Do you have some planned time off? Ready to use all those vacation days accrued? You'd think someone would feel eager to unwind after working so hard. But between you and me, are you secretly dreading it? This dread toward taking a break is more common than you probably realize. Think about it - constant productivity is ingrained in our culture. And the idea of actually escaping the grind can feel even harder.
If you're feeling overwhelmed, there's an issue and most likely, it's burnout. Not sure what burnout is? No worries! Check out this brief and accessible explanation of what the World Health Organization calls an "occupational phenomenon."
Like any other problem, the first step in addressing it is facing it. Be honest: on your last vacation, were you thinking about work? Did you notice that you couldn't actually relax? Were you filling in gaps of free time with house projects that created more stress and distraction? Or checking your email poolside? Questions like these will help you gain some clarity on your mental, emotional and physical state.
If you're wondering whether you are experiencing burnout, look out for these six signs.
You use your time off solely to work through your to-do list.
You dread using your PTO (paid time off) because you feel anxiety about the hundreds of emails that'll pile up in your inbox during your absence.
You long for vacation while you're at work and obsess about work while you're on vacation.
Your struggle with insomnia as the expectations of work keep you up at night.
You frequently experience health issues related to stress such as heartburn, headaches, tight muscles, acid reflux, panic attacks, and/or rapid heartbeat.
You feel a general sense of apathy for or negativity towards work that once stimulated you.
If you're experiencing any or even all of these symptoms to some degree, know that you aren't alone. Most of us have a we-are-what-we-do mentality and while I fully support striving to meet your goals and chasing your dreams, it is important to remember your worth isn't contingent upon your productivity. You're worthy of self-love and care just as you are.
If you believe you may be experiencing burnout, feel free to reach out and connect with me. We can come up with a personalized plan to redirect you on a healthier path. Believe it or not, you can reach your goals and prioritize self-care too. I'll help you get there.