Life is busy and it is easy to find oneself feeling overwhelmed or stressed-out given the daily tasks, responsibilities and obligations that we assume at home and at work. Without effective strategies for coping with stress we can find ourselves feeling exhausted, drained, lacking in motivation; untreated stress can lead to feeling “burnt out”, it can lead to depression and to other forms of mental and physical illness. Having an awareness for the symptoms of chronic stress and burnout can help us stay on track and keep us moving forward, it can also help us recognize these symptoms in others who may not have the same level of self-awareness.
How do you know if you are “burnt out “ ?
Feeling burnt out is different than the stress that we all encounter on a daily basis. We all experience stress, and in small amounts stress can actually be good for you. For some people, however, the stress they encounter in their lives may be overwhelming and too much for them to handle . When the stress that a person experiences becomes overwhelming and prolonged it may lead to signs of burnout which include (1) feeling tired all the time, feeling physically and emotionally exhausted or drained; (2) lacking in energy, motivation, and enthusiasm; (3) experiencing elevated feelings of frustration and negative thoughts; (4) seeing personal effort as futile; (5) having a lack of concentration and short attention span, increased forgetfulness (6) having a hard time sleeping (7) increased illness due to a weakened immune system; and (8) anxiety and depression.
There are professionals that specialize in helping people who experience chronic stress and burnout so don’t hesitate to seek professional help if you feel that you might be suffering from chronic stress.
Common Strategies for dealing with burnout
Helpful strategies for dealing with burnout include but are not limited to:
(1) Adopting a physical exercise routine into your week (e.g. a daily walk, bike ride, work out at the gym, etc. )
(2) Making sure you are getting adequate sleep and relaxation
(3) Eating healthy foods and hydrating properly
(4) Talking to others and surrounding yourself with friends and family that support you
(5) Taking time for yourself, and being kind to yourself
(5) Understanding how you respond to stress ( i.e. emotional intelligence)
(6) Focusing on positve thoughts and recognizing negative thought patterns
(6) Keeping a journal
(7) Getting professional help
The transition from everyday stress to chronic stress and to burn out often happens slowly and over time. Knowing the symptoms can help you recognize it in yourself so that you can stay focused, stay healthy and stay on track. You may also be able to help someone who is living with chronic stress.
What strategies do you use to preserve your mental health and prevent yourself from getting over stressed ?
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