Burnout. It’s a dreaded word, because, let’s be honest, it’s a dreaded feeling. If you’re reading this, you may know that feeling all too well. If you’re currently experiencing any of the symptoms below, now is the time to evaluate your situation and to learn smart coping strategies so you can stop burnout in its tracks, and move towards a place of stress relief so you can mitigate the potential negative health risks that come with long term burnout.
With technology blurring the lines between work and home, burnout is on the rise. In fact, research from the APA (American Psychological Association) and the National Opinion Research Center at the University of Chicago reported the following:
- 48 percent of Americans experienced increased stress over the past five years
- 31 percent of employed adults have difficulty managing their work and family responsibilities
- 53 percent say work leaves them “overtired and overwhelmed”
Warning Signs of Burnout
Exhaustion is one of the first indicators that you’re burned out. If you find yourself feeling extremely tired all the time, you could very well be burned out. Keep in mind, exhaustion comes in many forms! It can be physical, emotional or mental exhaustion.
Physical signs include an extreme lack of energy, so much so you could fall asleep at a moments notice, or can’t begin to move off the sofa. Emotional exhaustion includes feeling like you’re on the brink of a messy, teary meltdown, or are getting usually angry or anxious. Mental exhaustion is evident when you’ve been hyper-focused on a task or extremely engaged in something for an extended period of time and you get to a point where you feel like your brain simply cannot perform one more task because you’re spent.
Little or No Motivation
If you find you suddenly aren’t excited about things you used to love, and have little to no desire to continue working on things you used to enjoy, it’s likely your experiencing burnout. You’ll may not want to get out of bed in the morning and find it extremely hard to go to work.
If you’re normally an optimistic, upbeat person and you find your thoughts and attitude are oddly pessimistic, or negative, you could very well be burned out. Watch for any unusual change in your mood and reactions to everyday events.
Forgetfulness & Inability to Focus
Chronic stress can make it very difficult to concentrate or pay attention to anything! Our brains were designed to cope with stress in small bursts – to narrow our focus on the stressor, manage it and move on. When stress become chronic our brains are expending so much energy, so often, on resolving stress that we can have a hard time focusing on anything else. You may also have difficulty remembering important things and find yourself forgetting everyday things quite often!
Tunnel vision is very effective at solving “flight/fight” issues, but can make it extremely difficult to solve everyday problems or make simple decisions.
Conflicts with Others
Interpersonal conflicts arise when you’re burned out because you’re tuned out, and people notice! You’re probably on edge too, so you find yourself argumentative or on the flipside, withdrawn.
Lack of Self Care
Let’s face it, some people are better at coping with stress than others. Similarly, some people find it easier to spot the warning signs of burnout, whereas others simply miss it. Why? Likely because they were raised to manage stress well. They may exercise, take yoga classes, eat well, sleep enough, get regular massages, maybe even meet regularly with a mental health therapist. If you’re the opposite, and find yourself oversleeping, overeating, drinking too much alcohol, relying on sleeping pills or even over caffeinating you could possibly be self-medicating and that’s really dangerous.
Decreased Productivity & Preoccupations with Work
When you’re not physically in your office or at your desk, do you find yourself thinking (or obsessing even) about your work? If so, your mind could really use a break from the grind! Take time to yourself to de-stress from your job. It’s difficult to perform effectively or efficiently when you are in your office if you never give your brain a chance to unwind and enjoy life outside of the office. Creativity could easily take a nose dive in this scenario too, so take a break and relax. That way, you can go back to work refreshed so you can give it 100%.
Don’t bring your work home if you can and when you leave the office, be done for the day. No excuses.
Dissatisfaction & Unhappiness
Feeling stuck, or unhappy can be a big indicator that something needs to give! If you feel dissatisfied a lot, you could simply be burned out.
Burnout and chronic stress, like I mentioned earlier, can cause a multitude of effects, like serious health concerns. If you’ve been stressed out for a long period of time you may want to make an appointment with your doctor to strategize ways to manage it so your health isn’t negatively effected. Unmanaged stress can cause various physical symptoms, like stiff muscles, anxiety, upset stomachs, depression, and even heart disease.
Eliminate Burnout – 10 Quick & Simple Strategies
Whether you’re an entrepreneur, blogger, influencer or someone who is contemplating leaving their 9-5 to start a business of your own, and you’re experiencing any of the above mentioned symptoms of burnout, there is hope. The good news is, burnout can be reversed! It can also be prevented with a good, stress relief strategies.
Who’s Most at Risk of Burnout?
People who are “Type A” personalites are at a higher risk of burnout and often fall into the “entrepreneur” category. Is that you? You could possibly be burned out because your intrinsic (internal) motivation is higher than others, which is great for productivity but can really create a lot of excess stress! Don’t stress, I got you! These stress-relief strategies can help you to relax, rejuvenate and melt your stress away so you can get back to feeling like your normal self again.
External Stress: Enough Is Enough
Perhaps your job is causing the burnout. Oftentimes people are under so much pressure by their employers to produce more, in less time, and end up working extremely long hours and more days than they should be. This is very common in the US, especially in high-drive cities like NYC. If that’s something you can relate to you may consider seeking another job, or industry. Luckily more and more employers are beginning to pay attention to the warning signs of burnout and are beginning to offer things like, flexible schedules and unlimited time off! But it may take awhile for more employers to catch on.
For now, cash in on your vacation time and take long weekend or work shorter days whenever possible.
10 Fail-Proof Ways to Eliminate Burnout
I created a list of ten (10) simple stress relief strategies to help you cope with and manage your stress quickly. Just remember, you don’t have to go on feeling burned out! There IS relief. Also, you are not alone! Everyday people worldwide experience burnout, but it is entirely manageable and totally reversible.
Don’t go it alone! If you’re really on the edge, you can always reach out to a medical professional to help you cope as well. They are just a google search away, and are there to help you become your best self – so take them up on it! Moving on to another, less stressful job is also always an option. You don’t need to feel stuck, there is hope I promise.
It’s a thing… In my first year of blogging burnout was something I experienced quite often. Between designing my websites, to creating recipes, photographing food, editing photos, writing posts, editing posts, writing newsletters, creating Pinterest graphics, scheduling out my social media to multiple platforms and promoting said social media on top of all the administrative tasks and bookkeeping I often could not remember where the day(s) went! It was as if my life was a blur. Work got done, but I sure as heck needed to hire a team to help me asap. Can you relate?
Remember, you and only you, have the power to change your mindset. It took me awhile to recognize warning signs of burnout in myself, but the moment I did, my life improved drastically. I went from working 6 days a week, often for 10-12 hours a day to 4/5 days a week, for a maximum of 6-8 hours a day and my creativity and productivity skyrocketed. That’s the power of rest. The truth is, our brains are more efficient at solving problems and inspired when we aren’t at our desk! That’s why you likely come up with your best ideas when you least expect it. Give your brain the rest it craves! Read more about how rest boosts creativity and productivity here.
Eliminate Burnout Fast
Grab my official stress busting cheatsheet now so you can stop feeling burned out once and for all. Remember, we need to work to live but we do not need to live to work. It’s all in your mindset! Working hard is something our ancestors needed to do so they could feed their families, but we now live in a society where technology gives us the chance to work SMART. Long hours and endless days are gone. You can easily use technology to automate your work and earn an income while you are (literally) sleeping! Take advantage of that so you can live well and spend more time with the people you love, doing the things you’re passionate about! ♡
Click here for my Stress-Busting Cheat Sheet! ➙ 10 Fail-Proof Ways to Eliminate Burnout