With life moving faster than ever before, and the latest technologies ensuring that more is expected of us than ever before, it’s easy to overwork yourself. There’s nothing wrong with wanting to be a high-achiever, and being good at what you do takes craft, but if you’re naturally someone who likes to take on a lot, you’re likely at risk of burnout.
What is Burnout?
‘Burnout’ is the latest buzzword for exhaustion. It is typically associated with working long hours, taking too much on and neglecting yourself as a result. In other words, burnout is a type of chronic stress. Though it isn’t uncommon, it is important to recognise burnout and address it before the symptoms wear you out completely.
Physical and Emotional Exhaustion
Burnout causes exhaustion, both physically and mentally. If you have been feeling tired and achey but also highly sensitive and depleted of energy, you might be showing signs of burnout. It is also not uncommon for patients suffering burnout to be too thoughtful or anxious to fall asleep and insomnia only worsens the exhaustion.
Struggling to Concentrate
Despite having so much to concentrate on and organise, you might be feeling forgetful and having trouble focusing on anything for an extended period of time. Whilst it is easy to suggest that this is due to having so much to think about, this lack of mental clarity is a further sign of mental exhaustion. This symptom usually needs addressing ASAP to avoid further pile up of work.
Signs of Detachment
When you’re suffering from burnout, your mind and body feels as though it has no more energy to give. This usually manifests in a sense of detachment. If you stop enjoying things that usually make you happy, catch yourself isolating yourself socially or missing a sense of accomplishment when you complete projects, you’re showing signs of burnout. This symptom usually extends further than work, too, manifesting in your home life as an unwillingness or lack of motivation to do anything social or additional to what’s necessary.
You might also be demonstrating a lack of emotional energy for your loved ones. If you feel apathy, cynicism or pessimism more than normal or are interpreting most activities and social conversations as pointless, you are likely burned out and at your limit.
How to Handle Burnout
For some people, a little burnout is situational, dependent only on a situation at work or in life that demands a lot of time and effort. Making yourself a priority, and time-blocking for rest and relaxation can help. For other people, however, such as natural high-achievers, their personality type is pre-disposed to this behaviour, where they over-commit themselves and stretch themselves too thin. It’s important to acknowledge that prolonged stress can have detrimental effects on health and wellbeing so addressing your burnout-prone behaviours early on is the smartest approach to ensuring a well-balanced lifestyle.
'For some people, talking these behaviours through with a therapist is extremely helpful. To handle burnout and learn better time management patterns, we can help find the right therapist for you here