Do you often feel overwhelmed or experience high level of stress that leave you emotionally and physically burned out? Well, since burnout can have a far-reaching impact, you might want to deal with it before it will affect all aspects of your life.
Here’s what happens when your body and your brain can’t handle the level of exhaustion you’re experiencing.
- You might find it hard to concentrate and forget things from time to time;
- You might feel frustrated and irritated and find it difficult to maintain a good relationship with your co-workers;
- You might not feel appreciated and begin to lose sight of your career goals or even of yourself;
- You might begin to feel less motivated as if nothing that you do really matters;
- You might experience fatigue, insomnia, muscle tension and pain.
Burnout not only affects your performance but it can also lead to all kind of medical problems from type 2 diabetes to depression or even suicide. So it is important to take action before things get more serious. Here are 10 steps that should help you get back on track.
Before trying to make a change, it is important to explore the factors that brought you in this situation in the first place. An increasingly demanding job, a rigorous academic schedule, a toxic relationship that seems to have no resolution or caring for someone who suffers from a serious health condition can create the ideal setup for burnout. All these factors can make you bend so much you will break so if you recognise yourself in a situation that can backfire on your overall wellbeing take steps to get support.
The stress that accompanies your time-consuming projects, making you turn down requests from the dear ones can leave you with no energy for anything and make you feel powerless. That’s why it’s important to identify the changes that you can make in order to lighten your way as soon as possible.
First thing first, you need to accept the fact that doing everything is not realistic so stop being a people pleaser and talk to your boss to reassign some of the tasks to someone else from your team. We promise you will not let anyone down if you cancel or reschedule some of the projects.
If you’re not sure where to begin sorting the causes of burnout, try to involve people you trust so you will feel less alone. They might help you identify potential solutions to ease your stress, because they are objective enough to see the situation with some clarity and close enough to care for your wellbeing.
So, the next time you feel completely spent or unsure how to sort through the causes of your burnout, open up to your friends and family about the stress you are experiencing and listen to their valuable insights. Evaluate together the existing commitments you have, examine your options and make sure you’ll never run out of hours in the day again. The relief you will experience will surprise you.
Unfortunately, struggling through burnout is not always straightforward but a little exploration can serve your best interests. Don’t let this situation hold you down forever, for your own sake.
If despite your requests, your boss keeps giving you more and more tasks even when you don’t have enough time to finish your current projects, you might need to start searching for a new job where they appreciate your capabilities.
If, on the other hand, you feel burned out in your relationship, take a closer look at your situation or talk to a counselor for support so you can decide if this relationship is serving your best interests.
Know that there are other routes and possibilities and only you have the power to change the current situation. You might not have control over the circumstances that brought you to this point, but you have control over the way you react to them. So instead of feeling as is your life is rushing past, take back control and begin to recharge.
To start, try these tips:
Prioritize. Decide what tasks are important and get them done and set aside those things that can wait until you’ll have more time and energy.
Delegate. Try to pass some of the tasks you don’t have enough time to handle to someone you can trust. You can’t do everything yourself.
Leave work at work. Start prioritizing your life and try to focus on relaxing after leaving work. Part of burnout recovery implies you have enough time to recharge for the next day.
Be firm about your needs. Let the ones you work with know that you need their support in order to manage your tasks productively and take care of your general health.
Set boundaries. Stop accepting so many commitments if you want to recover from burnout. Before agreeing to take responsibility for a new task, push the pause button and take a moment to analyze the situation. Ask yourself if you have enough energy and time for that task and evaluate if doing it offers you enough satisfaction. If it doesn’t offer value to you, learn to say no. This is an important part of boundary setting.
Being selective about the commitments you accept doesn’t mean that you are selfish or lazy. It means that you know how to value your precious time and how to take care of your mental health, preventing this way burnout.
Practice self-compassion. When you feel as if you lost your purpose or life direction, be kind to yourself and grant yourself the same support and love you would offer to a friend. Burnout can bring up feelings of failure so if you feel as you can’t do anything to achieve your goals, take a break and remember nobody is perfect. In the end, you did your best and made the most of your strengths.
Pay attention to your needs. This is the key to burnout recovery so the next time you will feel overwhelmed, try to clear your schedule and take a few days of relaxation. It will have a great impact on your physical and emotional wellbeing. Easier to say then done. Most people find it impossible to quit some of their responsibilities or to turn to other people for support.
However, practicing good self-care is very important if you need to reset and recharge. Here’s what you need to do if you suffer from severe burnout.
- Make sure you have a restful sleep
- Spend more time with the ones you love
- Try exercising every day
- Eat nutrient rich foods and stay hydrated
- Practice meditation, yoga or other mindfulness techniques to reduce stress
- Do things that make you happy
Severe burnout can lead to frustration and resentment, making it hard for you to remember things that you once enjoyed doing. So if you stopped caring about your hobbies, stopped responding to your friends’ texts and lost your passion for the career you once loved, feeling more and more drained and snapping to the people you love from almost anything, take a break and create a list of things that can bring you joy. It might be a walk with a friend, playing with your kid or pet or enjoying a hot bath tub. Discover what works for you and make more time for these activities until you feel more like yourself.
If nothing helps, if you feel hopeless or experience a persistent low mood, talk to a therapist and tell him that burnout has taken a toll on the quality of your life. He will help you identify its causes and navigate through life with better coping methods. Don’t let these feelings grow into depression, address the problems and reset yourself!