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How to Deal With Burnout

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Burnout is a state of emotional, physical, and mental exhaustion caused by excessive and prolonged stress. It can occur when you feel overwhelmed, emotionally drained, and unable to meet constant demands. When the stress is over a long period of time you begin to lose interest and motivation that led you to take on a certain role in the first place. Burnout saps your energy and leaves you feeling increasingly helpless, hopeless, cynical, and resentful. This could lead to you feeling as if you have no more to give.   

The negative effects of burnout can seep into every area of life. It can affect your home, work, and social life. As well as this burnout can also cause long-term changes to your health including added vulnerability to illness like colds and flu. Because of the consequences, it's vital to deal with burnout right away. Signs and symptoms you may be on the road to burnout include; everyday being a bad day, caring about work or homelife seeming like a waste of energy, being exhausted all the time and feeling as if nothing does makes a difference or is appreciated. Burnout is a gradual process which doesn’t happen overnight, but It can creep up on you. Think of early symptoms as red flags that something is wrong that needs to be addressed. If you pay attention and actively reduce your stress, you can prevent a major breakdown. If you ignore them, you will eventually burn out.

There is a difference between stress and burnout. Burnout could be the result of unrelenting stress, but it isn’t the same as too much stress. Stress usually involves too many pressures that demand too much of you physically and mentally. However, those who are stressed still imagine that if they can manage to get everything under control, they’ll feel better. Burnout is about not having enough. Being burned out means feeling empty and mentally exhausted, devoid of motivation and beyond caring. You’re also not always aware when burnout is occurring.

When you’re burned out, problems seem irremediable. However, always have a lot more control over stress than you may think you do. One of the most effective steps is to reach out to others regarding how you’re feeling. Social contact is nature’s antidote to stress and talking face to face with someone who listens to you well is one of the fastest ways to calm your nervous system and relieve stress. Reaching out to those who're closest to you doesn’t make you a burden to others. Talking to someone will only strengthen your relationship with them. Try to spend more time with your partner, friends and family as it takes your mind away from the problems you’re facing.

Reframing the way, you look at work is an important method on how to resolve your issues with burnout. The answer isn’t always to leave your place of work and sometimes you must take a step back and look at alternative options of how you can recover. Trying to find value in your work is a great method that can help you to feel in a better frame of mind. Focus on the aspects of your job that you do enjoy, even if that’s just talking to your colleagues at lunch. Changing your attitude towards your job can help you regain a sense of purpose and self-control. If burnout seems inevitable, try to take a complete break from work. Ask for a temporary-leave-of-absence and use the time away to recharge your batteries and pursue methods of recovery.

Keep an open mind as you consider the potential options to recover from burnout. Try not to let a demanding or unrewarding job undermine your health. However, make sure to consider all your options before rush into leaving your job as it may not always be the answer.