In a culture that values productivity, achievement and success so much, it is easy to lose yourself in your work, school or college and burnout. Most of us have been brought up to believe that we must always push ourselves to excel and do our best to succeed. It is important to know when to draw the line and take care of ourselves and our emotions.
Burnout is a state of emotional, mental and physical exhaustion. It is not simply a result of working long hours or juggling too many tasks, though those both play a role.
Burnout is caused due to extended period of stress especially if it feels like the stress is never-ending.
Burnout is a gradual process that takes place over an extended period of time so, it is an easy trap to fall into and hard to climb out of.
This is why most people find it difficult to figure if they hit a temporary rough patch or if they’re suffering from emotional exhaustion.
All the classic “sleep for 8 hours” or “eat well” or “don’t stress yourself too much” advices hardly work and are not as effective as some might think.
As this is beyond “feeling tired” or “having a rough patch”, treating it is important or else, burnout can have adverse effects on people. [Disclaimer at the end]
Sometimes, it is more than lacking motivation and being lazy. In this post, I will be walking you through some signs of burnout and how to overcome it.
4 Signs Of A Burnout
I am in no way claiming to be a professional. These are some of the most common, talked about causes for burnouts. Please seek professional help if necessary!
1. Chronically Fatigue
No amount of food, sleep and rest can make you feel better.
You are exhausted all the time. You feel unfulfilled by the things that meant a lot to you once.
It is hard for you to feel any sort of pleasure because you think nothing you do will matter.
Most often people don’t see the point in doing something and give up due to burnout.
2. Dreading Work
Feeling like you cannot do your work effectively. This may be due to the insane work load or overthinking about the minute details.
There’s some kind of cynicism around your work. You feel like your purpose is not the same and find it hard to control your work life.
This results in less productivity which in-turn makes you cynical about your ethics (being grateful for the opportunities)
3. Not Taking Care Of Yourself
If there is a change in your eating and sleeping patterns, then that could be a sign.
This leads to loss of appetite and being sleep deprived. If you find it difficult or do not care about putting in the effort to dress and look presentable.
Feeling hopeless because you think the stress will keep increasing and will last forever. So, what’s the point of taking care of yourself?
4. Neglecting Social Life
According to you, to meet the society’s standards of success, you have to give in the hours.
This will result in neglecting your social life. Or, because you think you have not achieved what your friends have, you find it difficult to hang out as you feel insignificant.
4 Ways To Overcome A Burnout
1. Finding The Core
The first and most important step in overcoming a burnout is to find the reason behind this feeling of emptiness you have around work or school or anything else.
Take the time to step back and figure out since when you have been feeling this way and try to unlearn. elf reflection is key. Try to remember why you started out and work on the core reasons.
If it is work-related, then try to compare your quality of work from years ago to now. ( burnout is gradual make sure you compare yourself to what you used to be 5-6 years ago)
If you notice a difference, then try and find out what changed in those years!
2. Restructure Your Work Space
Over-scheduling could be the reason you dread work. Often times we over-estimate our life and try to fit in as much as we can.
As they say, “Don’t bite off more than what you can chew.” Scaling down doesn’t mean you are not being productive or efficient. Don’t be hard on yourself.
Stop over-estimating what your future self will be capable of doing. A lot of people have this fear that if they stop working as hard as they do, everything will crash and their life will end. But this is not the case.
It is way more effective if you achieve small things everyday than a lot of things in one day. Cutting down unnecessary tasks/projects is key.
When you realize you need to reduce the number of commitments or projects or classes or courses, sit down and write it all down so that you can figure out what is important and how much you have to sacrifice.
Set your priorities straight and make some sacrifices. Slowing down your pace is not the end of the world.
3. Take A Break
In this day and age where we are obliged by social media to keep up with all the new trends and activities, it feels hard to just sit for sometime and relax.
There’s this feeling of “missing out” if we’re not doing certain things others are doing.
If you find it difficult to get off social media and stop the constant comparison, read: How to break the loop of constantly checking your phone. There’s more to life than just checking off the boxes!
4. Maintain Work-life Balance
Most of the time work makes it difficult or even nearly impossible to spend time with our family and friends.
I know it can be hard, but it is necessary that you take some time off for vacation without emails, calls and all that jazz.
Find a hobby that you can indulge in without expecting some kind of results.
You don’t have to be the best at it or even good for that matter. Try to figure out ways in which you can stop feeling guilty for taking breaks!
Disclaimer: I’m no therapist. If you are feeling extremely low then please seek help. As someone who has experienced burnout, I am suggesting some ways in which I improved my fatigue.
It is ALWAYS different for different people depending on their situations/circumstances.
These were some ways to cope with a burnout. Always remember that there’s someone else feeling like this and that you’re not alone. The healing process takes time and is gradual. Don’t lose hope and keep going!
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