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Did you press snooze twice when the alarm went off? Is all of the coffee in the world not enough to get you going? Do you feel like you have so much to do but you really don’t want to do any of it? If so, I can relate, but the bad news is you are probably experiencing burnout.
Obviously, you cannot function in this state longterm. To get you back to good, this post is going to go over what it is, the symptoms, and ways to prevent and overcome burnout.
What is burnout and what are the symptoms and causes?
Burnout is a state of emotional, physical, and mental exhaustion caused by excessive and prolonged stress. When experiencing it, you feel overwhelmed, emotionally drained, and unable to meet constant demands.
Burnout often comes from your job, but anyone who feels overworked and undervalued is at risk. However, it isn’t caused solely by stressful work. Other things that can contribute including your lifestyle and personality traits.
Some of the most common symptoms include (1):
- Increased illness
- Low blood pressure
- Low (or nonexistent) libido, and
- Lack of productivity and poor performance.
How do you prevent or overcome burnout?
Everyone is going to have their own unique way to deal. However, if you aren’t sure where to begin, use this list as a starting point.
Admit How You Feel
Before you can get on the road to recovery, you need to admit how you are feeling. I know that if you are a Type A person, admitting that you are overwhelmed can be hard. However, admitting how you feel is critical to moving forward. Being in a state of burnout but refusing to admit it causes cognitive dissonance. Your brain fighting against two opposing feelings is going to make recovery harder. Do yourself a favor and admit how you feel.
Take A Break
When the to-do list is a mile long and there is a lot of pressure to get everything done, your first instinct is going to be to power through it. While there are times powering through is necessary, it isn’t always the best solution.
When you are experiencing burnout, it is your body’s way of telling you to stop. You are experiencing all of the physical and mental side effects because you just cannot deal anymore. Your body is telling you and I am telling you that you need a break.
You might be saying that life doesn’t let you stop. As a wife, mom, and entrepreneur, I totally hear you on that. It might not be practical for you to throw your hands in the air and stop everything. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t stop certain things and at least slowdown. Quit being extra, go through your to-do list, and get your must list down to the basics.
Relating reading: 5 Signs You Need To Take A Mental Break
Clean Things Up
We are not talking about a deep clean here nor are we suggesting you declutter your entire house unless of course that is how you relax (and in that case, can you come to my house?). For some people, clutter and disarray cause anxiety. You might be in this camp and not even know it. I didn’t realize I had clutter induced anxiety until last year.
So if we aren’t recommending an entire declutter or deep clean, then what do we suggest? Just a simple clean. Declutter old magazines and papers that you don’t need. Clean up the dirty dishes in the kitchen and finally wash the coffee cup you have had on your desk for a month.
Make Healthy Food Choices
It can be easy to justify that venti quad shot sugar filled coffee drink on days when you feel you need that push to get you through a project. And doesn’t picking something up at the drive-thru seem like a real time-saver? But let’s be real, you know those tasty yet unhealthy foods are not helping you feel better. Foods that make you feel tired and sluggish are not going to help you overcome your current state.
Instead of ordering from Uber Eats or getting pizza delivered, reach for healthy foods that make you feel good. Here at Feisty Life Media, we try not to dictate what you should and shouldn’t eat because we know that diet is very personal. You might feel your best by eating a plant-based diet while I know a high protein, low-carb diet is best for me.
Related reading: Make This Your Healthiest Year
Get Some Rest
If it seems like sleep is the answer to a lot of mental health issues, that’s because it is. If you want to overcome and prevent burnout out, you need to get serious about your sleep habits.
One of the common symptoms is difficulty sleeping. This includes having a hard time falling asleep and staying asleep. To help with this, we really suggest having a bedtime routine. Creating a routine that is perfect for you will take some trial and error. However, once you find a routine that works, it will help you get your sleep habits back on track.
Also, naps are not just for children. If you have the luxury of taking a nap during the day, try it. Taking a short nap can help you feel rested but also help with your ability to problem-solve.
Related reading: 7 Easy Hacks For A Better Night’s Sleep
Limit Your Screen Time
With television, smartphones, watches, laptops, and tablets, we are getting information and sensory overload. Plus with work always at your fingertips, it can be tempting to keep working on that big, important project. So do yourself a favor and turn the screens off. If you are really overwhelmed consider unplugging for a day or two.
If completely unplugging truly isn’t possible, then at least work on reducing your screen time. This could mean only checking your email at certain times of the day and not right before bed. At the very least you can do tech-free meals.
Relating reading: Spend Less Time On Your Phone
Do Something Fun
Did you know that play is essential to good mental health? Yes, even for adults. As humans, we are made to need play and social interaction. In fact, certain parts of healing take place when we experience positive emotions like play, fun, and hanging out with our friends and family.
If you can take some time away from work and schedule a vacation( or staycation), do it. Maybe your work frowns on days off or you don’t work in an industry that gives you paid vacation, that doesn’t mean you should write off having some fun. Instead of a vacation, you can meet up with a friend for coffee on your day off. Want some solo time? Take time for a hobby you love.
Additional Thoughts On Preventing Burnout
As you have probably noticed, most of the methods for overcoming burnout are also going to help you prevent it from occurring. If you only take away two things from this entire post let it be this: Preventing burnout requires the ability to say no. Second, you need to prioritize self-care.
While burnout is never ideal, if you find you are a repeat offender, you should speak with a medical professional. Speaking of which, we at Feisty Life Media are not medical professionals. Please make sure to consult with your doctor before taking the advice found here or on any other website.