Maybe you’ve been there? I’ve been on the brink for sure. Being near burnout is not great standup comedy material! Whether you are a cardiologist, parent, teacher, social worker, nursing student, plumber with too many house calls, or anything else that involves being emotionally involved with others, burnout is indeed a possibility. Those sneaky burnout signs and symptoms will creep up on you with a gradual progression.
Here are some symptoms of burnout:
on-going insomnia, persistent headaches or body pain, feeling a sense of detachment from others and your own life, high bubbling anxiety, difficulty concentrating, irritability in your relationships, exhausted all the time, low mood and feeling hopeless or listless.
If you find yourself agreeing or nodding your head to these listed symptoms - it may be helpful to check in with a therapist to explore where you are at and get some help. On-going persistent stress can lead to all kinds of health problems so please take care of you:)
This reminds me of the old metaphor about the frog that stayed in the pan while the temperature increased incrementally. The goal is not necessarily to dial down the temperature, as often there is an unseen hand we cannot control. Stress is consistent in our lives at varying degrees of intensity. The objective is to jump into another pan full of a sweet tasting sauce that stays at a tolerable temperature. The goal is not to destroy stress in our lives but to find alternative coping strategies to stay proactive and far away from burnout.
Here are some coping strategy ideas you might consider:
Journaling, exercising, getting outside for any reason at all!, verbalizing your feelings with someone, hot baths, taking those paid days off work, using those work benefits if you have them (massage - acupuncture), doing a yoga video or attending a class and having a regular mindfulness practice.
Each of us get to explore and discover what coping strategies work best for us.
I encourage you and I to find ourselves not in the dilemma of burnout, but instead in the pursuit of proactive self-care and self love.
Your precious inner child will thank you.
For anyone struggling with burnout in their lives, this is a great book: https://www.burnoutbook.net/
"Burnout" by Amelia and Emily Ngoski
Written in collaboration by Eric and Sarah