After everything we went through in the last 18 months what’s the status of your batteries? If any of these following questions ring a bell – you may be heading towards physical and emotional burnout.
Do you feel more and more tired? Unmotivated to do even something fun with your friends and family? Do you get easily frustrated – or stressed – to the extent that your loved ones are walking on eggshells around you? And when was the last time you did anything for yourself – just good old self-care?
Burnout was originally coined by the American psychologist Herbert Freudenberger, where he described growing exhaustion, listlessness and lack of motivation among doctors and nurses. But it turns out anybody can suffer from burnout, with or without a nursing degree or doctorate.
Just think about how much you have cared for others during the pandemic – and probably still do now. How you tried to keep it together for your loved ones as you maneuvered them through uncharted and unpredictable times. The burnout you may be feeling or heading towards is the physical and emotional exhaustion that makes you feel tired, overwhelmed to the point where you don’t have any capacity left to deal anymore.
You may think that what you are dealing with isn’t that serious; nothing that can’t be fixed with a few good nights' rest. Yet, the problem is that many people overlook the early signs of burnout, and thus miss the opportunity to take appropriate measures to prevent more severe consequences such as depression, fibromyalgia, digestive issues, and heart disease.
Here are some of the signs you want to be aware of.
Exhaustion: Feeling tired all the time, mentally, emotionally and physically spent, is a clear sign of burnout.
Lack of Motivation: You don’t feel excited about anything anymore and don’t have the drive for your work or taking care of your family – let alone yourself. You may have a hard time pulling yourself out of bed and getting going in the morning.
Frustration, Cynicism and Pessimism: Your mood is down in the dumps. Nothing seems to matter anymore, and you are becoming more and more disillusioned with your life.
Memory and Concentration Problems: Chronic stress, which is the cause of burnout, pushes you into a continuous fight-and-flight mode. This impacts your ability to focus, make decisions and even remember things.
Decreased Performance: If you wonder whether you are dealing with burn-out, compare your job performance and your ability to handle the obligations in your life now to a few years ago. You may find out that you are not just going through a temporary slump but are dealing with a more chronic lack of energy.
Issues with others: Do you often get into arguments and conflicts with your friends, family, or colleagues? Do you tend to withdraw, communicating less and less with those that care about you? Both can be signs of you heading towards burnout.
Lack of self-care: You may deal with burn-out if you engage in unhealthy coping strategies, such as eating or drinking too much, smoking, browsing the internet or watching TV at night and not getting enough sleep, consuming too much coffee or energy. And at the same time, you don’t seem to have the motivation to do anything healthy, such as working out, meditating, getting a massage, or going to your doctor for your annual check-up.
So what do you do if you are dealing with some or all of these symptoms?
Join me this Thursday, July 1st at Noon Eastern Time on Get Real and learn strategies on how to recharge your batteries and how to stop draining them so that you can overcome burnout and prevent it from happening again.