Updated: Jul 1
You can control, moderate, or stop Burnout, but you have to know its symptoms, how to recognize it, and be ready to take steps towards healing it before it gets out of hand.
Defined, burnout is "failure or exhaustion because of excessive demands on energy, strength, or resources." Thus, it is a condition of mental, emotional, and physical exhaustion brought on by excessive and prolonged stress placed on your body. It occurs when you constantly feel exhausted, emotionally exhausted, and incapable of meeting ongoing demands. Over time, the body's natural guards against extreme pressure are impaired and your body's response to stress is triggered. You can control, moderate, or stop Burnout, but you have to know its symptoms, how to recognize it, and be ready to take steps towards healing it before it gets out of hand.
"Burnout first became the focus of social attention and research in the 1970s. Earlier writing, both fictional and nonfictional, described similar phenomena, including extreme fatigue and the loss of idealism and passion for one's job."--Understanding burnout: New models, The handbook of stress and health: A guide to research and practice
The first step to help reduce the severity and frequency of Burnout is to identify it for what it is and what triggers it. Knowing the cause of your stress and what you can do to reduce it is essential. Once you know the causes of your stress, what can you do to reduce the impact and suffering?
Here are some manifestations of Burnout
Derived from Burnout is the feeling of detachment you may feel every single day. Burnout develops when your viewpoint of the world is severely limited due to your cynicism. Burnout can intensify as your cynicism becomes more acute, especially if you have had to deal with an abusive situation or harassment in the past.
Some people who have had to experience derailing are prone to developing Burnout. In addition to detachment, Burnout can also lead to a negative perspective about relationships, work, family, health, spirituality, and can affect the quality of sleep you get every single day.
People who experience Burnout may also experience symptoms of anxiety, such as nervousness, stress headaches, nausea, and dizziness. When you start feeling overwhelmed by stressors and stresses in your life, you may want to seek help to relieve them.
If you don't want to take medication, there are a variety of self-help techniques you can use to alleviate stress and prevent burnout. These include exercising, practicing meditation, taking time for relaxation, and learning relaxation techniques.
Another type of Burnout is when you don't pay close attention to details at work or in your personal life. Because you're so stressed out, you don't take time to listen to and evaluate the little details and nuances of your life.
Consequently, you don't take the time to think about the big picture view. As a result, you end up with Burnout because you keep putting off the little details and then your Burnout is magnified by the larger and more stressful things you encounter on a daily basis.
Additionally, if you constantly find yourself stressed out, it's very likely that you will have unrealistic deadlines and even more unrealistic goals. You can avoid having a Burnout by simply being realistic with yourself and setting realistic goals for yourself.
For example, you might realize that you can't finish reading a certain number of pages in one sitting, but you figure you'll finish reading the book in two days.
Similarly, if you try to meet unrealistic goals, then your stress level increases and you could become susceptible to Burnout. So, make sure you set realistic goals that are within your skill set and reasonable in comparison to what you can do in a day.
When you have a Burnout, you may also feel alone and overwhelmed. However, there are many resources available, including support groups and friends and family that can help you through your Burnout. It's important that you look for help when you start feeling helpless or detached. Burnout recovery centers if there are any in your place can provide intensive therapy and counseling to help you during and after a Burnout.
Being overwhelmed and having a Burnout are often related because both feel like you have nothing more to give. However, you can overcome your Burnout and feel empowered by learning to deal with a stressful situation. Just remember that the Burnout is your body's way of letting you know that you are overloading yourself. When you take a break, evaluate your Burnout situation and do whatever it takes to regain control of your life.
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1. Maslach, C., & Leiter, M. P. (2017). Understanding burnout: New models. In C. L. Cooper & J. C. Quick (Eds.), The handbook of stress and health: A guide to research and practice (p. 36–56). Wiley Blackwell. https://doi.org/10.1002/9781118993811.ch3
2. Freudenberger, H. J. (1975). The staff burn-out syndrome in alternative institutions. Psychotherapy: Theory, Research & Practice, 12(1), 73–82. https://doi.org/10.1037/h0086411
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