Have you experienced burnout this year?
The answer is likely an enthusiastic ‘yes’. Working Americans nowadays not only have to contend with juggling a tenuous work-life balance, but managing the ongoing symptoms of burnout. This term is used to describe the phenomenon of complete mental and physical exhaustion brought on by unchecked stress levels. Not unlike the flu, burnout can seemingly come out of nowhere and lay you low for a week or two. At its worst? It can last for months and make you forget who you used to be. Just like the flu, it can be prevented with a little foresight and a healthy lifestyle.
Here are some of the biggest warning signs you’re starting to experience burnout.
You Can’t Fall Asleep Or Stay Asleep At Night
A sleepless night once in a while is normal. This is especially true if you have a plane to catch the following morning or a presentation you’ve been looking forward to. When this happens multiple times per week? This is a sign stress is taking its toll. You shouldn’t take more than 10 to 15 minutes to fall asleep per night. If you find yourself staring at the ceiling instead of drifting off, getting back up and doing something relaxing (such as reading a book or watching a calming movie) can sometimes help. Learning how to recover from exhaustion starts with eight to nine hours of sleep per night.
You’ve Lost Interest In Your Personal Hobbies
A significant sign your mental and emotional health is on the decline is losing interest in your personal hobbies. These can be fishing by the lake with friends, spending time painting alone in your home or going out for a run. Burnout psychology promotes getting back in touch with hobbies that cheer you up and make you feel whole again, though this can be hard when you’re feeling listless overall. A recent study found over 45% of physicians are experiencing at least one symptom of burnout, if not much more. Figuring out how to recover from exhaustion means mental weariness, too.
You’ve Been Missing Work More Than Normal
Did you know workplace stress causes over one million American employees to collectively miss work every day? Not everyone knows how to recover from exhaustion, even with today’s resources. Two-thirds of men and women say work has a significant impact on their stress levels, causing them to fall out of their social circle and seek out mental health days in an attempt to cope. Learning how to recover from exhaustion is being honest with yourself and what you need. Taking time off from work and focusing on your personal burnout recovery list is essential in keeping you productive.
You Feel Aches And Pains On A Frequent Basis
A sore neck or back can impact your ability to focus. When these aches and pains seem to never let up no matter how many times you stretch or pull out the heating pad? Burnout might be starting to reach physical proportions. Contrary to popular belief, mental health and physical health aren’t separate entities. They’re inexorably intertwined and affect each other on a rolling basis. Chronic headaches, migraines and teeth grinding are additional physical symptoms that can manifest as a result of ongoing stress.
You’ve Lost Complete Interest In Moving Forward
Burnout at its very worst keeps you from wanting to do anything. Talking to your family can seem like a monumental effort. Getting out of bed can be a chore. Working even seems impossible. When you’ve reached this point it’s important to get professional help. Burnout is damaging and difficult, but it’s not permanent. A study provided by the American Institute Of Stress found job stress noticeably affecting over 50% of all workers in the country, costing the country billions of dollars in time off. A counselor can help narrow down the root causes of your particular burnout situation and help you get back on your feet.
Just like you wouldn’t eat an elephant in one bite, tackle your encroaching burnout in small pieces and work your way to a calmer, happier work-life balance.
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