I know what you are thinking. Another article on Burnout, but the feeling of burnout is incredibly real. Trust me when I say, even the strongest person you know can experience burnout. The signs can be hard to notice and can sneak up on you. How do I know that? I have come very close to burning out and I am constantly mindful that it can creep up when I least expect it. So what do you look out for?
When you’re burnt out one of the biggest signs is complete exhaustion. Even doing the smallest of tasks can feel daunting. Even getting out of bed to go to the bathroom can feel like an immense effort. Fatigue can also affect your concentration or motivation to do anything.
Take the time to listen to your body, book in some time off work if you need too and catch up on some Netflix and some much-needed sleep. Remember to schedule time during your week to give yourself permission to do something other than working. If your job involves being at the computer or desk, schedule walks during your break. If you find yourself working until all hours in the evening when you need sleep set an alarm for a bedtime – a time when you clock off, maybe grab a snack, get into bed and read a book or watch something you enjoy.
Irritability, snappiness, anxiety are all physical symptoms of burning out. Staying away from caffeine during this time in particular as cliche as it sounds does and will help. A swift change in mood is a clear indicator something is wrong. A good way to check in with yourself with this is listening to yourself and your thoughts. If something triggered you which normally wouldn’t, ask yourself why. You may find it could be because you are pushing yourself too hard.
Depression / Going into yourself
When you feel burnt out, chances are you feel ashamed, like you have failed. Burnout can manifest in ways to look like you cannot cope but in reality, it is a sign you have been coping for too long. It can prevent you from socialising with others and a big sign of burn out is depression. You can often find yourself moving away from people finding them offputting and like they would not understand what you are experiencing. I often find I have periods when I just close myself from people and while I am rectifying this one thing I have realised is that it is ok to be vulnerable with people. It is ok to cry in front of others if you need too. I am not suggesting having full blown conversations from the offset (Everyone is different) Personally outside of my family, I am much more comfortable with one on one interaction with friends. When I feel like I need to have some interaction with the world, often I will just go to my housemate and have a small natter. Sometimes, it lasts an hour other times 15 minutes but it makes a difference to how I feel in myself and also gives me that pause before I do anything else my mind is telling me to do.
Burnout manifests itself in many ways, this isn’t a conclusive guide but I hope it gives you an insight on how to spot some of the bigger signs of burnout and how to deal with it accordingly.