Burnout is the product of unhealthy expectations with yourself or others. We cannot do and be everything.
Much worse than ordinary fatigue, burnout makes it challenging for you to cope with stress and handle day-to-day responsibilities.
If you’re experiencing burnout you may often feel like you have nothing left to give and may dread getting out of bed each morning. You may even adopt a pessimistic outlook toward life and feel hopeless.
Burnout is a state of emotional, physical, and mental exhaustion caused by excessive and prolonged stress. It occurs when you feel overwhelmed, emotionally drained, and unable to meet constant demands.
Do you recognize any of these 7 Common Causes of Burnout in your life?
~Listening to people when you don’t have the emotional capacity to hold space for them.
~Working hard and not being shown appreciation for your efforts.
~Overextending yourself to others.
~Unreasonable expectations for yourself or unreasonable expectations placed on you.
~Not taking care of yourself but taking care of others.
~Trying to manage situations outside of your control.
~Offering advice to people who don’t value your feedback.
Once you identify what is causing your burnout you can take steps eliminate them or manage them in a healthy way.
Tune in to your behaviors and how you are really feeling. You may find you’re suffering from one or more of these burnout symptoms.
Exhaustion. Feeling physically and emotionally depleted. Physical symptoms may include headaches, stomachaches, and appetite or sleeping changes.
Isolation. You tend to feel overwhelmed. As a result, you may stop socializing and confiding in friends, family members, and co-workers.
Escape fantasies. Dissatisfied with the never-ending demands of your job, you may fantasize about running away or going on a solo-vacation. In extreme cases, you may turn to drugs, alcohol, or food as a way to numb your emotional pain.
Irritability. Burnout can cause you to lose your cool with friends, co-workers, and family members more easily. Coping with normal stressors like preparing for a work meeting, driving kids to school, and tending to household tasks also may start to feel insurmountable, especially when things don’t go as planned.
Frequent illnesses. Burnout, like other long-term stress, can lower your immune system, making you more susceptible to colds, the flu, and insomnia. Burnout can also lead to mental health concerns like depression and anxiety.
Stress is unavoidable. Burnout won’t go away on its’ own, but it is preventable by taking some steps to keep stress from getting the best of you.
- Let go of people pleasing
- Accept that you’re not supposed to spread yourself so thin
- Eliminate toxic people and find people to support you
- Get back to the basics of self-care
Exercise: Not only is exercise good for our physical health, but it also gives us an emotional boost.
Stretched for time? You don’t need to spend hours at the gym to reap these benefits. Mini-workouts and short walks are convenient ways to make exercise a daily habit.
Eat a balanced diet: Eating a healthy diet filled with omega-3 fatty acids can be a natural antidepressant. Adding foods rich in omega-3s like flaxseed oil, walnuts, and fish may help give your mood a boost.
Practice good sleep habits: Our bodies need time to rest and reset which is why healthy sleep habits are essential for our well-being. According to the National Sleep Foundation, avoiding caffeine before bedtime, establishing a relaxing bedtime ritual, and banning smartphones from the bedroom can help promote sound sleep hygiene.
Ask for help: During stressful times, it’s important to reach out for help. If asking for assistance feels difficult, consider developing a self-care “check-in” with close friends and family members so that you can take care of each other during trying times.
Knowing your limits is an important part of preventing burnout.
If you are experiencing burnout, consider this:
What can you change now?
What needs to change soon?
What supports do you need?
What boundaries can you place with yourself and others?