Take a look at the symptoms of burnout to see whether you need to reassess your life
Chronic fatigue. You feel physically and emotionally exhausted, drained, and depleted.
- Insomnia. You may have trouble falling asleep or staying asleep one or two nights a week. In the later stages as exhausted as you are, you can't sleep.
- Forgetfulness/impaired concentration and attention. Lack of focus and forgetfulness are early signs.
- Physical symptoms. Think chest pain, heart palpitations, shortness of breath, gastrointestinal pain, dizziness, fainting, and/or headaches (all of which should be medically assessed).
- Increased illness. Because your body is depleted, your immune system becomes weakened, making you more vulnerable to infections.
- Loss of appetite. You may not feel hungry and may lose your appetite completely.
- Anxiety. Anxiety may become so serious that it interferes in your ability to work productively and may cause problems in your personal life.
- Depression. From mild to deep depression a low constant mood is definitely a sign of burnout.
- Anger. At first, this may present as interpersonal tension and irritability. In the later stages, this may turn into angry outbursts and serious arguments.
Tips to help beat burnout
- Identify what’s stressing you. Start by taking a look at your current schedule, is it work, family life or something else that is really putting a strain on you right now? If you’re not sure, keep a close eye on your schedule for a few days and note how you feel when you do certain things.
- Reduce those stressors. Cut back on your workload, delegate tasks at home or take a vacation if you can, but act decisively because burnout is hard recover from so nipping it in the bud is a must.
- Get some support. Call on your support network of colleagues and/or friends to help lighten your load for a while as you recover. You can even get professional help to give you the support and advice you need to better manage your work and home life.
- Practice self-care. That means eating well, getting enough sleep, getting some exercise and cultivating a healthy work-life balance. Now is the time to put your needs first and take care of yourself.
- Get creative. Taking up a creative hobby is not only good for your mental health, it helps you to relax, stay focused, enhance your mood and even boost your immune system.