Fighting Burnout: How to Know When You Need to Recharge
Our society and culture often promote pushing yourself to the limit. Working long hours and rarely sitting down or taking a moment for ourselves. We work all day, eat quick meals and then come home to do it all again the next day.
This often means not having the time to enjoy spending time with family or friends. We can’t partake in sports or hobbies. Or even do something as simple as sitting down to enjoy a meal.
Do this enough, and you can get burnt out pretty easily. After that, you’ll have to recover from burnout, which can take time. But you don’t want to run yourself into the ground and then recover. It’s better to prevent burnout.
Here’s how to know when you need to recharge and how to recover from burnout.
How to Know You’re Burnt Out
First, what is burnout? Burnout is defined as an extreme state of exhaustion that affects you emotionally, mentally and physically. It’s caused by excessive and prolonged stress.
For many people, their jobs can cause burnout because they feel overwhelmed and unable to meet the demands. But you can also experience burnout from school or home duties.
If you feel like you’ve been low on energy or unmotivated, you might be burnt out. Here are a few more common signs of burnout.
- It’s Hard to Get Out of Bed: Not everyone is a morning person. You may be someone who likes hitting the snooze button a few times. But if you wake up each morning feeling like you haven’t slept and you’re still exhausted, you might be burnt out.
- Difficulty Sleeping: Insomnia is often a sign of burnout. If you spend the night going through all the things you need to get done or can’t fall asleep because your mind is racing, that could be because of burnout.
- Constantly Irritability: Because you aren’t sleeping or aren’t sleeping well, you feel like you’re always on edge. Constant irritability is a common sign of burnout.
- Trouble Staying Focused or Being Productive: Have trouble staying focused on tasks or being productive no matter what you’re working on? Easy tasks taking you hours, can’t find motivation, struggling to finish assignments? That might be due to burnout.
- Headaches, Muscle Pain and Low Appetite: Burnout isn’t only a mental issue; it can manifest in physical ways too. Chronic stress that causes burnout can lead to headaches, muscle pain, and low appetite.
How to Recover From Burnout
When not addressed, the symptoms of burnout can only get worse. With a lack of energy or motivation, you can often fall behind on work, school, or home demands, which may only cause more stress.
For this reason, burnout is often cyclical. You have to break the cycle. If you’re feeling burnout, you have to stop and take steps to recover your physical and mental health.
- Keep Track of Your Stress: You should start keeping track of your daily stress levels and what makes you stressed. You’ll begin to notice what stressors you have and identifying them can help you avoid or manage them.
- Find Support: You don’t have to deal with chronic stress alone. A professional therapist or coach can give you tips and techniques to manage your stress. Also, don’t be afraid to lean on friends, family, your partner or coworkers. They may be able to take a few stressors off your plate.
- Exercise: Exercise has been proven to release feel-good hormones and lower stress. Try to add regular exercise to your routine. Exercising even a couple of days a week will have benefits.
- Say No: For a lot of people, saying no can be incredibly difficult. But this can lead to an overloaded plate that leads to burnout. Speak up for yourself and be honest when you can’t do something. Learn to say no to help your mental health.
- Take Time for Yourself: To recover from burnout, you have to take time for yourself. Do whatever you need to do to help you recover mentally, whether that’s reading, taking a walk, or doing nothing. Invest in what your mind and body need.
How to Prevent Burnout
If you can avoid burnout, then you should. You don’t want to get to your lowest point before you begin taking care of yourself. So take steps to prevent burnout before it sets in.
You’ll have to actively do these tasks, which may feel wrong when it feels like there’s a lot to do. But in the long run, preventing burnout will be better for your health.
- Take Breaks When You Need To: Working hard and pushing yourself too far are two different things. So if you want to prevent yourself from getting burnt out, take breaks when you feel like you need to. Even a small five minutes can help clear your mind.
- Stay Organized: Life can quickly become overwhelming. Work and home expectations can pile up. Create an organizational technique that works for you. Whether that includes a calendar, planner, or list is up to you.
- Set Boundaries: Know your boundaries and stick to them. If you can’t fit in another project, don’t. If you need a mental health day, take it. If being home is “you time”, don’t answer work emails. Set your boundaries.
- Manage Your Stress: Find ways to manage your stress before it gets too high. That might mean getting creative with a hobby or doing yoga in the evenings. However, you can keep your stress levels low will help prevent you from feeling burnt out.
Time to Fight Burnout
Working hard is an admirable trait in people. But at times, working hard can be taken it too far. Sometimes we get so focused at work that we aren’t focused on what our minds and bodies need.
When we work ourselves too thin, burnout can set it. And when burnout isn’t addressed, it can have some serious health repercussions. It’s a good idea to recover from burnout if you’re feeling it or prevent it before it goes too far.
Feel burnt out and want to get your health back on track? Brown & Toland Physicians can connect you with the best doctor and services for you. Contact us at 800.225.5637 to get started.
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