Burnout: Its Definition, Symptoms, Prevention, and Cure

burn out

Have you ever felt really tired and overly exhausted?. If so, one possibility is that you are suffering from burn out. You need to understand this well so that you will know what to do exactly. In this discussion, you will learn several aspects about burn out – what it is, its symptoms, and how to deal with the condition.

What Is Burnout

The emotional, physical, and mental exhaustion that is due to prolonged and excessive stress refers to burnout. This happens when you constantly are not able to meet the demands set, usually in the workplace. This leads to the feeling of being overwhelmed to the point that you cannot handle it anymore. When you are constantly subjected to stress, you begin to lose your interest and your motivation towards work and all other duties and responsibilities given to you.

Productivity level usually drops because of burnout and takes away all your energy. Then, this results to the feeling of cynicism, resentfulness, hopelessness, and even helplessness. You will feel drained to the point that you are on the verge of believing that you are not capable of doing anything anymore. You may be, at this point, meddling with burnout without even you knowing it. Check: Do you feel like all your efforts go unnoticed? Do you drag yourself to work? Does it feel like carrying the world every time you get up from bed?.

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You may be “on your way” to burnout if:

  • Each new day seem to get worse than the day before.
  • You feel like you’re wasting your energy doing what you usually do.
  • You feel exhausted even after waking up.
  • It feels dull and mind-numbing to do anything – even doing nothing.
  • No difference seems to be made despite your efforts.

You might be contesting it? “It’s just stress,” you dare say. Therefore, it is important for you to know which is which. Burnout sure is a result of unending stress, but they are not one and the same. Do not get confused.

The keyword for stress is “too much”. You are given things that are beyond what you can actually handle. It takes a toll on your physical and psychological aspects too. But once you overcome the pressures, things will gradually become better.

On the other hand, the keyword for burnout is “not enough”. Whatever amount of effort you exert, nothing seems to be enough. You still lack the necessary motivation. In addition, you feel empty inside no matter how hard you try. And worse, you don’t care at all. You’re too tired to even care.

Symptoms of Burnout

There are several symptoms that you should watch out for in order to be successful in preventing burn out. Do not worry because you cannot catch this condition in a snap of a finger. It happens gradually and it only goes full blast if you deliberately ignore the signals. Burnout’s early symptoms should be taken seriously. Something seriously wrong can happen if you will not pay attention to the red flags. Learning to identify the symptoms will help you avoid the complications of burnout.

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Here are the physical symptoms:

  • Feeling drained and dead tired majority of the time.
  • Muscle pain, back ache, and recurring headaches.
  • Losing appetite and change in sleep habits.
  • Feeling sick and having a lowered level of immunity.

The following are the emotional symptoms that you should monitor:

  • Acquiring a negative and highly cynical outlook.
  • Losing all the motivation.
  • Decreasing level of the sense of satisfaction and deteriorating sense of accomplishment.
  • Feeling of self-doubt and affinity to failure.
  • Helplessness coupled with the feeling of being trapped and defeated.
  • Self-imposed isolation and detachment from the world.

These are the behavioral symptoms:

  • Saying no to responsibilities.
  • Yelling at others out of frustration.
  • Unexplained anger and irritation.
  • Overeating and the abuse of drugs and alcohol.
  • Tardiness and absenteeism.
  • Procrastination and delaying responsibilities.

So, have you checked your symptoms? Now, are you experiencing burnout or is it a simple case of being stressed out?.

Dealing with Burnout

Finally, you should deal with burnout in a proactive manner. Never deny yourself of the chance to feel better. Get the treatment needed and maintain the work-life balance. But the best way to deal with it is to prevent it from happening. The following are some of the steps to prevent burnout:

  1. Begin your day with a ritual that will make you relaxed. You can begin your day by writing an entry for your journal, exercising, or stretching. Do anything that can inspire you.
  2. Stay healthy. Eat well, exercise regularly, and sleep sufficiently. This will help you become tough enough to face the challenges.
  3. Nurture your creativity. According to experts, the best medicine against burnout is by practicing your creativity. Write a poem, paint a poster, or take photographs. Choose any activity that is not connected with your work.
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But if you already caught it, here are the three easy steps towards recovery:

  1. Take it slow. Set a vacation on a weekend or take a leave on a weekday. Take your mind off from all the pressures. Say no to commitments for the meantime. Try to heal your body and mind by reflecting and resting.
  2. Surround yourself with people you love. You need a lot of support and affection. Never isolate yourself again because solitude can be very frustrating. Now more than ever, having family members or friends by your side is important to help you recover fast. That way, you can tell exactly what you are going through. You do not have to keep it to yourself.
  3. Assess your priorities and goals. Think again of the very rationale why you are working. Evaluate your goals, dreams, and hopes. Are you neglecting something that matters? Are there aggregates of your life that you seem to abandon? Discover again the things that make you truly happy.

By keeping these things in mind, you have an entire arsenal to combat burnout should it occur to you. By veering away from burnout, you can be 100 percent sure that your productivity won’t suffer and at the same time, you can take care of your personal relationships.

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