Today’s topic is one that I think a lot of us can probably relate to on some level either professionally or personally:
How to Avoid Being Burned by Burnout:
Have you ever let yourself get burned by burnout? I know I have! I’m a working mama, a wifey, a bestie, yoga addict, a blogger, the list goes on!
We live in a busy world that is getting busier. Our friends, family members, and coworkers are now able to reach out to us immediately through our smart phones or social media.
There are so many studies about our brains and how they react to the notifications on our smartphones. We do not even realize how deeply we have become conditioned to seek out the brain boost we get from a chemical called dopamine. Dopamine is a chemical that is produced by the brain. This chemical makes us feel good so we respond right away to the message in order to get another quick fix. The notifications we choose to respond to may or may not actually be urgent but we treat them as such because our brains wants another dopamine boost…BAD!
We are all a part of a society that sees exhaustion as a status symbol. Being busy may just feel like it’s the norm; especially if you have young children. It is no wonder that burnout is becoming such a huge problem!
So what exactly is burnout and what types of things can cause it?
Burnout is a state of extreme physical or mental fatigue. When suffering from burnout, one may feel a sense of physical, emotional, and mental exhaustion.
Burnout is caused by prolonged periods of excessive stress. Burnout occurs when we feel overwhelmed or emotionally drained and are unable to meet our daily demands. When one is burnt out, we feel like we are have nothing left to offer which can ultimately lead to lack of motivation and can even spiral into symptoms of depression.
Some symptoms of burnout can include:
- Feeling critical or cynical about your work or home life.
- Trouble sleeping or waking during the night and having a hard time falling back asleep.
- Physical symptoms including headaches, stomach or bowel issues, aches and pains, stiffness in joints or muscles.
- Difficulty concentrating for extended periods of time.
- Becoming irritable with the people you interact with on a daily basis: family members, co-workers, or customers.
- Lack of energy. Inconsistent bursts of productivity.
- Lack of control or perceived lack of control:Feeling as though you are unable to influence important things about your work or home life including schedule, routine, assignments, tasks, family obligations or responsibilities. Having a lack of support or resources required to carry out these tasks. Even perception of a lack of control can be quite stressful.
- Unclear expectations: Unsure about what is expected of you in regards to responsibilities and authority. Lacking support to carry out things you are required to do.
- Work-life imbalance: Not making the time to interact with coworkers, family members, or friends socially because of fatigue or stress from day to day obligations and responsibilities.
- Extremes of activity: Working in a fast paced environment can become overwhelming because you are constantly putting out energy.
Consequences of Burnout:
What to do if you or someone you know is suffering from symptoms of burnout:
- If it’s work related, speak to your manager about your concerns. Maybe you can work together to reach a compromise or create a few options for solutions.Have the hard conversations with your friends or family about how your situation is making you feel and let them know what they can do to help support you.
- Seek out support. Your community could have free services available that can help you! If you’re local, check out this link: https://www.lcss.ca I found my life coach at Langley Community Services Society and took a parenting course and couples communication course here as well.
- Try some relaxing activities such as yoga, reading, or meditation.
- Listen to some audiobooks! I am currently listening to “Take Control” by Mel Robbins and “The Subtle Art of Not Giving an F” by Mark Manson.
- Exercise and physical activity will help with these symptoms and may even allow for you to meet others in your community with like minded goals.
So above all, it is SO IMPORTANT to take time to give yourself a break from whatever is taking your attention or intention. It is important to make time to recharge ourselves as often as we charge our phones. Do the things that give you energy whatever that looks like. For me, it’s a night just like this on my patio with my fave blanket sharing these thoughts with you.