|It is becoming more and more evident that stress has become so commonplace and expected, that it can sneak up on you, and cause burnout; before you even realize it.|
First off, I would like to say that we understand and have great empathy for your experience with stress. We are here to teach you how to manage your stress and take it to a new, lifelong level.
“Burnout” has three distinct, and predictable signs that you may be experiencing, or seeing the same conditions in others.
Physical or Emotional Exhaustion
Can you describe your current state as having a lack of energy, being lethargic, sleepy or simply having dread for the day or even the week ahead? Work that has been interesting and challenging now looms and you dread it. You seem to have no internal resources to call upon and you cannot rally enough energy to conquer the day. It is certainly possible that you will feel physical pain that simply won’t go away.
Feeling as if you are ineffective
If you reflect on your status, you may realize that your thinking simply spins like a top or that your efforts are “not good enough”. You would love to be able to “do more, and be more” but cannot!
The longer you stay in this repetitive loop, the deeper you will fall into burnout! Your previous ability to stay energized and focus loses steam and you are no longer able to “shake off” the low intermittent points that we all experience. The situation slowly shifts to chronic instead of periodic. If you have noticed you are just not yourself at work or at home, there are real actions you can take to break out of this mode. Taking the time to learn how to effectively manage your stress is the most important action you can take. And it is here that we can be of the most help to you.
In an effort to preserve your energy, is burnout causing you to be detached from others, unable to finish, or even start a task, or to even numb you from feeling joy or pain?
Pain, emotional or physical, doesn’t always love company…Do you seem like you have been bit by the pessimist bug and are staying away from things you love to do? Is the glass totally empty and you do not have the strength, or will, to fill it back up?
When you are in this state, you may be experiencing the dance of “The Critic” and “The Perfectionist” (sessions 3 and 4) both of which cause a repeating loop of seemingly unsolvable thoughts and keep you in burnout. One client called it Groundhog Day!
Hope springs eternal…
Are you recognizing the signs of struggling to keep it together; and don’t want it to morph into burnout? All is not lost! Relax, take a deep breath and consider enrolling in our Stress Intelligence program for learning stress management skills for the long haul. We’re here for you!
People Keep Telling Me I am Stressed, but I Don’t See It
One of my clients told me recently: “People keep telling me I am stressed out, I don’t see it”.
Let’s look at personal stress by using the analogy of an overworked computer. When my computer tries to download a massive file, needs to be backed-up, or has too many pictures of my adorable grandchildren stored, the optimal functioning of the machine is seriously compromised.
Don’t Overload Your Command Center
That box on top of your body, containing your command center of thought and emotion, also slows down once it’s overloaded. Like that stalling computer screen, the mind also experiences “system errors”. However, with expert guidance, care, and attention, these system errors can be repaired. With neglect and added demands, this human “system error” can deteriorate into burnout.
What Happens When Your Mind Goes Into Burnout?
Concentration, response time, access to skills and memories are all compromised. Those feeling that you have placed in the “I will get to it later” basket come randomly flooding to the surface! Your mind literally begins to brownout. You know the feeling! Maybe you are more stressed than you realize. While you try daily to access your power supply, your brain and body show you signs of draining that very limited power source.
Comparing your stress to a lackluster power grid, do any of these signs apply to you?
- New or constant physical aches and pains
- Fading out during normal conversations
- Restless sleep due to stressful dreams
- Loss of interest in things that you loved to do
- Loss of emotion, or even a surprise surge of emotion
- Skipping meals or eating more than necessary
- Staring numbly into space or computer screen, unaware of your state of mind
- Waking up exhausted after a full night sleep
- Driving and not remembering where you have been or where you are going
- Quick to judge, react rashly or being crabby
If you see yourself in 5 or more of the above symptoms, you just might be headed for burnout. Your mind and body are screaming for relief.