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How to tell if you are close to psychological burnout and what to do about it


 burnout

Psychological burnout is a state of physical, emotional, and mental exhaustion caused by excessive and prolonged stress.


It occurs when an individual begins to feel overwhelmed and unable to meet the demands of their environment.


Burnout can have a significant impact on an individual’s physical and mental health, as well as their relationships and overall quality of life.


Identify your burnout factors

Identify your burnout factors


One way to understand what may be causing this direction towards burnout would be to make a list of –


1. The things, people, and places that give you energy.


2. The things, people and places that take away your energy.


These lists are your map out of the trajectory.


Once you have identified these two categories, then you can make amendments. Change or remove items from list two and increase your exposure to things/people/places on list.


Prolonged stress

Recognise the result of your prolonged stress


The primary cause of psychological burnout is prolonged stress. Stress can be caused by various factors, such as work-related demands, family obligations, financial pressures, or even a lack of support from others.


As the individual experiences prolonged stress, they may begin to feel overwhelmed and unable to cope. This can lead to feelings of exhaustion, helplessness, and hopelessness.


Noticing the decline in burnout can trigger us to engage in various coping strategies.

These coping strategies can be split into five distinctive categories –

  1. People pleasing – The urge to take responsibility for the happiness of others

  2. Pushing through – Taking on too much

  3. Speeding up – Increasing the feeling of urgency and doing more

  4. Trying harder – Putting more effort into tasks with limited results

  5. Perfectionism – Creating feelings of either procrastination or dissatisfaction with the outcome.

 

Be aware of these symptoms


Symptoms of psychological burnout can vary from person to person.


Common symptoms include –

  • Changes in sleep patterns

  • Feelings of worthlessness or helplessness

  • Difficulty concentrating

  • Irritability

  • Changes in appetite

  • Physical exhaustion

If left unchecked, burnout can lead to serious health conditions such as depression, anxiety, and even physical illness.

Change

Motivate change to avoid burnout


In order to avoid burnout, it is important to take steps to manage stress.


This can simply include –

  • Learning how to better manage time

  • Setting realistic goals

  • Taking regular breaks

  • Engaging in activities that promote relaxation

Self care isn't selfish

It is also important to prioritize self-care, such as –

  • Getting enough sleep

  • Eating a healthy diet

  • Exercising regularly

  • Taking time for leisure activities

Additionally, it is crucial to reach out for support from family, friends, or professionals if needed. Develop your own self-care practice.


Making time to allow calm and rejuvenating moments a daily habit can assist you when life has become overwhelming and you feel that a temporary tough time will not get any better, e.g. starting a new job or looking after an infant or elderly parent.


 

Psychological burnout is a serious condition that can have a significant impact on an individual’s mental and physical health.


It is important to be aware of the symptoms and take steps to manage stress to prevent burnout from occurring. Self-awareness and how you are affected by your lifestyle and surroundings is unique to you and may be easy and sustainable for others; this can also bring a feeling of shame and worthlessness.


But with the proper support and the appropriate amount of self-care, many people will find it is possible to overcome burnout and live a healthy and fulfilling life.

The life that is right for them.





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