What is Burnout and How to Handle It?
It is not a secret that ongoing and excessive stress is not good for your health. If you constantly feel helpless, emotionally drained, and resentful, you may be experiencing burnout.
What is Burnout?
Burnout is often described as a state of complete exhaustion caused by persistent and excessive stress. People experience burnout when they feel overwhelmed by constant day-to-day demands in personal and professional life. Along with the outside causes, your mindset may also contribute to prolonged stress that leads to burnout. That is, the self-perception that you are lazy if you are not overstretched may lead to burnout. Burnout can eat away your energy, reduce motivation and productivity, damage your health, and affect every area of your life. You may feel as though every day is a bad day, filled with dull and overwhelming tasks that sap your energy. While it is normal to feel overwhelmed or fatigued from time to time, if you feel like this most of the time, you may be burned out. Because of its serious negative effects, you should not ignore the first signs of burnout.
The best way to prevent burnout is to reduce stress and address the first (and often subtle) signs of exhaustion.
Emotional signs of burnout:
- Loss of energy
- Loss of motivation
- Feeling helpless and hopeless most of the time
- A sense of detachment and isolation
- A lack of life satisfaction
Physical Symptoms of Burnout:
- Feeling exhausted most of the time
- Weakened immunity
- Frequent aches and pains
- Change in appetite
- Disturbed sleep habits
A burned-out person may also withdraw and isolate themselves from other people. They may start avoiding responsibilities, become aggressive, or use drugs and/or alcohol to cope.
How to Cope with Burnout
While burnout may cause you to feel desperate, hopeless, and completely out of energy, there are some things you can do to manage overwhelming stress and get a sense of balance in your life again.
1. Set the Boundaries
A good way to boost resilience is to reevaluate your priorities and set clear goals. This will help you feel more in control of your time and improve your productivity. Also, recall what makes you happy, and give yourself time to take a break and relax.
2. Stay Active
Although physical activity may be the last thing you feel like doing, it has been proven that exercise helps manage stress and burnout. Also, regular exercise will boost your mood and help you feel more relaxed.
3. Practice Mindfulness
Mindfulness meditation can help you focus on your thoughts and pay attention to sensations in your body, maximizing stress relief and boosting your resilience.
4. Nurture Positive Social Connection
Reaching out to close people is one of the best cures for stress. Talking to someone who deeply understands you can calm you down and help relieve stress. Also, spending enjoyable time with positive people can boost your spirits and alleviate anxiety. Limit your contact with toxic people who drain your energy and set boundaries when it comes to social media exposure.
5. Put Your Health First
Eat nutritious food, make sure you get enough sleep and take time off. Go on a vacation or spend time away from work. Taking the time away from your normal day-to-day life can help recharge your batteries and come up with more successful coping methods.