What does your daily schedule look like? If it’s anything like mine, there isn’t a lot of room in your day to rest.
But how do you know when your busy life is becoming harmful to your health? It’s important to know the signs of burnout – a physical or mental collapse caused by overwork or stress.
Here are 5 signs of burnout and how to fix it:
1. Exhaustion or Chronic Fatigue. Do you feel like you just can’t recharge? Chronic fatigue can start as feeling tired or having a lack of energy and quickly become physical and emotional exhaustion. You may also find yourself dreading doing anything, even something as simple as getting out of bed in the morning.
2. Lack of Motivation. Burnout can prevent you from being as productive as you once were. You may also find a sudden sense of disinterest in things that you once enjoyed doing. A lack of motivation can result in incomplete tasks, which can lead to more stress.
3. Health Problems. Are you having tummy troubles after eating? Are you feeling depressed or anxious? Have you been getting more colds than usual? Health problems are a common sign that you are experiencing burnout. When your body is depleted, your immune system becomes weakened, leaving you more vulnerable to illness.
4. Cognitive problems. In the early stages of burnout you may feel like you have trouble paying attention. But as your stress and exhaustion worsen you might have trouble concentrating on your daily tasks or even forgetting things.
5. Not taking care of yourself. In an effort to keep up with all the things you need to do you may forget to take care of yourself. If you are eating lots of junk food, not drinking enough water and living a sedentary lifestyle, it could play a big role in why your body isn’t running smoothly.
Do you recognize any of these signs of burnout? If so, how do you fix it?
1. Get Enough Sleep. Our bodies and brains don’t run if we don’t get enough sleep. I have a problem with staying up later than I should because I try to get “me time” after putting my kids to bed at night. When I don’t get enough sleep I often wake up with a headache and feeling sluggish. Lately I’ve been going to bed an hour earlier and the difference has been drastic.
2. Get Organized. Life is much easier when you plan. Space out your tasks during the week if you can. I try and reserve certain tasks for certain days so I’m not trying to do everything at once. Also, if you don’t use a planner, start. Writing down all I need to do ensures I don’t forget anything. Also, there’s a certain feel-good factor to crossing things off my to-do list. And don’t be afraid to delegate tasks.
3. Unplug. I’ve talked about this before. Most people keep their phones within arm’s reach. Couple that with the fact that we are often barraged with notifications from emails and social media, and it’s no wonder it’s so hard to relax. When you get home from work or settle down for the evening, put your phone away.
4. Appreciate effort, not outcome. Sometimes you have to be proud of your efforts – no matter how small or irrelevant they may seem to others. For me, it’s something like learning to appreciate every semester of school I complete instead of dwelling on the fact that I haven’t graduated college yet. Even if you fail at something, be proud that you tried.
5. Socialize. A life that is all work and no play would exhaust the most motivated of people. Get out. Talk to a friend. Throw a party (or intimate gathering). It’s also a good idea to socialize outside of your normal circles to stimulate new ideas and provide fresh perspectives.
How do you prevent or fix burnout? Let me know in the comments below.
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