What is a burnout?
It’s a trying phase we face when our lives become out of whack, unbalanced and full of pressure to achieve more than we are currently capable of undertaking. Burnouts can sneak up on you when you least expect it. They can start with a few dragging days and can lead to deep depression, insomnia, a lack of self-worth, and worse of all: substance abuse. Burnouts are not to be taken lightly. They can affect your overall well-being; physical and mental health. They should not be ignored. There are many signs of a burnout and we will get to that shortly.
We all go through rough times in life. We all have our own battles to face and obstacles to overcome. Life was never meant to be an easy ride. We must be willing to accept the challenges thrown at us or else we will find ourselves struggling to get out of bed in the morning and walking around feeling like a victim of some sort of madness that’s actually happening internally, no matter what you tell yourself.
Reminder: The world isn’t against you. If you stop to look around, there are resources all around you. A burnout is not a terminal illness or condition. It’s a thief of passion and energy that breaks you down and pulls you back in the dark of the night. Okay, that was dramatic, but sometimes that is exactly how it feels.
Signs of a burnout:
- physical and emotional exhaustion
- a loss of mental clarity
- major changes in sleep patterns (insomnia or over-sleeping)
- chronic depression
- fatigue (always so tired and can’t explain why)
- negative self-talk
- anxiety and an increase in worriedness
- difficulty concentrating on any given task or a simple conversation
- detachment from your job, relationships, and responsibilities
- extreme isolation and withdrawing from social interactions
- feelings of hopelessness — asking yourself “what’s the point”
- lack of productivity and performance
- abnormal increases of irritability
“… some of the saddest moments I have witnessed in my career have been watching bright lights grow dimmer and dimmer until they eventually burn out. I’m referring to high octane women who once sparkled, loved their lives, pursued their passions, and in doing so changed lives only to fall victim to the stress and fatigue that all too often come along with giving so much of oneself.” – Sherrie Bourg Carter Psy.D. Author of High Octane Women
Now that we know what a burnout is, let’s take a look at how we can climb out of the trenches and get back on our feet. You with me?
How to Bounce Back from a Burnout
- Control the time you spend on your phone, laptop, or tablet
- Don’t jump from one project to another. Allow yourself to recharge in-between
- Practice stress reducing techniques to keep your mind and body strong
- Say “no” when you’re taking on new responsibilities or challenges. Allow yourself time to rest and focus. Even though you want may want to get your hands dirty and stir up as much opportunity or success as possible, it is wise to muster up the word, “no” when you know good and well you need to chill for a bit.
- Use a daily planner to schedule your day without trying to pack too much in
- Socialize outside of your professional circle. This will help gain new perspectives.
- Delegate what you can. I know it’s not always easy, because we like the control and think we can do a task better than someone. Sure, you want the credit. Sure, you want to put your name on it, but from time to time it’s OKAY to let someone else run with it
- Eat nutritious meals regularly
- Exercise before or after your workday
- Stay hydrated
- Avoid negative nonsense (people, the news, gossip, etc.)
- Journal about your day, your goals, your greater purpose than making a dollar
- Forgive yourself when you feel you’re not accomplishing as much as you’d like right now
- Be kind to other people rather than blasting them with your burnout-negative energy
- Pick up a novel and get lost in a story
- Spend time with supporting friends or family
If you find yourself in this situation and need someone to talk to, please feel free to send me a message by filling out the contact form below.
Image via We Heart It