During the covid lockdown, I was required to work at home, which involved sitting on the only big table in my house facing a wall. This slowly drained both my creative and social energy and crushed my motivation to do anything I used to love.
Eventually, it came to the point that both my mental and physical health was being affected, and I was slowly hating a job and career that I used to love. This was when I started making jewellery to slowly gain back my enjoyment and begin to relax after a very stressful day, which led to loving my life again.
In this blog, I will talk about the signs of burnout, what could be affecting your burnout, and tips for burnout recovery.
Learning how to identify burnout can promote awareness of this common condition. In addition, identifying it correctly teaches you how to prevent it from occurring in the future. Here are six common symptoms of high stress that could indicate burnout:
Physical signs and symptoms:
- Feeling tired and drained.
- Lowered immunity could lead to frequent illnesses.
- Headaches or muscle pain.
- Change in appetite
- Change in sleep habits.
Emotional signs and symptoms:
- Sense of failure and imposter syndrome
- Feeling helpless, trapped, and defeated.
- Detachment for people
- Loss of motivation.
- Increasingly cynical and negative outlook.
- Decreased satisfaction and sense of accomplishment.
Behavioural signs and symptoms:
- Withdrawing from responsibilities.
- Isolating yourself from others.
- Procrastinating on things you used to do.
- Using food, drugs, or alcohol to cope.
- Take out your frustrations on others.
- Skipping work or coming in late and leaving early.
Burnout often starts with someone's job; anyone who feels overworked is at risk for burnout. But burnout can also come from our lifestyle and personality traits. In fact, what you do in your downtime and how you look at the world can play just as big of a role in causing overwhelming stress like work or home demands.
Work-related causes of burnout:
- Feeling like you have little or no control over your work.
- Lack of recognition or reward for good work.
- Unclear or overly demanding job expectations.
- Doing unchallenging work.
- Working in a high-pressure environment.
Lifestyle causes of burnout:
- Working too much, without enough time for socializing or relaxing.
- Lack of close, supportive relationships.
- Taking on too many responsibilities without enough help from others.
- Not getting enough sleep.
Personality traits can contribute to burnout:
- Perfectionistic tendencies
- Pessimistic view of yourself and the world.
- The need to be in control
- High-achieving personality.
Dealing with burnout requires the "Three R" approach:
Recognize - Watch for the signs of burnout.
Reverse - Undo the damage by seeking support and managing stress.
Resilience - Build your strength to stress by taking care of your physical and emotional health.
The following tips for dealing with burnout can help you cope with symptoms and regain well-being.
1.Track your stress levels
You can use a simple notebook or stress tracker app to track when you are stressed. This can help you understand more about your stress patterns and behaviours.
2. Identify your stressors
By knowing your stress patterns, you can start identifying what will make you stressed and prepare yourself before the activity. For example, I knew I was going to worry about this upcoming craft event, so I packed the car with all my supplies the day before, made a nice and healthy breakfast before the event, and brought some fancy scented bath bombs for after.
3. Create a habit of journaling
Journalling can be an excellent emotional decompressor and could help you get used to talking about your problems before you talk to friends and family if you want to.
4. Create a work-life balance
Cultivating a work-life balance will help you lead a much more active and stress-free life. Doing some small daily actions help balance your work-life balance. For example, use time blocking to reduce screen time and place alarms throughout the day if you work or are a stay-at-home person, so you have breaks and walk around the house or outside.
5. Do things that you enjoy
Having fun is an excellent start if you want to know how to recover from mental exhaustion. Reconnecting with things that make you happy will help reduce your stress levels. For example, I started to recreate with my creative side by doing a simple colouring book that gradually got me to love creating things.
6. Create a healthy sleep schedule
Not getting enough sleep due to stress threatens physical strength, mental focus, and emotional stamina. Try to get at least seven to nine hours a night. This could be done with the correct sleep hygiene or a sleep tracker.
7. Follow a healthy diet
Eating fresh, wholesome meals can boost your immunity and make you less vulnerable to stress and fatigue. Try to embrace a nutritious diet for more energy.
Stress is an unavoidable part of life. Everyone must learn to cope with it to survive.
The key to unlocking a healthy relationship with work is to invest in daily acts of self-care.
We know this may be easier said than done. But, sometimes, you can use extra support to stay committed to daily stress management.