Burnout matches

Am I Burnt Out? 

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Written by Emma Reliason

B.A. - Psychologist

30 Aug, 2022

Are you a perfectionist? What about an overachiever? Do you have a difficult time setting boundaries and telling people ‘no’?

Perhaps you just run a chaotic life. Each day you juggle parenthood, a career, family responsibilities, adequate exercise, cleaning, and cooking all while attempting to set aside some time for yourself. 

With all of this daily, you may begin to feel burnt out. Personal burnout is very real. 

If you’re constantly stressed with no end in sight it’s bound to take a massive toll on your mental health. It’s incredibly important to spot the signs of early burnout so you can stop this draining phenomenon in its tracks. 

What Does It Mean To Feel Burnt Out?

Burnout is a form of personal exhaustion that you can feel deep into your soul. It’s unlike any form of physical or emotional fatigue you’ve likely felt before. 

Personal burnout is a direct result of excessive and chronic stress: emotional, physical, and mental. Feeling burnt out is caused by constantly enduring long-term overwhelm. 

You may slowly begin the stages of burnout by feeling complete and utter exhaustion. Unlike other types of fatigue, this exhaustion doesn’t ease up with the use of normal methods such as taking a vacation. 

Instead, you may find yourself using substances in large amounts, as well as experiencing both physical and mental defeat. 

What Causes Burnout?

While the term ‘burnout’ isn’t exactly a medical diagnosis, some psychologists and medical professionals believe there is often a mental illness at the root of feeling burnout. However, more research is needed on this topic. 

There are a few root causes of personal burnout:

  • Lack of social support

  • Taking on unmanageable workloads

  • Taking on too many responsibilities in your relationships

  • Being treated poorly at work 

  • Confusing work structures

  • Extreme need for success

As you can see, many causes of personal burnout stem from work environments. If you have a job that requires you to stay late every week and take on tasks outside of your job description you may begin to feel helpless and worn out. If left unresolved this can easily turn into burnout. 

In addition, many people start to feel burnout early on but ignore the signs and symptoms in their pursuit to be better or achieve more. This can lead to the situation becoming far worse. 

Warning Signs You May Be Burnt Out:

If this article seems to ring a bit too close to home for you, you may be experiencing burnout. Keep in mind, that burnout doesn’t simply happen overnight. As we discussed it’s often a build-up of many small circumstances that pile up onto each other. The longer you go without getting help for burnout, the higher the risk you take of having a breakdown. 

Signs you may be burning out include:

  • Constantly feeling exhausted

  • No happiness or joy anymore

  • Feelings of resentment towards your job or responsibilities

  • Sense of self-doubt or low confidence

  • Feeling defeated and trapped

  • Loss of motivation 

  • Lack of satisfaction in life

  • Low sense of accomplishment

Burnout can slowly trickle in and weave its way into every single area of your life from your job performance to your marriage, to the way you show up for your children. You simply cannot pour from an empty cup. 

How To Deal With Burnout:

So, how do you go about recharging when your batteries are simply drained? Some of this takes place right in the comfort of your own home but in other cases, it may require a nice, long chat with your boss. 

At home, try a few of these tips:

  • Make Time To Rest: Even the craziest, busiest lives have little pockets of time where rest should be made a priority. This means setting aside time for low-energy activities such as reading or sketching. This not only gives your mind a mental break it helps your body physically reboot itself. 

  • Limit Technology Use: One way we can begin to feel burnout is by feeling an overwhelming amount of stress and anxiety surrounding our endless to-do lists. Not many people realize just how many hours of the day are spent scrolling through Instagram or Tiktok. Put the phone away for a set amount of time per day and focus on being in the present and relaxed. 

  • Get Enough Sleep: I know what you’re thinking… well, if I COULD sleep a full 8 hours a night I WOULD. But, would you? This means making sleep a top priority. When sleep is a top priority you’re going to have to cancel late-night plans, keep the nightly social media use at bay and end those late-night Netflix binges so you can get an adequate amount of rest. 

  • Talk To Your Boss: Since a large majority of burnout stems from the work environment it’s always a good idea to sit down with your boss and explain the ways you’re beginning to feel burnout. You may just be surprised by their response. 

Treatment For Burnout Is Entirely Possible

Simply recognizing that you’re burnt out is the first step in recovery. Next, you’ll want to take some actionable steps to undo all the stress and chaos from the last year. 

Burnout isn’t just related to exhaustion from work or home responsibilities, it includes the way you spend your downtime. If you take a break from work only to dive right into deep cleaning, you’re not giving your body time to recharge. Take into account the way you’re spending your time ‘relaxing’ and make adjustments accordingly. 

In addition, lean on someone such as a close friend or mental health professional for support. There are many psychologists available who are dedicated to helping you overcome this state of exhaustion. 

Therapies such as cognitive behavioural therapy - in which you’ll take a closer look at the way your thoughts contribute to your burnout - can help you understand yourself and the root cause behind your distress.

At the end of the day, we all try to make the most out of the 24 hours we have. Responsibilities, stress, and obligations can quickly snowball unless we learn how to properly manage them in a healthy way. If you find yourself thinking that you may need help, don't hesitate to find a burnout therapist today.

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Emma Reliason

B.A. - Psychologist

Emma is an accomplished writer with a passion for mental health. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology where she gained insight into why people think, feel and behave the way they do.

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