“Burnout is total system breakdown, after prolonged, unmanageable stress, and emotional fatigue. People suffering from burnout often experience emotional, cognitive and physical exhaustion, and this can have serious physical and mental health related consequences, from which it can take a long time, and a lot of treatment, to recover.”
Our modern-day rush hour lifestyles are not doing us any good. We’ve heard it before from the professionals, the doctors, philosophers and scientists alike. We take on too much, we develop a stressful way of dealing with things, we accumulate anxiety over things we either can’t change, or could change but won’t. Often, our jobs, or just life in general, can be so high-stress that it’s really only a matter of time before we start to break down. Yes, we are an adaptable species, but we’ve come so far from our natural state that it’s not surprising we malfunction all the time. We’re not robotic machines, we are complex humans that often think we can handle more than what’s actually possible.
Described as the “overachiever syndrome,” it predominantly happens to high performers. Often these individuals refuse to accept that they are overworked to the point of physical and mental defeat. However, spotting the signs before it’s too late can save devastating circumstances. Having burnout doesn’t only harm the affected, but negatively impacts the relationships within their lives, personal and work-related. Unless blessed with paid leave, (which is not great for your company) it will also hinder potential income and leave you helpless to other responsibilities. Catching burnout before it hits you can be a real life-saver and make you seriously re-think what’s truly worthy of your energy. It might be time for a lifestyle makeover.
Then there’s all that pressure whether you’re working hard or not. The pressure of needing to be financially stable, the pressure of needing to fit in somewhere in society, the pressure to take care of things, and people. And peoples things. The pressure to impress and be accepted, the hardships that life can bring, firing at us from all corners. Our physical bodies become strained, mentally we are worn down. Things start falling apart, in every sense of the phrase. When burnout strikes, there’s no magic pill to fix it. The only way to heal yourself is to completely stop what you’re doing and give your mind, body and emotions a chance to sort themselves out. Restore, re-boot, recharge, re-evaluate. Breathe.
Burnout: The Signs
(Provided by psychologytoday.com)
In the early stages, you may feel a lack energy and feel tired most days. In the latter stages, you feel physically and emotionally exhausted, drained, and depleted, and you may feel a sense of dread for what lies ahead on any given day.
In the early stages, you may have trouble falling asleep or staying asleep one or two nights a week. In the latter stages, insomnia may turn into a persistent, nightly ordeal; as exhausted as you are, you can’t sleep.
Forgetfulness/impaired concentration and attention
Lack of focus and mild forgetfulness are early signs. Later, the problems may get to the point where you can’t get your work done and everything begins to pile up.
Physical symptoms may include chest pain, heart palpitations, shortness of breath, gastrointestinal pain, dizziness, fainting, and/or headaches (all of which should be medically assessed).
Increased illness. Your immune system becomes weakened, making you more vulnerable to infections, colds, flu, and other immune-related medical problems.
Loss of appetite. In the early stages, you may not feel hungry and may skip a few meals. In the latter stages, you may lose your appetite all together and begin to lose a significant amount of weight.
Anxiety. Early on, you may experience mild symptoms of tension, worry, and edginess. As you move closer to burnout, the anxiety may become so serious that it interferes in your ability to work productively and may cause problems in your personal life.
Depression. In the early stages, you may feel mildly sad, occasionally hopeless, and you may experience feelings of guilt and worthlessness as a result. At its worst, you may feel trapped, severely depressed, and think the world would be better off without you. (If your depression gets to this point, you should seek professional help immediately.)
Anger. At first, this may present as interpersonal tension and irritability. In the latter stages, this may turn into angry outbursts and serious arguments at home and in the work place. (If anger gets to the point where it turns to thoughts or acts of violence toward family or coworkers, seek immediate professional assistance.)
In addition you might start feeling any of the following, or even all of them:
- Loss of enjoyment
- Feeling ineffective or unaccomplished
- Lack of productivity
- Poor performance
Talk to someone
If you think you may be suffering from burnout, or heading in that direction, you can visit Issues I Face for some more insight and help with what you’re going through. Issues I Face is a website dedicated to helping you with whatever issue you may have. Your information stays completely private and you can unload everything that’s on your mind. You don’t have to be alone with what you’re facing. Start working towards helping yourself today, healing begins now.
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