A few years into a well settled life, stable income, family around me, food on the table, picture perfect everything, suddenly I was falling apart. Miserable, sick, not able to sleep, on the verge of tears all the time, no energy to do anything — what was happening? And I had no answers.
Burnout is defined as:
Burnout is a state of emotional, physical, and mental exhaustion caused by excessive and prolonged stress. It occurs when you feel overwhelmed, emotionally drained, and unable to meet constant demands. As the stress continues, you begin to lose the interest and motivation that led you to take on a certain role in the first place.
Burnout is a slow and steady heated flame in the background. Or like a steady stream of slowly dripping water from a faucet, on stone. Slowly it corrodes one’s self into a state of constant anxiety and stress that’s unexplained.
Every day feels like a challenge to go through. Things that used to excite, suddenly become overwhelming. People around us start noticing behavior changes or may label us as thankless, the tasks at work, study or life start to seem worthless or dull, procrastinating becomes a daily habit and one constantly feels under appreciated or not loved enough.
There are quite a few ways to not to slip down the rabbit hole, and prevent it, or recover from it. Some of the ways I’m listing below that has helped me:
- Recognizing that something is off — this is the first step, both in prevention and getting better. Feeling tired, not having an interest in stuff or life, loss of motivation, loss or increase in appetite, frequent headaches, negative outlook towards life, mood changes, lower tolerance to stress and lower immunity are some of the symptoms that may crop up.
- Reversal — There are a few proven ways to manage stress and reverse burnout . Seeking support from family and friends and opening up about how you feel. Managing the life stress via techniques like CBT, Calming therapies, Journaling and positive mind shift. Yoga and exercise is another very important aspect that is a key to restoring the mind-body balance. We also need to eat mindfully to nourish the body by neither skipping the meals nor overeat and supplement with health foods if necessary. Also, trying to do one thing at a time and taking it one step a day helps the body and mind to slow down and have that relax which is essential. Lastly, having a good night’s sleep is something that is mendatry. Sleep is the reset mechanism the human body has against the stress and sickness.
- Stress Resilience — using the reversal techniques, building up stress resilience is vital. Taking care of physical and emotional health is the way to go back to former self and reverse the burnout effects.
How to deal with the burnout:
- Talk to family and friends. Have a trusted circle that understands and uplifts. Limit and remove toxic relationships, have some non judgmental support system. Find some like minded people other than work or family to talk to and connect with.
- Reshaping the mindset towards your goals and work can also help. Finding value in the tasks, how insignificant they may be, can send out positive vibes to help you cope up.
- A sense of balance in life such as a hobby, volunteer work, mother nature,Sunday with just chill and Netflix can also be effective.
- Taking some time off from the work and doing something else completely.
- Making some friends at work to bond and chat with can relieve some of the pressure on the mind related to work.
- Learning to say no — whenever needed.
- A daily routine of walking around — at home, outside, to the grocery etc. It helps to release the pent up energy and is good for health.