Signs of Burn Out and How to Fix It
Many people suffer from too much stress and often begin feeling helpless, exhausted, and very unhappy. These are all signs pointing to being burned out. In this state, things will often seem pointless and bleak and your energy levels will be at an all-time low. There is hope though, burn out is not the end all, be all.
What is Burn Out?
In the simplest terms, it is the state of mental, emotional, and physical exhaustion by too much stress for too long. If you have felt overwhelmed and like you are unable to keep up, you are at risk of becoming burned out. As your stress builds up, your energy and will to overcome it lessens. Your productivity and energy will be gone and you may feel depressed. Everyone has bad days here and there, but if every day feels like a bad day, you are probably suffering from being burned out.
What are the Signs of Burn Out?
- If you have stopped even attempting to care about what you usually love doing or things that need done.
- Instead of having one or two bad days every now and then, every day is a struggle that never seems to end.
- Feeling helpless, having self-doubt, or feelings of being a failure.
- Feeling trapped and defeated.
- Suddenly feeling like nothing truly matters and emotionally and mentally detaching from the rest of the world.
- Loss of will and motivation.
- An increased bleak perspective on the world.
- Decreased levels of joy, happiness, and pride.
- Feeling very fatigued the majority of the time.
- Becoming sick more often than usual.
- Lots of body aches and headaches.
- Changes in appetite or changes to your normal sleep patterns.
Behavioral signs and symptoms of burnout
- Ignoring responsibilities and procrastinating.
- Removing yourself from others and staying in isolation.
- Procrastinating or just not completing things because it takes too much energy.
- Using things like food or drugs as a coping mechanism.
- Using others to take your frustrations out on.
- Deciding not to come into work, deciding to leave early or come in late just because you want to.
How Can I Fix Having Burn Out?
Use the “Three R” method to start dealing with your burn out problems.
- The first step is to Recognize. You need to actually step back and recognize if you are suffering from being burned out.
- The second step is to Reverse. You need to undo the damage that has been done by the mountain of stress. Manage the stress you’ve been dealing with and seek the support you need.
- The third step is Resilience. Start taking care of your physical, emotional, and mental health to avoid any future burn outs.
There are also a few other ways to start your recovery from this mental state. Sometimes it is already too late to prevent this exhaustion and you have passed your breaking point. If you try to force yourself through it instead of taking the time you need, you will only make it worse.
- Slow Down!
Once you’ve passed your breaking point, simply trying to force your attitude to change or looking after your physical health won’t be enough to fully bring you back. You need to take a break and let yourself calm down before you start trying to tackle anything else. Give your mind and body some time to rest and recuperate.
- Get Some Emotional Support.
Don’t isolate yourself from the rest of the world, it won’t help. Your friends and family are going to be a very big part of your healing process and they will help you to get better. It can really and truly help to let someone else know how you’re feeling without expecting them to try to fix your problems. Make sure you are going to be talking to someone who knows how to listen and won’t automatically fault you for feeling the way you are.
- Reevaluate Yourself.
When you’ve passed your breaking point, you know something in your life is not working the way it should. It is a good time to go over your goals and the things you have in life. Is there something you feel like you aren’t doing that’s making you unhappy? Take the time it takes to figure out what set you off.
- Face Your Problems Head On.
You probably got way too stressed out because you were avoiding the problems in your life and not addressing them with a plan on how to fix them. Take the active route instead of the passive route in the future and you’ll begin to feel less helpless and more powerful in your everyday life.
Being burned out is a serious problem and it is one you should never be ashamed of. If you have felt helpless and trapped, take a step back and try to figure out why you’ve been feeling this way, then try to do something about it.