Some people are at a greater risk for burnout than others ─ perfectionists, type A personalities, over-achievers. If you think that you have any of these traits, you could be more at risk for burnout than the more laid back and go-with-the-flow types.
What is burnout?
Burnout happens when prolonged and excessive stress leads to emotional, mental and even physical exhaustion. It is a feeling of helplessness, and you stop caring about things that you used to think were important. It’s not a pleasant feeling.
Burnout is different than feeling stressed. Being stressed is when there is too much going on, and we are worrying about getting through it. Stress can be relieved by working through our situations or problems and by changing what is causing the problem. Burnout happens when we fail to work through or change what is causing the stress. Burnout is the feeling of crashing and burning.
How do you know if you are heading towards burnout?
There are emotional, mental and physical signs to watch out for to know if you are heading towards burnout.
- You feel sick too much ~ When you are overstressed, your immune system is affected. When your immune system is compromised, it makes it easier to get sick more often.
- You feel tired all the time ~ Feeling tired every once in awhile is normal. However, if you feel overly tired, a lot, it is called fatigue. It’s like living in a constant haze that you can’t shake.
- You have muscle pain or headaches ~ Overstressed people who don’t find ways to relieve the stress will often experience muscle aches and pains, and frequent headaches.
- You experience shortness of breath ~ Shortness of breath is often a sign of anxiety. Have you ever woken up in the morning and couldn’t breathe right- while feeling anxious? Don’t ignore this feeling; it is a true sign that something is not right.
- You are experiencing gut problems ~ Too much stress can cause low-grade inflammation in our bodies. This can cause stomach and intestinal problems.
6 Ways to Stop Burnout From Happening
- Take a break ~ If you are experiencing burnout, your body is trying to tell you to slow down. This is a good time to take a weekend for yourself or to schedule a small vacation. This means to clear your schedule and really take time for yourself. Don’t plan anything; then you can do what you feel like doing at the time. Maybe it will be an activity that you enjoy, or maybe it will be just spending time catching up on your favorite show.
- Actively find ways to manage your stress ~ There are several ways you can do this. First, you want to realize what your stresses are. You can do this by journal writing. Journal writing is a good way to understand just how you are feeling. Second would be to find time to meditate or to reflect on a daily basis. Meditating will put your life into perspective and open your mind to new ideas on how you can deal better with daily activities. Thirdly, get enough of sleep. Working too hard and not sleeping enough doesn’t allow sufficient time for your body or mind to rest and repair as it should on a daily basis.
- Learn to set boundaries ~ Don’t let your plate overflow. Learn to say no. There is only so much time in a day, so learn to take on what you can comfortably fit into each day. This might be saying no sometimes to friends, family and even your boss.
- Have a go-to friend ~ Choose a person with a positive attitude. And, someone who is truly a friend and won’t mind the OMG text at 8 pm! Then do the same when this person needs you to be there for them!
- Learn to care for yourself daily ~ Self-care doesn’t have to be big things like trips to the spa. It’s the small things that you enjoy doing each day ─ taking a short walk, spending time with your pets, sitting outside for awhile. Whatever it is that you enjoy, make sure you are spending some time each day doing it!
- Get some form of regular exercise ~ Your body needs exercise to keep healthy. Exercise also relieves daily stresses. It doesn’t have to be a hardcore 30-minute workout every day. It can be a walk in the park, a short bike ride, time playing ball with your dog… anything that is a physical activity that you enjoy. For some more ideas, this article lists ways to get some easy, everyday exercise ~ Lack of Exercise Found to be Linked to Fatality Increase.
In conclusion, it is very important to learn what the symptoms of burnout are so that you can prevent it from occurring. We hope that our tips for burnout prevention can help you live a more stress-free life!
Robin, and the ZEN Team.
Note: This article is for informational purposes only and is not intended to diagnose or treat any health condition. Therefore, ask your doctor about any health concerns that you might have and seek proper medical treatment.
Photo Sources– Pixabay.com