Table of Contents
Burnout caused by overworking is a part of life that far too many are accustomed to. It’s also disruptive and overwhelming, not only for our productivity and work-life balance but also for our happiness.
Its unwelcome presence tends to creep up slowly, and for the most part, unintentionally. Often, we don’t even realize its sheer weight until the symptoms are right there in front of us, emotionally, mentally, and physically.
As overtime hours stretch longer, deadlines firmer, and expectations grander, we inevitably reach our limit. Typically, it’s in the lead up to this tipping point that we begin to see the symptoms of burnout interfere with our everyday lives.
Though, it doesn’t just affect us within the confines of the office or at a high-pressure meeting. It also affects our home life and all forms of relationships. So, before you tell yourself you’re just tired or stressed, be on the lookout for burnout and its unfavourable consequences. It could very well be interrupting your cheeriest days.
Here are some symptoms of burnout to watch out for:
If you’re exhausted more than usual, it could be a culprit of burnout. Sure, many things can induce tiredness, such as poor sleep or low iron. But if you’ve checked it out medically and nothing is adding up, perhaps ask yourself, am I working too much and leaving little room for peaceful rest? A stressed-out mind can wreak havoc on a good sleeping routine, and in turn, our daytime alertness.
Burnout can enhance negative thought patterns and initiate regular feelings of defeat or disappointment. So, if you’re struggling with remaining positive or digging yourself out of a rut, try your best to make some constructive changes. Reconsider your daily habits and busy schedule, as they could be affecting your mood.
Regular procrastination can be a symptom of burnout. Perhaps your mind and body are feeling too overwhelmed to complete important tasks, and while it’s good to listen to your inner being when it’s telling you to slow down, it’s not overly healthy to succumb to it frequently. This can perpetuate the urge to lay in bed too long, mindless browse through social media, skip social outings or delay necessary work.
Confidence plays a significant role in all walks of life. It helps us with maintaining positivity, trusting our intuition and helps us become the best version of ourselves. Without it, our work and personal lives suffer. So, if you’re noticing a lack of confidence, burnout could be the trigger.
Anxiety and burnout go hand in hand. Our bodies have an internal regulating system that goes completely out of whack when we’re stressed, overloaded, or spread too thin. Anxiety can cause all kinds of mental and physical symptoms, such as nausea, worry, panic, breathlessness, dizziness and much more. Therefore, if anxiety is overcoming you and plaguing your days, it could mean that it’s time to take a step back from your hectic lifestyle and evaluate what is and isn’t working anymore.
To avoid the perils of burnout, you must maintain a healthy balance and ensure the people around you are positive, uplifting, and supportive. Your tribe are key, but you also need to be aware of your body and its capabilities.
While we all strive to mimic Superman and his superhuman qualities, the truth is, you’re not him (sorry). And you can only take so much. Overextending yourself, won’t do anyone any good in the long run. Not you, not your work and certainly not your friends or family.
Below are a few tips to prevent burnout from surfacing:
- Be aware of the symptoms mentioned above and make necessary adjustments
- Maintain a regular routine
- Don’t jam-pack your schedule
- Work on your self-confidence, use mantras and try your best to speak kindly to yourself, you’re the best friend you’ll ever have
- Exercise or try yoga and meditation
- Learn to say NO when it’s necessary and appropriate to do so
- Know your limits and stick to them
- Keep a schedule
- Write your thoughts and feelings in a journal
Most importantly, when any symptoms start to emerge, ask yourself this one simple questions – what can I change?
Are there regular scheduling conflicts? Difficult colleagues? Numerous deadlines you need to meet? Whatever it is, you need to dig deep, assess your working patterns and figure out what elements are causing tension. Once you’ve nailed this down, you can start to tweak things for the better.
At the end of the day, your work doesn’t want you to surrender to burnout, you won’t do them any good if you’re snoring at your desk or missing essential details. You won’t do yourself any good either. So, have the right conversations with your team or line manager and work with them to find a solution. One that alleviates the constant strain you’re putting yourself through.
The answers, while not always readily available, are there. You just need to find them. Once you do, voila – a healthier version of yourself will blossom.