Primary Author: Marisa Valentino | Secondary Author: Evans Rochaste NP Psychiatry
Your body and brain can only tolerate being overworked and overwhelmed for so long. If you’re consistently experiencing high-stress levels without taking a step back to rest, exhaustion will take over, and you’ll find yourself physically and emotionally burned out.
Burnout happens gradually, so you may not realize the symptoms right away. But once it overcomes you, it can influence every aspect of your life. This is why we’ve made a guide to help you identify and prevent burnout.
What Is Burnout?
“Burnout” was coined by American psychologist Herbert Freudenberger in the 1970s. It describes a severe stress condition leading to intense mental, emotional, and physical exhaustion. It’s far worse than ordinary fatigue, as burnout makes it difficult to manage stress and handle day-to-day responsibilities.
This condition won’t go away on its own, and when left untreated, it can cause psychological and physical illnesses like anxiety, depression, type 2 diabetes, headaches, and respiratory issues.
Causes of burnout include:
- Unmanageable responsibilities
- Anxiety-inducing home life
- Cyclic relationship problems that lack a resolution
Do You Have Burnout?
If you think you may suffer from burnout, read the list of symptoms below. It’s important to remember that burnout varies from person to person, and not everyone will experience the same symptoms.
Feeling emotionally and physically drained. You may have trouble focusing, disinterest in activities you typically enjoy, headaches, stomachaches, and sleeping pattern changes.
Long-term stress, including burnout, can weaken your immune system putting you at a higher risk of getting sick with colds.
When experiencing burnout, you’ll likely feel overwhelmed. As a result, you may stop socializing and can withdraw from family, friends, and co-workers.
How Can You Recover From Burnout?
Practice Setting Boundaries
Give yourself empowerment and agency. Limit the time and energy you give to others to ensure you can fulfill your own needs. Remember, you are allowed to say no.
Respect Your Needs
Take care of your mental and physical health. Ideally, those experiencing burnout could clear their schedules and dedicate time to restful relaxation. Unfortunately, this isn’t a reality for most people. But practicing self-care can make recharging easier. We recommend:
- Getting enough sleep
- Aim to exercise daily
- Eat healthy meals and stay hydrated
- Try relaxing practices like meditation and yoga
You may feel directionless and inadequate. If you are experiencing burnout, you’ve likely pushed yourself beyond what most people would consider themselves capable of. You may be working excessively hard. It’s essential to give yourself love and support. Remember, no one is perfect, and taking a break can be beneficial. You’ll find that it’s easier to manage life when you aren’t running on empty.
Ask For Help
Battling burnout can be incredibly challenging, especially if it’s already impacted your quality of life. Therapists can provide professional guidance to help you navigate, recover, and prevent burnout.
How Can You Prevent Burnout?
Establish a Work-Life Balance
Ensure your workload is reasonable and leaves you free time to pursue hobbies and spend time with loved ones.
Familiarizing yourself with the signs of burnout will allow you to recognize when you’re experiencing them. This way, you can take a step back and get the necessary rest before your condition worsens.
Maintaining a relationship with a therapist allows you to explore different coping mechanisms and can help you alleviate the root of the problem. Also, if there’s a professional you’re already comfortable with, it may be easier to reach out for help when dealing with mental health conditions like burnout.
If you’re interested in seeking mental health services to combat burnout, ReKlame Health can help. Our young, culturally diverse clinical team can give you the support you need to regain control of your life. We provide effective, affordable mental health care and medication management.