Learning the Signs to Prevent Burnout
Burnout can affect anyone and is estimated to cost billions of dollars annually in lost productivity. According to Psychology Today, burnout is defined as “a state of emotional, physical and mental exhaustion which is caused by long periods of high stress.”
Our clients have described burn out can feel like exhaustion, giving up and the lack of energy or motivation to keep going as they have experienced a lack of support, unclear job expectations, unhealthy work environments, loss of control, extreme activity and lifestyle factors.
Burnout can fall into three categories:
- Exhaustion – emotional, mental and physical fatigue as a result of working long hours, prolonged stress, ongoing lack of sleep and more. Clients have indicated the following signs of burn out: being unable to concentrate, emotionally intense responses, negative self-talk, insomnia and/or waking up feeling exhausted, increased physical pain, digestive issues, lack of appetite, irritability, memory issues, mental confusion, feeling discouraged, hopeless and disconnecting from relationships/social activities.
- Depersonalization – an erosion of engagement and becoming disinterested in regular activities that once brought joy and satisfaction. Depersonalization can settle in as a result of lack of lack of autonomy, the assertion to make a decision, lack of job security.
- Inefficacy – feelings of lack of achievement, productivity, increased activity as a result of a high stress situation/environment. Inefficacy often develops along with exhaustion and depersonalization as individuals are unable to perform at their capacity.
Knowing and paying attention to your limits, managing your expectations, noticing the physical and emotional signs of burn out and shifting your perspective can help lessen its impact. Additionally, minimizing exposure to job and life stressors, practicing mindfulness, minimizing your exposure to media, incorporating new boundaries for your work and relationships, exercise, healthy eating and sleeping habits into your life, as well as attuning to and addressing the signs of burnout early on are all healthy coping strategies.
Connect with us today for support with recovery from burnout.