To say that there’s a lot going on this time of year is an understatement…
With the holiday season behind us, we step into the new year hoping to feel renewed, invigorated and remotivated - but many of us find ourselves feeling flat, overextended or hung out to dry. So much for a fresh start going into 2023…
If you've been feeling like you're running on empty, are stretched too thin, or that keeping up with the demands of everyday life has become a chore, you're in good company.
Many of us find that the start of a new year can leave us feeling exhausted and burned out. Whether it's due to work stress, family obligations, or a sense of pressure to make the most of our New Year’s Resolutions, it's easy to find yourself feeling rundown.
But what exactly is burnout? And how can you tell if you're suffering from it?
Burnout is a state of emotional, physical, and mental exhaustion caused by prolonged stress. It can manifest in a variety of ways, including fatigue, anxiety, depression, and even a sense of hopelessness. If you feel like you're stuck in a rut, or that you just can't seem to shake a sense of exhaustion, you may be experiencing a case of burnout - but there is something you can do about it!
There are many telltale signs that can indicate you're suffering from burnout, but by noticing them, you'll be well on your way to feeling better ASAP. The good news? Burnout is something that's easily addressed with a few simple tricks designed to help you take a break and refresh your mind, body and spirit!
In this article, we'll be discussing 9 clues that can be helpful in identifying burnout, plus tips on how to tackle it. Let’s look at some ways to regain your energy, reduce stress, and help you feel more in control of your life.
9. CONSTANT FATIGUE
One of the most common symptoms of burnout is a persistent feeling of exhaustion. If you find that you're unable to shake a sense of tiredness, no matter how much sleep you get, it could be a sign that you're burned out. You might even experience insomnia or have trouble achieving the deep REM sleep you need to feel physically and emotionally refreshed, thanks to thoughts that won't stop racing when your head hits the pillow.
Setting limits and boundaries will help manage your work-life balance and avoid working too much overtime. Incorporating regular exercise into your routine also helps maintain your physical and mental well-being. At the end of the day, prioritizing self-care by establishing a good nighttime routine ensures you get enough rest and quality sleep to feel rejuvenated.
8. CAN'T keep up
If you're having trouble keeping up with your responsibilities at home or work, it could be a sign that you're mentally exhausted. Burnout can affect your ability to manage your time and energy effectively, causing you to get snowed under, forget important things, and miss deadlines.
Time for a routine reset! If possible, delegating non-essential work to others can help shoulder the load of overwhelm. Adopting a system to stay on schedule can be invaluable for becoming more reliable and managing your to-do list. Be sure to find a method that works for you, such as setting reminder alarms on your phone or recruiting an accountability partner. And don't be afraid to ask for help from friends and family while you get your bearings!
7. trouble concentrating
Exhaustion can also affect your ability to concentrate and focus. If you're struggling to pay attention to tasks, make decisions, or notice that your mind is constantly racing (or happens to be somewhere else completely!), it could be a sign that you're suffering from burnout..
Prioritizing time management, breaking up larger tasks into smaller, manageable chunks, and giving priority to essential tasks can really help you stay on track. And don't forget to take regular breaks throughout the day to refresh your mind!
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6. everything's an effort?!
Burnout can also lead to a loss of motivation and a feeling of apathy. If you find that you're no longer excited about things that used to interest you, or that you're just not able to summon the energy to do the things you need to do, it could be a sign of burnout or lack of dopamine in your brain.
Identifying the source of your stress lets you tackle it head-on, and moving your body or achieving some small tasks can help you tap into some dopamine and kickstart your brain's reward and motivation chemicals. Finding a new hobby or activity that will bring you joy and create a sense of accomplishment helps, as well as scheduling regular breaks during the day to re-energize and rest your mind.
5. feeling worried & stuck
Burnout can also lead to feelings of depression and anxiety. If you find that you're struggling with feelings of hopelessness or helplessness, or if you're experiencing a lot of stress and worry, it could be a sign that you're suffering from burnout.
Seeking out professional help and considering therapy or counseling is crucial if your mind keeps hijacking your happiness with stress and worry. Try practicing relaxation techniques such as meditation and deep breathing, and also talking to someone close to you can ease the burden of your thoughts and feelings.
4. depleted in body & mind
Aside from causing you to feel mentally checked-out, burnout can also manifest as physical symptoms like headaches, digestive issues, and a weakened immune system. If you find yourself calling in sick more often, or if you're frequently feeling unwell, it could be a sign that you're burned out.
Getting out ahead of your wellness is critical, because if you don't make time for your health, you'll have to make time for your sickness. Practicing stress management techniques, taking regular breaks during the day to refresh your mind, and also prioritizing self-care and managing work-life balance are key.
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3. neglecting self care
When people are burned out, they often neglect to take care of themselves. This can manifest as poor eating habits, a lack of exercise, or neglecting personal hygiene.
Scheduling regular time for things that nurture your mind, body and soul will recharge your spirits. Try exercising or enjoying a fun hobby, be sure you're eating healthy, balanced meals, and make sure to schedule time for rest and relaxation.
2. feeling withdrawn & introverted
Find yourself bailing at the last minute on plans with friends, or declining those dinner invites because it all just feels like so much work? Burnout can often make us want to withdraw from social activities, lose interest in relationships and friendships, and spend a lot of time alone.
Making an effort to reconnect with friends and loved ones can help remind you just how life-affirming meaningful connections can be. Scheduling some lighthearted social activities that don't require too much of a time or energy commitment can help get the ball rolling on your zest for life again, and actively participating in community events can help you feel like your presence is so worthwhile.
1. allll the emotions!
If you're finding that you're snapping at people more easily, your emotions are taking you on a rollercoaster of highs and lows, or you're more agitated than usual, it could be a sign that you're overwhelmed and stressed out. This can often be a symptom of exhaustion, manifesting as a short fuse that threatens to shake you to the core at the slightest thing.
Letting off the pressure valve on your life can be a great help for feeling more calm, cool and collected. Aside from the regular stress management techniques like conscious thought, breathing exercises and mindful activities like yoga, a good walk or some delicious food can help boost your serotonin and endorphins!
In this fast-paced life, burnout can be an unfortunate reality for many of us.
In the end, the most important step to tackling burnout is to recognize that it is a problem, and actively work on finding ways to manage it. It's important to take time to prioritize self-care and find ways to manage stress in a healthy way, so you can regain your energy, improve your mental and physical health, and get back to feeling like yourself again.
It can be tough to battle burnout, but with patience, persistence, and self-compassion, you can come out stronger on the other side. Take a step back and take a deep breath, give yourself a break, and don't hesitate to reach out for support. You got this!
Fefe | Greens Steel Lifestyle Contributor