What is burnout and why do we get burnt-out?

Burnout is a state of emotional, physical and mental exhaustion. It is most often caused when the demands placed on us become overwhelming. With the ever-increasing demands of everyday work and home life piling up, its understandable that our ability to keep our heads above the water sometimes falter and we become overwhelmed.

Signs of burnout can include;

  • Tiredness/ Feeling drained
  • Feeling overwhelmed/ stressed
  • Lack of energy
  • Physical symptoms – such as headaches, stomach aches, muscles aches and tension
  • Feeling negatively towards everyday tasks

How can we prevent it?

It’s really important that we constantly check-in with ourselves about how we’re feeling and be honest with ourselves when things are feeling too much and we’re at the point of needing to seek support. If work is too much, surely your boss would rather you came to them and discussed this so they can support you rather than getting to the point where you’re burnt-out and need time off. Likewise, in home life, seek help in your friends and family. That’s what they’re there for and they would want to help – don’t ever tell yourself otherwise. You’re not a burden and deserve the love and support you so freely give out.

Self-care is vital in stopping ourselves getting burnt-out. We can’t pour from an empty cup so it’s important that we ‘fill our cup up’ first. Self-care comes in many forms and can range from simple things like sitting with a cup of coffee in the sun, an exercise class, seeing friends and much more. Take 5 minutes to write a list of the things that you enjoy – keep that list to hand and try to pick one thing each day – whether it’s a 5-minute activity or 2-hour activity, find time every day for one self-care act and you’ll quickly notice a difference in how you’re able to cope with the stresses and strains of life.

Self-care ideas –

  • Walk, get out into nature
  • See friends or loved ones
  • Meditate – a highly recommended app is Insight Timer for thousands of free meditations
  • Yoga or other exercise classes
  • Talk to a therapist
  • Sit in the sunshine
  • Have a massage
  • Read a book / listen to a podcast
  • Listen to your favourite music
  • Watch your favourite film
  • Get creative – paint, draw, sing, dance – you don’t have to be the best, you just have to enjoy it!
  • Cook your favourite meal

Basically, if it makes you feel good, do it!

It can be really scary to open up about our feelings and admit that we are struggling but finding that strength will lead to you getting support and feeling better. There is always help out there for you and many free counselling services available – see the links below for more information.  There is no shame in being overwhelmed and only strength in admitting that you need a helping hand. Life is very full on and demanding and sadly there is no manual telling us how to cope. We’re all just human and trying our best.

I am always here to talk if anyone needs it.