Burnout can creep in without you noticing.
We all have those days when we want to get away, lay in bed all day and do absolutely nothing. But if you feel that way on most days, you could be burned out.
Burnout is a psychological state where an individual constantly feels physically, emotionally and mentally drained. Although the term is often used in relation to work, family and other non-professional environments may also lead to burnout. For example, you may get burnt out from being the only caregiver of a chronically ill child.
Burnout may result when you have been stressed or overwhelmed by a particular activity for a long time.
How To Recognize Burnout
Burnout does not have specific symptoms or diagnostic tests. But these questions can help you figure out if you are experiencing it or not:
- Do you constantly feel too tired to perform your duty at work or home?
- Do you feel unmotivated?
- Has your efficiency reduced? Are you performing poorer these days? Have simple things become more difficult for you?
- Any negative emotions towards your boss, workers, family or others?
- Do you have feelings of anger, sadness, stress or anxiety when you think about your job or task?
- Are you more sluggish than usual?
- Are you finding it more challenging to concentrate on tasks?
- Do you catch yourself lashing out at others more often than usual?
- Are you eating or sleeping more or less (has your eating or sleeping habit changed)?
The more of these questions you answer ‘YES’ to, the more likely you are to be burned out.
What Burnout Is Not
If you know a thing or two about depression, you may have noticed a similarity between burnout and depression. However, burnout is not depression. Burnout is not a mental illness.
Expert psychologist Dr Adam Borland explains that the difference between burnout and depression is specificity.
This means that when asked, “What is making you feel this way?”, a burned-out person will be able to pinpoint the cause and give an answer like
“It’s my job.”
or “Taking care of my grandma is getting to me”.
In contrast, an individual with clinical depression will be vague and unable to be specific. Instead, they are will likely give answers like
“I’m tired of everything”.
“Nothing ever goes right”, etc.
Burnout Is Serious
Although burnout is not an official medical diagnosis, we should take it seriously because it can lead to medical conditions like hypertension, eating disorders, insomnia, high cortisol levels, depression, etc.
Burnout can also affect your interpersonal relationships and social life.
Burnout is worth paying attention to.
How To Deal With Burnout
The following tips can help you recover from a burnout
- Recognize when you are burned out. This is the first and most important step to take in your recovery from burnout.
- Take a break. It may be a good time to take your annual work leave. Or you can deliberately take a 10-minute mental break every hour, off work, or relax when your sick relative is sleeping. The most important thing is to pause from time to time.
- Ask for help. You can talk to the Human Resources Team at work. Or reach out to friends and family to help when you are overwhelmed. Therapy is also an option.
Take this exciting quiz to check how much you know about therapy.
- Exercise helps. Take time out to engage in some form of physical activity every day. Exercise has been proven to reduce feelings of stress.
- Get enough sleep. Good sleep will help you relax and feel motivated to take on life. However, too much of it can harm you.
- Eat well
- Do things that make you happy. Don’t neglect those hobbies!
A Word From Healthfacts
In your work and personal life, remember to pay attention to yourself so that you can recognize and address burnout. This will help you live a healthy life- physically and mentally.