Everybody thinks that they can multitask and get a lot done with a limited amount of time. This means that a lot of people simply put too much on their plate with the mistaken idea that they are able to handle it. They love being busy, they believe.
The problem is that this kind of lifestyle where you try to do too much can lead to burnout. Burnout sounds like being stressed, but it is a step beyond just being tired or stressed. When you get to the point of exhaustion, you can’t just destress and get on with things. Burnout can even be serious enough that you’ll be seeking out primary care physicians OKC to get treatment for the physical problems likely brought on by it.
In this article, we will go over what burnout looks like and what you can do about it to make sure you get back on track to a normal life.
Are you burnt out or just stressed?
It’s very easy to think you are just stressed and not exactly burnt out. Stress can be brought on by a number of factors. You could have financial worries, or work is getting too busy and you feel overworked. This stress can also cause health problems if it is not dealt with, but burnout comes with a different set of problems.
Burnout comes up when you are stressed because you are trying to juggle too many things, but the feeling that you get once it hits is different than being stressed. There is a feeling of complete exhaustion which is so strong that you don’t even have enough energy to care. You end up going through the motions like a robot. It can resemble depression and, in fact, often does end up becoming that.
Burnout is a result of the stress that you have been feeling because of the burden of all of the things you have been trying to juggle. But, the result comes because of how you are unable to cope with the stress brought on by your schedule or other factors.
The key to being able to avoid your stress leading to burnout is to recognize when you are about to turn that corner.
Stress starts building
Encountering stress is totally normal and nothing to be concerned about. Even stressful periods can be dealt with when they are ongoing by doing things like getting a massage or doing some meditation or yoga. However, there comes a time when the stress just keeps building.
An example would be if your workload is too high and you’re struggling to keep up. You will have a high level of stress for most of the day. Add in some conflict from a co-worker and that can take the stress level up a few notches.
As this phase starts running its course, stress is now a part of your entire waking existence. It’s hard to focus because you can only think of the things causing your stress, or because you are trying to solve the problems that you are facing at work.
This is likely the first stage of your burnout.
Fatigue sets in
You’ll likely start feeling like burnout is around the corner when you are simply exhausted from all of the stress. Your schedule is too full so there is no time to recover and destress so you can move on and just keep work to work hours. It is quite common at this point to feel fatigued and sluggish.
It will be difficult to get out of bed in the morning and you may start sleeping through your alarm and causing you to be late for work. This has a snowball effect as now that you are missing work, your plate is getting even more full.
Once fatigue sets in and there is no possibility of taking some time off, you enter a spiral in which you can’t escape from the stress. You are right on the doorstep to burnout.
Once you hit your limit you are now burnt out and can not function at a normal level. You are too tired and can’t catch up on rest so you essentially shut down. It is normal to not feel any stress at this point because you don’t feel much of anything. At least not mentally. Physically you can be feeling severe headaches, stomach cramps, and gastrointestinal problems. This is why you often need to seek medical help once you hit the burnout phase as you can be making yourself very ill.
This is the crucial moment when you need to realize that you are actually burnt out. If you let things go then you can end up in a state of constant burnout which brings a whole host of other problems. You can end up with a stomach ulcer, among other things and the threat of slipping into depression is very real.
It will likely be very difficult to hold down your job and many other problems can result that make life even more difficult.
How to avoid burnout
Once you start feeling fatigued from stress then you need to take a step back and understand what is happening. This is the moment when you need to talk to your boss and let them know you are heading toward a burnout event. It is in your boss’s interest to avoid this as the work can’t get done properly by staff that is burnt out.
Take some sick days to be able to take a breath. It is very important to detach completely from the cause of your being burnt out. Getting rest is essential. Try to avoid doing anything strenuous and just relax. Get plenty of sleep and focus on eating right.
If you can take a vacation at this point then this is the ideal thing to do. Make sure to take time to do some yoga or other light exercise and not be on a tight schedule.