Overcoming burnout

If you’ve been under a lot of stress for a while, it can lead to burnout. In a nutshell, this is a feeling of being overwhelmed, exhausted and emotionally drained – often as a result of juggling multiple roles. Alongside this, you’ll often become disinterested and unmotivated, especially if the source of the stress is work related.

When you work long, hard hours without taking time to recharge, you will inevitably stop being effective at what you do. This “burnout” can leave you feeling tired and resentful. 

That’s why it’s important to recognize the signs early, so you can pace yourself and continue to be effective at your job.

Signs of burnout:

  • Feeling tired and exhausted most or all of the time
  • Getting sick a lot and struggling with immunity
  • Frequent headaches and muscle aches/pains
  • Changes to your appetite or sleep patterns
  • Procrastination and taking much longer than normal to complete tasks
  • Feeling hopeless, helpless and unmotivated
  • Feeling frustrated and irritable

If burnout happens to you, what can you do to cope? A few tips include:

  • If you know that part of the problem is overstretching yourself, it’s time to start setting boundaries. Scared to say “no” to certain things or don’t feel that you have a choice? It can be super helpful to work on your assertiveness skills so you can back away from things that won’t work for you so you have more time to focus on things that do.
  • Exercise can be a great way to tackle burnout. If you don’t feel able to commit to a block of exercise, try breaking it down into smaller, bite size chunks. Mindful exercise that focuses on your body and how it feels as you move can work really well for boosting your mood.
  • Having a creative outlet is another way to deal with burnout and it can be super effective for improving focus and productivity, which are often negatively affected by burnout.
  • The key to preventing burnout is to consistently prioritize the care we need (body, mind, heart and spirit) so we may ensure we have the capacity to approach our work from the best of us rather than what’s left of us. Stress is not created by the size of the load but rather by our capacity to carry it! 
  • As a recovering perfectionist, I excel at setting high expectations for myself. If you are a chronic overachiever, you might be your own worst enemy. Take a step back and assess. Are you performing to expectations or overproducing?

Until next time!