Envision a car that is on its last gas, jittering along with little power. Burnout feels like that. The state, which is devoid of vitality, is akin to depression, with emotions of hopelessness, helplessness, and isolation (to mention a few).
There is a relationship between burnout and stress. While persistent, long-term stress can cause this frayed condition, the two are not mutually exclusive. Stress has a frenzied quality to it, as if you're spinning too many plates at once. There is a lot of pressure and a strong desire to get things done. However, burnout leaves us with little energy to contribute. All of our mental, emotional, and psychological reserves are depleted.
The process of adjusting successfully in the face of adversity is known as resilience. It refers to 'bouncing back' after adversity (American Psychology Association, 2018). The appeal of resilience has increased as its definition has expanded beyond the ability to recover from hardship to encompass 'toughening up.'
Resilient people, according to this description, have the ability to withstand pressure. They are in no need of healing because they are in no pain. Without getting caught up in the moment, they empathize with those around them. They manage the pressure of various, sometimes conflicting demands without breaking a sweat, literally or metaphorically.
What are the early signs of exhaustion?
A state of mental, bodily, and emotional weariness is characterized by burnout. However, these indicators aren't always obvious. Especially if you've been stressed out for a while. The signs and symptoms might appear when you least expect them.
Early warning indicators, on the other hand, are easier to handle. Consider the early indicators of burnout as red flags, or warning signs that something is amiss and needs to be addressed. You can avoid a serious collapse if you pay attention to these early warning symptoms. You'll ultimately burn out if you disregard them.
So keep a look out for the following indicators in yourself and others:
- Sleep disturbances or exhaustion
- Being quickly annoyed
- Feelings of emptiness
- Concentration problems
- Appetite fluctuations
- Self-doubt and a sense of failure
- Motivational decline
Managing Burnout: The 3 Rs Method
1. Recognize. Keep an eye out for indicators of burnout.
2. Reverse. Delay the effects by controlling stress and seeking help.
3. Resilience. Build your stress resilience by looking after your physical and emotional well-being.
How is burnout prevented?
If you identify the warning symptoms of imminent burnout in yourself, keep in mind that ignoring them will only make things worse. You can avoid burnout from becoming a full-blown breakdown if you make an effort to rebalance your life.
1. Seek help
Asking for help might be difficult, but it is sometimes required. Don't add to your stress by putting too much pressure on yourself. Speak with others to try to address the problem. If your job role is giving you stress, talk to your boss to see if there are any changes you can make. If it's a family issue, try to be more honest and convey how you're feeling. Getting it off your chest might help you relax.
2. Set boundaries
You can only contribute to others if you first look after yourself. Keep in mind that everyone has limitations. Do not overwork yourself. Learn to decline demands for your time. If you're having trouble with this, remember that saying "no" permits you to say "yes" to the things you really want to accomplish.
3. Practice mindfulness
Bringing your attention to the present moment is part of mindfulness. This might assist you in combating the bad thoughts that occur with chronic stress. When we focus on the now, future problems go away. We can change our perception and focus on the present moment.It enables us to discover greater joy and thankfulness in the face of adversity.
4. Nourish your creativity
Burnout may be treated through creativity. Try something new, go on a fun project, or pick up an old interest. Choose hobbies that are unrelated to your job. Art, music, dancing, and theater are examples of these activities. So, whenever you can, squeeze in some time for creativity. It may be five minutes of sketching, dancing in the shower, or listening to music. These creative tidbits can make you feel less stressed.
5. Remember to disconnect and prioritize yourself
It's past time for us to make unplugging a habit. Taking a break from the rapid-paced world and focusing on our health. In this manner, we may strengthen our burnout resilience while also protecting our physical and emotional health. Sometimes all that is required is a few days of relaxation. Disconnect from screens for just one hour a day and start to notice a difference. And with that hour that would have been spent on screens, consider placing a few pieces into the puzzle or laying on your back on the ground then doing some stretches and deep breathing.
Solstice Pacific is here for you if you think you may be experiencing signs of burnout and it is affecting your daily life. We offer a variety of treatment approaches which are tailored to every client’s needs.