What is burnout? The continuous experience of high levels of stress without taking steps to manage or reduce the stress. This exhaustion leaves you feeling emotionally and physically burned out. Burnout does not happen overnight, it is a process that happens over time. However, once you feel the symptoms of burnout – they may feel overwhelming.
Signs of burnout:
- Difficulty concentrating
- Losing sight of your goals
- Lack of motivation in your work
- Frustration and irritability with the people around you
- Unexplained muscle tension, pain, fatigue, and insomnia
Finding the Source. The first step in preventing burnout is looking for the “what and why.” What is causing you stress? Make a list. Why are these things causing you stress? Note that. Once you have figured out where your stress is coming from, you can then begin to manage it.
So you have found the source of your stress. Here are some tips to help you recover from burnout:
- Set aside time in your day to take care of yourself
- Pay attention to the “three pronged stool of self-care” – SLEEP, NUTRITION & EXERCISE
- Set boundaries with those around you (school, work, friends, family)
- Practice self-compassion – you are doing the best you can
- Utilize some coping skills – deep breathing, journaling, meditation
- Talk it out – find a close friend, therapist, family member to discuss your stressors
Kirsten Cole, MA, LCMHC-A, LCAS-A