much and compromising your well being.
Doing your best will bear fruit over time and those around you will see and appreciate it. You must give yourself the energy, space and time you deserve in order to show up for others as your best self.
Until next time.