Many of us have days when we feel overwhelmed, swamped by demands or consumed by stresses and feeling unappreciated. Life seems like you’re constantly running on a mouse wheel. You feel overlooked and unrewarded for your effort. And dragging yourself out of bed requires insurmountable effort. However, if you feel like this most of the time, you may be experiencing burnout.
Burnout is a state of physical, mental and emotional exhaustion caused by excessive and prolonged stress over time.
The signs and symptoms of burnout, when considered in isolation, may seem like every day challenges or difficulties. Put the symptoms together, as part of a big picture, and you may well realise that you are in the grips of burnout- an increasing phenomena of modern day living out of balance.
Burnout can present many symptoms. Some of the following ten may be present in your life now. If that is true for you, then it is time for you to address the underlying causes.
10 signs you may be experiencing burnout:
A clear sign of burnout is when you feel tired all the time. Exhaustion can be emotional, mental or physical. It’s the sense of not having any energy, of being completely worn out.
2. Frustration, Pessimism and Other Negative Emotions
You may feel disillusioned with everything, undervalued or that what you’re doing doesn’t matter that much anymore. You may find yourself being critical and negative in your thinking, conversations and self-talk.
3. Inability to Concentrate, Fuzzy Thinking
Chronic stress and exhaustion often reduces our ability to function mentally, to pay attention or concentrate. Our brain is able to focus and handle short bursts of stress or perceived threat but when the stress occurs over a long term, it wears you down. Your functioning deteriorates and you have difficulty problem solving, making decisions or paying attention.
4. Not Taking Care of Yourself
When suffering from burnout, you may develop unhealthy practices like drinking more alcohol to de-stress or even drinking more coffee to summon up the energy to drag yourself into work in the morning. You may be rushing meals, eating too much or not enough or relying on take away food because you are feeling too tired to prepare healthy meals. When you’re burnt out, the sleep you so desperately need is often disturbed and you may be relying on sleeping pills to sleep or alcohol to get to sleep. You may find yourself feeling too tired to exercise or take a simple walk. Even if you use to love being with friends, being with other now is an effort. You have less energy to socialise and may find yourself avoiding contact with friends or not taking time out to relax or have fun. When you are burnt out, you can be your worst enemy because taking care of yourself can seem all too hard.
5. Interpersonal Problems at Home and at Work
When you are burnout, problems with work relationships often present as either increased conflicts with people, such as getting into arguments and being less tolerant, or as withdrawing from talking to your family or work colleagues or isolating yourself in the work place and from family members.
6. Generally Decreased Satisfaction
Often, generally feeling less happy and satisfied with your career and with your home life is a part of burnout. You might feel frustrated or even stuck when it comes to matters at home, in the community, your social activities or workplace.
7. Reduced Motivation
There’s a good chance you’re experiencing burnout when you are feeling unenthusiastic about anything and that you no longer have motivation for your work or even your usual pleasures. It may even be harder to get going in the morning and you can feel like you have to drag yourself into work every day.
8. Decreasing Job Performance
As burnout tends to happen over an extended period of time, comparing your job performance now to your performance in years gone by will help you decide whether you’re in a temporary slump or experiencing more chronic burnout.
9. Being Preoccupied with Work Even When You’re Not at Work
When you are spending your “at home” time, working or being preoccupied with thinking about work then you are not giving your mental and physical body time to distress. When you are burnt out, it is likely that you don’t ‘unplug’ from the thinking that goes on all day, whether you are aware of it or not, and that pattern of thinking continues after work and even into your sleep. In order to refresh and re-energise, you need time to yourself when you are switched off from the work environment and demands and time when you have stopped thinking about that task altogether.
10. Health Problems
Over a long period of time, serious chronic stress can create real health problems. The stress that you experience can ‘recreate’ and present itself in the body in an extensive range of physical symptoms affecting almost any part of the physical and mental state. Like layers of an onion, when we investigate health issues and pull back and reveal what really is happening and hidden beneath, we often uncover long term stress leading to burnout.
Often burnout creeps up on you and you can be in a state of exhausted burnout before you are aware of your state. If that’s sounds like you, it’s important to take your burnout very seriously. Trying to push through and ignore the symptoms of the exhaustion and continue as you have been will only cause further emotional and physical distress. It is time to take action and make necessary changes to get your life and health back on track.
Through life coaching techniques and methods, I can assist you to bring the joy, motivation and balance back into your life where it’s been missing for too long.