The experience of becoming overstressed, overworked and burnt out is sadly a common one. Every year, businesses lose billions of dollars as people take time off to rest and recuperate at home after reaching a point that feels totally unmanageable.
As well as the mental symptoms of irritability, depression and anxiety, burnout can manifest through physical symptoms. These include body aches and pains, gut problems and fatigue.
What is Burnout?
Before talking about what to do, we should understand that burnout is completely normal. This is practically one form of exhaustion. It’s caused by a feeling of constantly being swamped. It appears due to prolonged and excessive mental, physical or emotional stress. Usually, it’s due to a job, but this is not the only case.
Burnouts can happen whenever you become emotionally drained, overwhelmed and you’re unable to have a happy life because of some sort of incessant demands.
Unfortunately, burnouts are not going to be diagnosed by a medic. Even so, the condition will easily affect your mental and physical health whenever you don’t treat it or acknowledge it.
As burnouts happen, you stop from being in any shape or form productive. Energy goes down and you feel resentful, cynical and hopeless. Your entire life can be hurt, including social experiences, work and home.
You can even become much more vulnerable to the flu when you have burnout.
Burnouts can happen due to several reasons, with the following being common:
- Unfair work environment
- Unmanageable workloads
- Not being supported by managers
- Lack of communication
- Confusing work responsibilities
- Huge deadline pressure
If you’ve experienced this and you’re on the road to recovery, here are some of the key things to keep in mind.
It Can Take Time and Patience
One of the most important things to know about burnout and exhaustion is that it can take a while to recover and feel like yourself again. Having patience and letting your body and mind recover will help you to get back to being as healthy as possible, as quickly as possible.
Worrying about your recovery time can make your condition worse and hinder your journey back to health.
Keep in mind that there’s no certainty you are going to recover from burnout in a specific amount of time. When you just put more pressure on yourself to reach a specific deadline, you actively sabotage yourself. You simply cannot be comfortable and recover if you get closer to a deadline and things do not go right. Just give yourself as much time as possible.
Take Help When You Need It
Some of us may feel like we shouldn’t accept help from others, or that we don’t want to inconvenience people when we need help. However, when recovering from any illness it is essential to get help when you need it. By doing this you will be supported to get back to full health as soon as you can.
Consider if mental health occupational therapy or other forms of therapy would help you to recover more quickly or effectively. Your doctor will be able to suggest options that may work for you.
Unfortunately, there are so many individuals that will try to discourage others to get help from doctors. This includes psychologists and other types of therapists. These people do not understand much about the benefits of occupational therapy and similar therapies. There are always options available and in most cases, therapy will surely help.
Combat Stress and Inflammation
Stress is at the core of burnout. Long-term stress can cause chronic inflammation, which can lead to a variety of health problems – from severe chronic pains, aches, and swellings in the body, to cancers and more serious health issues.
A focus on reversing and reducing this can help you to become healthier in the long term and will aid your recovery from burnout. To do this, identify the main stressors in your life and seek to eliminate or reduce them steadily. Give your body nutritious food, adequate amounts of water and ensure you get enough sleep each day.
Speaking about water, the common recommendation of a specific number of gallons per day is not a good idea. Your body may be different. It may need more or less. So always listen to your body and when you are thirsty, it basically means dehydration already started.
Set Boundaries and Keep Them
If you’re used to having a busy and active lifestyle, taking time to slow down and recover from burnout can feel strange. Setting boundaries is an essential part of recovery and sticking to these and making other people aware is equally important.
Whether this is the amount of time you spend on the phone, the hours you need to sleep, or the level of energy you can give to your family, it’s time to put yourself first and give yourself the best chance possible on the road to recovery.
Although it may feel daunting at first to recover from burnout, there are steps you can take to ensure your recovery is restful and effective. Consult regularly with your doctor and other specialists, put your health first and make other people aware of your boundaries.