Are you struggling with stress or burnout? Stress can become chronic or severe and lead to burnout. Burnout is a problem that impacts most of us at some point. It seems that it is a problem for many of us these days. There are many contributors- work stress, taking care of a sick loved one or elderly family member, or just juggling family life while working or going back to school. And then there are issues such as Covid and all the related stressors. Sometimes so many things are draining us that we can’t effectively recharge. It is if we are operating on low power mode all the time. Regardless of the causal factors, burnout is real, and it negatively impacts our life and health.
What is Burnout?
Oxford dictionary defines it is “physical or mental collapse caused by overwork or stress.’
The Mayo Clinic describes burnout as ” a state of physical or emotional exhaustion that also involves a sense of reduced accomplishment and loss of personal identity.”
According to helpguide.org, “Burnout is a state of emotional, physical, and mental exhaustion caused by excessive and prolonged stress. It occurs when you feel overwhelmed, emotionally drained, and unable to meet constant demands”.
Statistics show that burnout is on the rise. An Indeed survey found that over half of respondents are experiencing burnout —up from the 43% in a pre-Covid 19 survey
-Fifty-nine percent of Millennials report burnout and 58% of Gen-Z, and 54% of Gen-Xers
-Baby Boomers show a 7% increase in burnout from pre-pandemic level at 31%.
-Among all respondents, 80% believe Covid-19 has impacted workplace burnout, and 67% say burnout has worsened during the pandemic.
Common Signs of Burnout
Do you recognize these common signs of burnout?
• Physical and mental exhaustion
• Feeling overwhelmed
• A need to isolate
• Fantasies of escaping
• Frequent illnesses such as colds and flues
5 Ways to Prevent Burnout
You know exercise is necessary for your physical health, but it is also fantastic for your mental and emotional health as well. Physical activity helps our bodies secrete feel-good hormones, which give our mood a boost. So be sure to commit to exercising at least 3-4 times a week.
Get Enough Rest
It’s essential to get enough restorative sleep each night. Sleep not only helps our bodies build and repair new tissue, but it helps us be able to feel calm and focus.
If you have trouble getting enough ZZZZZs each night, skip caffeinated beverages past 2 pm, ban smartphones and other electronics from the bedroom, and establish a relaxing nighttime ritual like meditation, reading, or taking a bath.
Validate Your Feelings
“Keep calm and carry on.” That’s a fun saying for a throw pillow, but it’s not always the best advice. Sometimes it’s important to admit that you are struggling and that you need a break.
Remember to Relax and Play
Just because you’re an adult, that doesn’t mean you don’t need some downtime to just have fun. Whether you want to play a sport, enjoy a hobby, or go to the theater, be sure to make time each week to enjoy yourself and your life.
Ask for Help
During stressful times, it’s important to reach out to others for help. Sometimes all we need is a friendly ear to listen to what’s on our minds and hearts. Let your friends and family know you could use a little support.
If your stress levels don’t seem to go down, you may want to consider working with a counselor who can help you navigate your feelings and offer coping strategies to deal with the issues you have going on.
We all need support and coping tools. If you’d like some help, please reach out to me.
• Indeed Study Shows That Worker Burnout Is At Frighteningly High Levels: Here Is What You Need To Do Now (forbes.com)
Quotes & Inspiration
• “The No. 1 cause of burnout is doing the same thing over and over again and not seeing results.” – Steve Kaczmarski
• “Stress is an ignorant state. It believes that everything is an emergency.” – Natalie Goldberg, Wild Mind
• “The greatest weapon against stress is our ability to choose one thought over another.” – William James
• “Friendly reminder that ‘doing your best’ does not mean working yourself to the point of a mental breakdown.” — unknown
• “Self-care is how you take your power back.” — Lalah Delia
• “Self-care is giving yourself permission to pause.” — Cecilia Tran
• “Burnout occurs when your body and mind can no longer keep up with the tasks you demand of them. Don’t try to force yourself to do the impossible. Delegate time for important tasks, but always be sure to leave time for relaxation and reflection.” — Del Suggs
• “Take time today to pause, to linger, to quiet the noise and remember that your worth is not measured by your productivity.” — A Life in Progress