By Vanessa Gonzalez
We all have days where we would much rather take the day off work, lie down by the pool, and have a lazy day. On other days, we may be unhappy at work or too exhausted. However, when those feelings become so mentally and physically exhausted that you are beyond the point of caring, you may be experiencing burnout.
Burnout is a prevalent issue and can happen to anyone. It does not have to be explicitly related to your place of employment – you may experience relational burnout, academic, or any other area where you feel so depleted by stress you struggle to connect and be effective at work.
Signs of Burnout
Common signs of burnout are:
· Physical exhaustion
· Emotional exhaustion
· Increased anxiety
· Increased substance use
· Weight gain
· Difficult to communicate effectively
Causes of Burnout
Many factors can affect one's burnout. However, how to manage and tolerate stress can be very influential. The culture of the workplace can also affect burnout, especially if there is constant conflict between staff. It is also shown that some professions may be more prone to experiencing burnout. Many of these professions are considered helping fields, such as nurses, teachers, social workers, and mental health therapists. They may feel emotionally taxed from the workload and individuals they serve
How Do I Avoid Burnout?
Avoiding burnout may sound difficult, but it's not impossible. Learning how to manage feelings of stress and being overwhelmed each day is crucial for avoiding burnout. Remember, burnout isn't experienced after one day. Instead, it's an accumulation of feelings of chronic stress.
· Develop a routine outside of work to dedicate time to yourself
· Create a morning routine that sets the tone and intention for your day
· Ask yourself, "what do I need right now?"
· Be honest with how you are feeling
· Find interests outside of your life
· Talk to your friends or others who you trust about the feelings you may experience
· Set concrete boundaries between work and time away from work
· Express boundaries with your loved ones when you may need alone time
· Use your days off – not just when you "need a break."
· Time block and manage your time to prioritize your tasks and leisure time.
· Remember: IT'S OK TO REST
Sometimes you may experience burnout for an extended period, and this may translate into depression or anxiety and continue to exacerbate your symptoms. If you cannot alleviate your symptoms alone, you may need to seek professional help. A mental health professional can help you work through these uncomfortable feelings and help you take action to help you find new ways to deal with chronic stress.
You are not alone in experiencing this, and you should not feel you have to isolate yourself. Support and help are out there. Recognize the signs and help yourself out. Therapy can help you find the right tools to cope and help you manage the stressors and yourself.
Therapy for burnout and stress management available at Juno Counseling and Wellness, serving Palm Beach Gardens, Jupiter, and Palm Beach County, Florida.