December 18, 2018

Burnout is Real: What it is and How to Avoid it

You feel like a hamster on a wheel. You’re exhausted. You’re grumpy and stressed. You feel like the world needs a pause button, except that you don’t even know where the remote is. If you find yourself nodding along because you too feel all of these things, then there is a big chance that you might be experiencing burnout.

burnout quote
What is burnout?

Imagine you’re driving your car on a road trip. What would happen if you put the peddle to the metal and accelerated at full speech down the highway for the entire duration of the trip? Either A) you would hit something and hurt yourself and others, or B) your engine would start to smoke and you would damage your car. Of course you wouldn’t go peddle to the metal with your car for an extended period of time, so why do it with yourself? Burnout is when you have been going too strong for too long. It can happen when you’re rushing from one task to the next, stressed and busy, without taking time for yourself to recuperate.

The main signs of burnout include:

  • Chronic fatigue
  • Insomnia
  • Forgetfulness
  • Headaches or chest pain
  • Increased illness
  • Loss of appetite
  • Cynicism
  • Increased irritability
  • Loss of interest in activities
How to avoid it

Burnout can be caused by a number of factors both at work and at home, some of these include: lack of a support system, unclear or unreachable goals, overloaded schedule, lack of control, and loss of engagement with daily life. In order to avoid getting burned out at work, school, or home, the first step is to begin by practicing self care. Once you establish a basic level of managing stress, then you can begin to actively work to avoid burnout.

Some ways to avoid burnout include:

  • Make time for what you enjoy. Put it on your calendar or in your daily planner if that will help you make time for it.
  • Try something new. Maybe take a cooking or crafting class at the community center or start volunteering. Mix things up, learn something new, and break out of the same old thing!
  • Focus on small goals. Large, difficult goals can be overwhelming and they make it hard to see the progress that you are making everyday. Set smaller goals that build to a bigger goal so that you can see your own progress.
  • Rally your support system. This can mean reaching out to old friends, making time for new ones, and spending time with family.
  • Include break time in your schedule. Rushing from one thing to the next is stressful and is a cause of burnout. Find small moments to take breaks everyday and use weekends or off-days to take some time to relax.

Thanks for reading! Got tips on how you avoid burnout in your everyday life? Let us know in the comments!

Keep an eye out for our next post on doing a Mental Reset.

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