In Part one of this blog, we discussed some of warning signals to help determine if you are burning out or stressed:
- Your passion fades
- You feel numb
- You can’t think straight
- You are always tired
- Little things make you very angry
- Everybody drains you
In the second part there will be tips on how to cope if you are concerned with any of your burnout that may be your wake-up call.
Visit your general practitioner
First and foremost, it is always a good idea to rule out any medical issues you may have that can present with the same symptoms. Often, talking to your doctor and perhaps taking some blood tests will rule out anything medical.
Whether you reach out to co-workers, friends, loved ones or therapy, support and collaboration might help you cope. It can also lead to a better understanding that people are there to listen, guide and support you through this time.
Cooperating with your energy levels
Time management is one thing, energy management is quite another. If you are a morning person then do not set yourself tasks at the end of the day and vice versa. Understand your own body cycle and work with that. Complete tasks you need to do when your energy levels are at the highest.
Evaluate your options
See what parts of your life are causing you the most amount of stress. Perhaps if it is work you can discuss some of your concerns with a superior you could discuss working towards a compromise or a solution. Or if this is not possible evaluate the options you have and think of reasons for staying in your job rather than quitting.
Try to set goals for what must get done and what can wait. Having endless list of tasks can feel overwhelming. Prioritising what needs to be done in a particular order can help the feelings of being overwhelmed.
Regular physical activity can help you to better deal with anything; whether you are burning out or stressed. It can also take your mind off work and things that are overwhelming you. The idea of exercise might seem like the last thing on your mind when you are feeling so tired and overwhelmed. However, benefits of exercise will not only allow yourself the physical aspect, but it will improve sleep and better mental health. If this is not for you then perhaps the next tip will be more useful.
Try a relaxing activity
Explore classes or activities that can help with stress such as yoga, meditation or tai chi, there are also adult colouring books that can provide your brain with a much-needed rest.
Mindfulness is the act of focusing on your breath flow and being intensely aware of what you’re sensing and feeling at every moment, without interpretation or judgement. This can guide you in your daily life to practice facing situations with openness and patience, and without judgement.
A kind reminder that not all tips will work for everyone, this is about assessing what will work best for you. The ultimate burnout tip here is do not be so hard on yourself, often when in the stages of burnout, we see everything we do as negative and not good enough. The key is to question why you feel in such a way without judgement and let the rest guid you to change.
If you think that you can benefit from professional support on this issue you can reach out here.
Stef Gafa’ is a counsellor with Willingness who has a particular interest in trauma, attachment, domestic violence and the LGBT community.