Let us start by what is meant by burnout. Prolonged periods of stress can add up, over time, to cause you exhaustion on either an emotional, physical or mental level. Sometimes life just becomes too much and you can begin to feel completely drained, finding it difficult to keep on top of things which were once routine and easy to complete.
You feel unable to keep up with the constant demands around you. If this continues for a sustained period of time it will ultimately lead to ‘burnout’. This is when your body has no choice but to take matters into its own hands.
Signs of burnout
The signs of burnout are clear, but it’s a shame that most people push past them, and it’s only when they reach ‘burnout’ that they realise how much they had been struggling to date. The following can help you to recognise the signs of burnout for yourself; do you suffer the following and under a lot of external stress?
- Chronic Fatigue
- Loss of appetite
- Impaired concentration and focus
- Unexplained anger and outbursts – at home and in the workplace
If you answered yes to any, or a few of these, and are feeling under a lot of strain; you may wish to assess the amount of stress currently in your life. Think of ways to reduce the stress before you become unwell, as a result of being run down, fatigued and generally burnt out.
How to stay clear of burnout
How to stay clear of burnout is a lot easier than you may think, and starts in my opinion with the basics; you have to sleep, eat and drink. Now, that’s basic maintenance right? But are you asleep for the correct hours needed by your body to rest and recover fully every night? Are you eating the correct foods – a healthy balanced nutrition regime? And are you drinking enough water and reducing your caffeine intake, on a daily basis?
To help reduce stress and avoid burnout, take the time out to do what you find relaxing at least once a week. For myself this is some ‘me’ time to download both my mind and body. Since January this year, I have been attending a Body Balance stretch class, twice a week. My flexibility has rapidly improved, my core has become stronger, and I feel lighter in my mind. Relaxation is the key to lowering any stress that has manifested itself within me, and this will apply to you too. Exercise can also help to alleviate stress, and I would personally recommend incorporating it into your weekly lifestyle. Another top tip, as a highly energetic and positive person myself, would be to surround yourself with positive people and to keep those who are negative at a distance. Take a read of my other blog ‘how happy memories can combat stress’ which may also help.
Once burnout has been recognised, a change in lifestyle has to happen to allow the chance for you to rediscover yourself and your passions and to get better.