Running errands, holiday shopping, family gatherings, keeping up with an ever-growing pile of things to do, all while juggling work—it can start to become too much. And you’re not alone.
What is burnout?
Burnout is a state of emotional, physical, and mental exhaustion caused by excessive and prolonged stress. It happens when you feel overwhelmed, emotionally drained, and unable to meet constant demands. As the stress builds, you begin to lose the interest and motivation that led you to take on a certain role in the first place.
Burnout is on the rise. Over half (52%) of survey respondents are experiencing burnout in 2021—up from the 43% who said the same in Indeed’s pre-Covid survey.
Burnout reduces productivity and saps your energy, leaving you feeling increasingly helpless, hopeless, cynical, and resentful. Eventually, you may feel depleted, like you have nothing more to give.
The negative effects of burnout spill over into every area of life—including your home, work, and social life. Burnout can also cause long-term changes to your body that make you vulnerable to illnesses like colds and flu. Because of its many consequences, it’s important to deal with burnout right away.
Symptoms of burnout can vary from person to person, but common factors include: restlessness, erratic sleep patterns, unusual eating habits, lack of motivation, low immune system, trouble concentrating, feelings of indifference, consistent negative thoughts, or self-medicating.
Dealing with burnout
Whether you recognize the warning signs of impending burnout or you’re already past the breaking point, attempting to push through the exhaustion and continuing as you have been will only cause further emotional and physical damage. Take the time to pause and change direction by learning how you can help yourself overcome burnout and feel healthy and positive again.
Everyone needs a break from time to time, but it can be hard to recognize when it’s time to hit pause.
Here are some tips for preventing or dealing with burnout to help regain your energy, focus, and sense of well-being:
1- Communicate how you are feeling
When you’re burned out, problems seem insurmountable, everything looks bleak, and it’s difficult to muster up the energy to care, let alone take action to help yourself. But you have a lot more control over stress than you may think. There are positive steps you can take to deal with overwhelming stress and get your life back into balance. One of the most effective ways is to reach out to others.
2- Reframe the way you view work
Whether you have a job that is monotonous or unfulfilling, one way to combat job burnout is to quit and follow your passion instead. Of course, for many of us, changing jobs or careers is far from being a practical solution. However, taking the time to reframe the way you look at work can re-energize you in the same job and counter the effects of burnout.
3- Reevaluate your priorities
Take a moment to think about your hopes, goals, and dreams. In Functional Medicine Health Coaching, we call this following your ikigai. This can be an opportunity to rediscover what really makes you happy and to slow down and give yourself time to rest, reflect, and heal.
4- Take care of your health
In Functional Medicine, we talk about “food as medicine.” What you put in your body can have a huge impact on your mood and energy levels throughout the day. Reach for whole foods that are rich in phytonutrients, instead of processed foods. And even though it may be the last thing you feel like doing when you’re burned out, exercise is a powerful antidote to burnout and stress.
“We all understand the importance of physical rest when we’re tired, but pausing to rest can take other forms that are equally beneficial for both physical and mental well-being. The best time-out consists of taking the time to shut down the demands that you place on yourself. Specifically, give your mind a rest from engaging in self-deprecating thoughts or complaining about the faults of others. Because we ‘don’t see the label when we’re inside the jar,’ a Functional Medicine Health Coach can be your guide to resting, whether that’s physical or mental.” – Sandra Scheinbaum, PhD, Founder and CEO of FMCA
If you find yourself feeling a bit off, you may need a break from your daily grind. At FMCA, we teach the principles of Mind-Body Medicine and the importance of self-care. Do you need help navigating through burnout? Work with a Functional Medicine Certified Health Coach!
Published: December 24, 2021