If you're in the habit of scrolling through Instagram, TikTok, or any other popular social media platform, you may have come across the term "burnout" more than once. It's no secret that we are all collectively balancing a lot, especially in a culture that promotes a work ethic based on pushing through mental, emotional, and physical ailments to "get the job done."
These days, I've been especially hyper-aware of the impact of chronic stress as well as burnout prevention and recovery. With that in mind, I want to encourage you to take a moment and check in with yourself. You may be confusing clear signs of burnout with "normal stress" or "a bad week at work."
When you're enduring constant stress, your body will communicate with you via emotional, mental, and physical symptoms, or a combination of the three. I want to provide a couple of clear warning signs of burnout so that you can better take care of yourself. I hope this information will help you navigate these complicated and trying times and prioritizing your health and wellness.
What is Burnout?
Ever feel like your life reflects one of the internet's favorite gifs? This is NOT fine.
If your friend told you they felt like their life was ablaze around them as they drink their morning coffee, you would be concerned, right? So, why are we accepting this feeling in our own lives? Burnout is serious enough that the World Health Organization classifies it as an "occupational phenomenon" in its 11th Revision of the International Classification of Diseases (ICD-11). It relates to extreme stress brought out by workplace and/or daily career-related anxiety.
There is a lot to know about burnout but for now, we can conclude that when work-related stress becomes so overwhelming that it starts to manifest in other symptoms, it's probably time to make a life change.
Burnout Prevention: How to identify burnout?
Now that we have a basic understanding of the phenomenon, let's figure out how to identify burnout by becoming aware of the symptoms that you can look for when deciding if you may be experiencing burnout.
1. Feelings of Energy Depletion or Exhaustion
a. Sleep is huge. Constant exhaustion, insomnia, and difficulty falling and/or staying asleep are all symptoms of burnout.
b. Emotional irregularity can occur. Mood swings and many energetic ups and downs can all indicate burnout.
c. Energetic depletion due to troubled digestion. If you are not feeling hungry or constantly craving food, you may be throwing off your digestive system and therefore, experiencing low energy and depletion.
2. Feelings of Negativity or Cynicism Related to One’s Job
a. Put simply, do you hate your job? Constant negativity toward your job can indicate that you are experiencing burnout.
b. Are you feeling extra negative lately? When negativity creeps into different parts of life, you may be on the verge of a burnout episode.
c. Does the work feel extra overbearing or overwhelming? Sometimes when we experience burnout, work that once felt routine begins to become a dreaded burden.
d. Is it harder to connect with colleagues, leaders, and loved ones? When we experience burnout, we lose the reserves of energy we normally have for interpersonal and professional interactions.
3. Reduced Professional Efficacy
a. If you are unusually inefficient when performing work tasks, this could be a sign of burnout.
b. When you notice that you are making more errors in work tasks than you normally would, it may be your mind's way of telling you that are you burnt out.
c. Oftentimes we are unable to delegate tasks properly when we are burnt out because we are used to taking on all the responsibilities. In the same vein, we are often unable to communicate our needs as easily when we are experiencing burnout.
d. Have you been feeling like a promotion is moving farther out of reach? These feelings of negativity or hopelessness often relate to burnout.
Burnout Recovery: Now is the Time to Make a Change
When my clients present these symptoms to me, I help them identify burnout and address the issues through a number of holistic and accessible tools for burnout recovery. I like to use Ayurveda as a diagnostic tool. For example, once I know what qualities of the three Ayurvedic doshas affect my client most, I find ways to correct any imbalances that may aggravate burnout symptoms.
Ayurveda is just one helpful place to start when it comes to burnout prevention. You can check out this link to the two questions to ask yourself before quitting your job. Once you have your answer, you can seek support. I always welcome and encourage one-on-one wellness coaching but often, we need an extra push that comes from a like-minded community to help ourselves. My coaching group Thrive 2021 offers the tools and accountability to stop burnout before it becomes all-consuming.
If you're experiencing symptoms of burnout, remember that it is never too late to prioritize your needs and wellness. You deserve to feel balance and joy every day.
If you are interested in learning more about the benefits of private burnout coaching, check out my holistic burnout recovery programs. Today's your chance to do something different by making the changes that benefit us all year long. And if you're curious to learn more about how to prevent or address burnout, schedule your free breakthrough session and we can create a personalized plan of wellness and health.