Feeling exhausted lately? It is not always easy to determine the cause of this feeling, but you might be suffering from burnout. Here are some tips to avoid being constantly stressed.
Burnout is a term coined by Herbert Freudenberger in the 70s that describes a serious stress state that might have physical, mental and emotional exhaustion. It is not just ordinary fatigue, burnout prevents you from being able to deal with stress and your daily responsibilities. When it is not addressed, it might lead to severe depression and a feeling of hopelessness.
People affected by burnout
People who have been exposed for a long period of time to stressful situations –like taking care of an ill person–, or worked for long hours or witnessed upsetting news can suffer from it. Professionals who are continually exposed to stress are prone to burnout –doctors, nurses, first aid responders, and people who take care of children.
Feeling extremely tired
If you are exhausted and experience headaches, stomachaches or changes in your appetite or sleep, it might be a sign of burnout.
Burnout might make you feel overwhelmed and this may lead to stop socializing with your loved ones.
People with burnout often fantasize about quitting their jobs and going away on their own to escape from their emotional pain.
Burnout might make you lose your temper more easily and little changes to your plans may make you snap.
Being often ill
Exposure to long-term stress can lower your immune system and make you more likely to catch an illness, and of course, it can lead to anxiety and depression as well.
Stages of burnout
Before being completely burnout, there are some phases a person usually experiences and if you identify them, you can stop it before it’s too late:
- Feeling extremely ambitious either because you’ve taken up a new activity or started a new job.
- Self-neglecting. It can go from failing to attend to one’s personal needs or hygiene to putting our own health, safety or well-being at risk.
- Blaming someone else instead of admitting you are pushing your limits too far.
- Leaving no time for leisure, avoiding to see your friends and family and instead of enjoying time with them you consider it a burden.
- Living in denial and failing to take responsibility for your behaviors.
- Withdrawal from all social invitations.
- Changes in your behavior
- Depersonalization: you feel detached from your life and lose the ability to control it.
- Feeling empty or anxious.
- Mental or physical collapse
Tips to prevent burnout
It is good for your physical and emotional health, so make sure to stick to a healthy workout routine.
Include omega-3 fatty acids that have a natural antidepressant effect.
It is absolutely paramount for us to sleep for at least 7 to 8 hours. Stay away from electronics and avoid drinking caffeinated drinks before going to be.
Ask for help
It is perfectly normal to ask for help from your loved ones and if you feel like you cannot cope with the situation, don’t be afraid to visit a therapist.
If you know of someone that has been experiencing burnout make sure to listen and talk to them, having someone to share your feelings makes a world of difference. Try to validate their feelings and offer specific types of help –like offering to drop off a meal or help with their laundry.
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