If chronic stress has left you feeling exhausted, defeated, and overwhelmed, you may be suffering from burnout. Regardless of what you’ve heard, burnout is a real condition and it’s more prevalent now than ever before. A recent, shocking survey of 1,500 U.S. workers found that 52 percent of the respondents were experiencing burnout. What exactly is burnout, how can you recognize it, and most importantly, how can you prevent and recover from it? These are the questions we’ll be answering in this article. Here’s what you need to know.
What is burnout?
Burnout is a state of emotional, physical, and mental exhaustion caused by excessive or prolonged stress. It occurs when you’re continually exposed to stressful situations and unable to keep up with demands. Anything that causes stress over a long period of time can lead to burnout, such as caring for an ill family member or working long hours.
Burnout reduces your productivity, zaps your energy, and leaves you feeling increasingly overwhelmed, tired, defeated, hopeless, and detached. Eventually, you may feel as though you have nothing left to give, physically, emotionally, or mentally.
How can you recognize if you have burnout?
Everyone experiences stress and has overwhelming or difficult days, but occasionally feeling stressed does not constitute burnout. Burnout results in feeling tired and drained most of the time. When you experience burnout, you’ll likely lose your appetite, have trouble sleeping, and lose motivation to care for yourself and others. Things feel unbearably hard, all the time—as though you’re wading through mud.
How can you prevent and heal from burnout?
While you can’t always control what happens in your life, there are things you can do to reduce your chances of experiencing burnout. Additionally, the things you do to prevent burnout can also help you recover from it. Here are our top tips for preventing and healing burnout.
1. Find balance in your life
Burnout often arises in people who work themselves too hard in one area of their life. Perhaps they spend long hours working or spend all of their waking hours taking care of their children. To prevent and heal from burnout, it’s crucial to establish balance in your life. That could look like scaling back your work hours so that you have more free time or seeking out a few hours of child care each week so that you can have some alone time and engage in things you enjoy.
2. Set boundaries
Those who suffer from burnout are more likely to be “yes” people. They have a hard time saying no and sacrifice their own well-being for the sake of their work, family, or friends. While you can’t always avoid certain things in life, you can create boundaries in order to take care of yourself. Setting boundaries could entail asking for help, saying no to certain things (when possible), delegating duties to your co-workers or family members, or simply giving yourself permission to take breaks.
3. Make time for relaxation and sleep
When experiencing chronic stress, allowing time to let your body decompress and rest is essential. Do what you need to do to carve out time for relaxation and adequate sleep, even if that means pushing back deadlines or asking for help.
4. Seek support
One of the most effective tools to preventing and overcoming burnout is to reach out to others. Sharing your feelings with an attentive, non-judgmental listener can go a long way in calming your nervous system, relieving stress, and helping you feel safe.
If you’ve been feeling overwhelmed, or simply want to stay a step ahead of your stress, don’t hesitate to reach out to the SoundMind Wellness team for guidance and support. We offer individual therapy, process groups, and wellness workshops. You don’t have to face burnout alone. We’re here and ready to help you rediscover your peace, joy, and happiness. Call us at (954)-613-9414 to get started.
The information, including but not limited to, text, graphics, images and other material contained on this page are for informational purposes only. The purpose of this post is to promote broad consumer understanding and knowledge of various health topics, including but not limited to the benefits of mental healthcare, wellness and nutrition. It is not intended to provide or be a substitute for professional mental health advice, diagnosis or treatment. It is not a substitute for a relationship with a licensed mental health practitioner. Always seek the advice of your therapist, physician or other licensed mental health professional with any questions you may have regarding a mental health condition or treatment and before undertaking a new health care regimen, and never disregard professional mental health advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this page.