"Above is a photo of you lying to yourself saying "I'm not burnt out, its fine"
In all seriousness, it's a real thing we have all experience once, twice, or you might of not have even left that place yet... If you haven’t yet, then that's amazing but for the main majority it is pretty common, especially in this day and age we live in.
So What Actually is Burnout?
Burnout is a common term used to describe the state of feeling physically, mentally, and emotionally exhausted as a result of prolonged stress. It can occur in any field, but is most commonly found in high-stress professions, such as healthcare, teaching, and business.
"Now no doubt you have felt it before, burnout can be caused by a variety of factors, including work overload, a lack of support, and an unbalanced lifestyle."
In this blog, we’ll explore the causes and effects of burnout, and offer some strategies for dealing with it.
Causes of Burnout
Burnout can happen for many reasons, but it often occurs as a result of chronic stress. Some common causes of burnout include:
Work overload: When you have too much work to do, and not enough time or resources to complete it, you can feel overwhelmed and stressed.
- Lack of control: When you feel like you have no control over your work or the environment in which you work, you can feel frustrated and powerless.
- Unclear expectations: When you’re not sure what’s expected of you, or when expectations are constantly changing, you can feel confused and anxious.
- Lack of support: When you don’t feel like you have the support of your colleagues or superiors, you can feel isolated and stressed.
- Unbalanced lifestyle: When you spend too much time working and not enough time taking care of yourself, you can feel tired, unfulfilled, and unhappy.
Signs of Burnout
If you’re feeling burnt out, you might experience some or all of the following symptoms:
- Chronic fatigue: You might feel exhausted all the time, even after getting a full night’s sleep.
- Lack of motivation: You might lose interest in your work or hobbies, and feel like you’re just going through the motions.
- Irritability: You might become easily frustrated or angry, and have a shorter fuse than usual.
- Poor concentration: You might have trouble focusing on tasks, and make mistakes more frequently than usual.
- Physical symptoms: You might experience headaches, backaches, or other physical symptoms as a result of stress.
- Withdrawal: You might isolate yourself from friends and family, and avoid social situations.
Negative Effects of Burnout
Burnout can have serious negative effects on your physical, mental, and emotional health. Some common effects of burnout include:
- Increased risk of physical illness: Chronic stress can weaken your immune system, making you more susceptible to colds, flu, and other illnesses.
- Depression: Burnout can lead to feelings of hopelessness, helplessness, and worthlessness, which can contribute to depression.
- Anxiety: Burnout can cause feelings of panic, worry, and anxiety, making it difficult to function.
- Decreased job performance: Burnout can cause you to make more mistakes, miss deadlines, and perform poorly at work.
- Decreased satisfaction: Burnout can cause you to lose interest in your job, your hobbies, and your relationships, leading to a sense of a feeling of being unfulfilled.
How to Fight Burnout
"Now If you’re feeling burnt out and like you have been throwing your head against a wall for a while now, there are some steps you can take to fight it below"
- Prioritise self-care: Make time for activities that help you relax and recharge, such as exercise, meditation, or spending time with friends and family.
- Practice mindfulness: Take time each day to focus on the present moment, and let go of worries about the past
- Set boundaries: Learn to say no to requests that are outside of your capacity or interests, and establish clear boundaries between work and personal time.
- Seek support: Reach out to colleagues, friends, or a mental health professional for support and guidance.
- Take a break: If possible, take a vacation or a short break to disconnect from work and focus on self-care.
How Burnout Affects the Nervous System
Why's Mindfulness So Important When Burnt Out?
Mindfulness practices, such as meditation, yoga, and deep breathing exercises, can be helpful in reducing stress which in turn leads to getting out of a burnout state and reduces the risk for burnout again.
Mindfulness can help to improve focus, reduce negative thoughts, and increase feelings of calm and relaxation. Regular practice of mindfulness can help to strengthen the nervous system and improve your overall health and wellbeing.
"Think of it this way.. Dealing with burnout is like being a runner who has hit a wall. Sometimes you need to slow down, catch your breath, and take a break before continuing the race. Just like a runner who needs to refuel and rest, taking time to prioritise self-care and seek support can help you to regain your energy and motivation."
Burnout is a common problem that can have serious negative effects on physical, mental, and emotional health, so it is important to take responsibility to shift your habits and behaviours to change the direction you may be heading.
"No point trying to drive a car that's broken down and overheated on the side of the road, let it rest and find the oil and fuel you may need to get it going again"
By recognising the signs of burnout and taking proactive steps to prevent or alleviate it, you can protect your health and wellbeing.
Prioritising self-care, practicing mindfulness, setting boundaries, and seeking support can all be effective strategies for overcoming burnout and achieving a healthy, balanced life.
Chris is a Certified Personal Trainer, Strength and Conditioning Coach, Sports Nutrition Advisor, Breathing Performance Coach, Cognitive Behavioural Therapist Coach, Over 10 years experience in the health and fitness industry, while also running his own businesses since 2014 allowing him to implement and practice tools that allowed him to thrive in life.
In the past Chris experienced first hand on how to overcome his own severe anxiety and depression through changing lifestyle habits and behaviours through holistic health.