When it comes to your job, working long hours in a demanding environment can be increasingly stressful. There will come the point when you’ll fail to cope with the job and start feeling exhausted from turning up for your shift. Unfortunately, this is not unnatural and is common in most sectors, including healthcare, finance, and even the military. The increased fatigue, stress, and mental detachment you experience because of your environment are known as burnout.
Once you hit this state, you may lose motivation and productivity and feel your mental peace shattering. Experiencing burnout can be dangerous. It can make you cynical and impulsive and make you act without thinking. So, if you feel worn out and tired, you need to track down the crux of your weariness and effectively fight it.
But worry not; to help you regain your motivation, we’ll tell you what you need to do:
How to recognize a burnout
Burnout mainly stems from physical, emotional, and mental exhaustion resulting from a stressful and traumatic environment. For some people, these signs and symptoms happen immediately, like nurses, while for others, it may take a long time for the stress to build up before it explodes.
For example, in the military, veterans may feel emotionally detached, find it hard to hold down a new job, and experience night terrors, PTSD, and immense mental fatigue. It can make them insomniac, depressed, anxious, and highly irritable. To cope with these aggravating symptoms, veterans may turn to substance abuse and alcoholism, which will do more harm than good. It is a prime example of how burnout can consume your entire life and how the problem persists unless you get timely intervention.
Veterans dealing with the effects of their stress should consider veteran services to lean on a support system to heal. The longer the burnout goes unattended, the harder it will be to achieve stability.
On the other hand, burnout can also make you extraordinarily isolated and cynical. You may start criticizing your life and actively choose to neglect your well-being. This psychological distress will gradually deteriorate your emotional and physical health, weakening you and, in extreme cases, requiring hospitalization.
How to break the cycle?
You cannot allow symptoms of burnout to persist at work. It may result in decreased productivity, lack of attention to detail, and no motivation to complete projects. You may also find it challenging to keep up with your coworkers, making you highly resentful. In the long run, this is not healthy for you. Hence here’s how you can help yourself:
- Take more holidays
Everyone can use a break from their workplace once in a while. When you get minimum rest because of overtime, an influx of projects, and a barrage of deadlines to reach, you can hit peak exhaustion. You may also feel tired from witnessing the worn-out faces of your colleagues and bosses, which can also adversely impact your mood, making you more aggravated. So, once the familiar sensation of tiredness and fatigue starts settling, go on a holiday. These trips can help you take a break from your mundane and repetitive schedule, allowing you to set a routine at your preferred pace.
Since you’ll get to spend your time any way you like, it’ll make you feel more relaxed and in control. You can also focus on enjoying the moment without worrying about work. You will heal incredibly when you get sufficient rest and avoid the hustle culture.
- Speak to a therapist
Licensed professionals like a therapist can help you get to the crux of your problem and untangle the root cause of your burnout. A therapy session is more than a conversation with a mental health expert. The words you use, the body language you maintain, and your thoughts all provide insight into what you’re going through and why. As a result of their findings, a therapist will guide you through different techniques, such as CBT, to understand and cope with your environment, including the trauma you faced.
It allows you to regulate your emotions, find stability, and learn ways to prevent your anger and sadness from controlling you.
A therapist may also give you work to do at home to help you relax and get rid of unwarranted stress outside of your sessions. These may include identifying triggers, communicating your emotions, and teaching you how to take a breather without getting distracted or feeling guilty for asking for a break.
- Indulge in hobbies
Hobbies are an excellent way to channel your stress into something that is productive and fills you with serotonin. They can take your mind off the exhaustion you face at work and push you to focus on the task, which can be therapeutic for your overall health. You can engage in numerous hobbies that offer you mental relief. Common examples include painting, drawing, knitting, and solving puzzles.
You can also look into hobbies and activities encouraging you to exert energy and release pent-up stress. These include kickboxing and indulging in thrilling sports like bungee jumping and swimming. As a result, you’ll feel much calmer, feel your weariness leave your body, and get a chance to work through your frustration without letting it consume you.
- Get enough sleep
You may witness burnout if you’re not getting your required nine hours of sleep. That’s because your brain and body need time to heal and recoup. When you’re alert, your physical and mental health cannot catch a break which tires out your system. As a result, you may feel unwell, have frequent headaches, and experience immense body pain. If your poor sleeping routine persists, you may become irritable, have multiple mood swings, and find it hard to focus on one task without getting dizzy.
These, in turn, add to your exhausted state and push you towards burnout. To make up for lost naptime, sleep between work if you’re on night duty, and use a sleeping supplement like melatonin to regulate your sleep cycle. You can also adopt a more holistic approach and turn off your devices as you approach bedtime and make your bedroom dimly lit to encourage drowsiness. It’ll make you feel less stressed and tired at work, diminishing burnout.
Burnout is an extreme level of mental and physical weariness that can seep into your life, making you detached and alone and making it hard for you to retain your optimism. When you begin losing sight of the bigger picture, you may feel demotivated, become reclusive, and avoid responsibility. You may also become emotionally unstable by choosing to abuse substances over getting proper help, which can further deteriorate your condition.
Your only way through this tough time is to seek the appropriate remedial measures to help you get back on your feet. These include taking a trip away from work, approaching a therapist, and investing in hobbies that offer you a new sense of purpose.
Lastly, you also need to work on your sleep and rest often since it allows your body to relax and heal, which is essential in breaking free from stress.