'Burnout' was first coined in 1974 by Herbert Freudenberger. He originally described burnout as
'the extinction of motivation or incentive, especially where one's devotion to a cause or relationship fails to produce the desired results.'
Those experiencing burnout often feel exhausted, start to resent their job and start to feel less capable at work. Its not just work stress that can add to burnout either. Stress from our everyday lives/routines can also accumulate to burnout as well as having particular personality traits such as perfectionism or pessimism. So although you may normally love your job, the stresses from it plus those from other aspects of life can lead to feel resentful and inadequate about your work.
Signs and Symptoms of Burnout
Learning how to spot burnout is the first half of the battle one. Common signs and symptoms include:
Exhaustion - feeling exhausted both emotionally and physically.
Isolation - Burnout can lead to us feeling overwhelmed and shying away from social situations - literally becoming hermits!
Escape Fantasies - Those suffering with burnout will often imagine running away - personally the thought of a solo vacation becomes really appealing! In extreme cases individuals may turn to alcohol or drugs to help 'take the edge of'.
Irritability - Burnout can make it very difficult for people to control their temper. They will become snappy and the little things can seem very overwhelming especially when things don't go according to plan.
Frequent Illnesses - not only does underlying stress reduce the immune system making you more susceptible to colds, flu and insomnia, but burnout can also manifest as headaches, stomach aches, appetite changes and IBS.
How to prevent Burnout
Now you can recognise the signs what can you do about it?
Exercise - Not only is exercise good for our physical health, but it can also make us feel better emotionally. Anything from as little as a ten minute walk can be a mood booster - you don't have to spend hours in the gym.
Eat a balanced diet - Eating a healthy diet filled with omega-3 fatty acids can be a natural antidepressant. Adding foods rich in omega-3s like flaxseed oil, walnuts, and fish may help give your mood a boost.
Prioritise Sleep - Our bodies need time to rest and reset, which is why healthy sleep habits are essential for our well-being. Check out my blog on sleep for hints and tips on how to get in your ZZZZZ's.
Ask for help - During stressful times, it’s important to reach out for help. This is not always easy as it often means admitting that you are struggling. Just remember that you are not alone and by reaching out you can create a great support network not just for you but for others too.
Burnout can be avoided by adding a little self-care into your daily routine. Prioritise YOU - even if just for ten minutes a day. The 4:7:3 Wellness Challenge helps to create healthy habits to make you do just that. You learn to eat a balanced healthy diet, you prioritise sleep, exercise regularly and even find ten minutes a day to sit down to read ten pages of a good book. If you want to be part of an awesome group of supportive people please do get in touch. We start at the beginning of each month and would love to have you on board. Take care of you.