Mental burnout occurs when a person becomes emotionally, mentally and physically exhausted from the pressures of home or work life. This situation affects someone’s level of motivation, well-being and energy. They feel frustrated, drained, fatigued, hopeless and powerless, which is the body’s natural response to so much pressure.
This situation is not an overnight issue, so you need to recognize its signs and symptoms early in the process so that you can take measures and stop it quickly.
Warning Signs of Mental Burnout
There are many physical signs that tell you something is going wrong with you. Lethargy, insomnia, muscle aches and headaches are some common symptoms of mental burnout.
This situation may also lead medical conditions such as loss of appetite, gastrointestinal problems, migraines and lowered immunity to disease and sickness. The body’s chronic stress might bring about frequent headaches, sleep problems, and so on.
If you feel that what you are experiencing are burnout symptoms, it is important to make yourself relaxed by simply sitting down and relax yourself. You may also do burnout relief activities such as meditation and walking. If all things fail, seek medical health care advice.
When reaching the point of burnout, you might tend to react differently in some social situations. You might start to blame others for your problems and feelings and even withdraw from your tasks at home or work. When work stress kicks in, it potentially changes your mood. Thus, affecting your relationship to your family or loved ones as well as create less productivity. On the other hand, you may check this article to help you increase your productivity.
People might start using drugs, drinking alcohol as a form of mental outlet. People then start to make poor decisions at work due to their high levels of stress. Then they start to procrastinate, ignore responsibilities, skip work or arrive late.
Emotional and Mental Signs
Burnouts can affect people’s emotional well-being a lot. They will reduce their ability to concentrate and focus, decreasing activity and memory power. Then they might develop self-doubt, isolation, feeling of failure and even sadness.
Moreover, they might start to develop a negative outlook on life and work, signs of detachment, loss of motivation, and depersonalization.
Emotional exhaustion sometimes come from work environment problems and personal life issues. If you see anyone who feels the need to have someone to talk too, approach and comfort them.
How to Deal With Mental Burnout
You need to take relaxation seriously if you want to get rid of your mental burnout. Reading a book, meditation, listening to music, taking a walk, getting some sleep and related things are parts of a stress management that will help you deal with your mental burnout.
Rich non-work life
Finding something that is challenging and gets you going will help you keep a mental burnout at bay. Volunteering in your community, finding a new hobby, or practicing a new sport will make your mind, spirit and body feel much better.
The goal is to turn your self off and participate in non-work, rewarding activities throughout the day. This will be a great treatment for you and help maintain a work and life balance.
Unplug your devices
As someone’s work employee, we may not be able to avoid checking our emails and phones every now and then. But do you know that communication technology has also added up stressors to our life?
Consider the need to unplug and turn off these devices from time to time. This will help you relieve yourself from job stress and job burnout. Take the time to talk to your family members, that will divert your attention away from your devices.
What is the difference between stress and burnout?
Burnout may be as a result of excessive stress but they do not mean the same thing. It is a cycle of negative emotions, paralysis and withdrawal. Burnout is the body’s response to putting too much effort into something without taking in what you require to restore yourself. It is mental, emotional and physical exhaustion that leads to diminished interest in performing tasks.
Physical symptoms of burnout
These symptoms include having low energy, headaches, muscle tension, digestive disorders, frequent colds and changes in one’s sleep patterns. Its mental symptoms include feeling sad, inadequate, frustrated, unappreciated and irritable.
These can result in withdrawal, accidents, increased sick days and crying. One may increase their consumption of food or alcohol to soothe themselves.
What is Stress?
Stress on the other hand, involves too many pressures that demand too much from you either physically or psychologically. Stressed people though can still see a light at the end of the tunnel, they just often can’t figure a way to get to it.
Stress is just a day-to-day experience but burnout is a more serious consequence of the build-up of too much stress which causes the individual person to shut down.
If stress persists on a full scale for a long period of time, there are increased risks of burnout.
Although stress is an essential pre-requisite for burnout, burnout is not necessarily the result of too much stress. For burnouts to occur there must be an additional psychological factor.
People who are stressed can often still function and do all that the tasks or jobs required of them. This is due to the fact that different people can bear different levels of stress for different lengths of time.
This is quite a contrast to people experiencing a burnout. Burnout most times leads to a total shutdown of all systems in the body and it causes a person to become completely nonfunctional. Burnout causes people to experience long-term exhaustion and diminished interest in life as a whole.
– It is characterized by disengagement
– The person’s emotions are blunted
– Gives one a feeling of helplessness and hopelessness
– Makes one lose motivation, ideals, and hope
– Leads to detachment and depression
– Its primary damage is emotional
– It is characterized by over engagement
– The person’s emotions are over reactive
– Gives one a feeling of urgency and hyperactivity
– It leads to loss of energy
– Leads to anxiety disorders
– Its primary damage is physical
Why is Mental Burnout dangerous?
Lack of motivation
When you lose enthusiasm about anything that you do or you do not have the internal motivation to do it, then there is a good chance that you are experiencing a burnout. Some other signs may be finding it hard to get going or having difficulties waking up in the morning.
If you feel tired all the time, then that is a clear sign of burnout stress. This can manifest itself as emotional, physical or even mental exhaustion. It is the feeling of not having the energy to do something. You may start a job with complete focus, but somewhere along the line you feel tired and just stop it.
Frustrations and negative emotions
Do you feel that what you are doing does not matter anymore? Or are you disillusioned with everything that you are doing? Or are you feeling pessimistic with what you are doing? While everybody experiences some negative emotions, when this becomes abnormal, you need to be worried.
Slipping performance at work
If you are not sure that you have a burn out you should compare your job performance now with previous years. Since a burnout tends to take a long time to manifest, taking a long-term review might reveal to you whether you are in a temporary slump or you are experiencing a serious burnout.
If you have the tendency to feel less happy about everything taking place around you or what you are doing then chances are you might have burned out. You might feel dissatisfied even with what is taking place in your own house, in the community or even in social activities.
Experiencing health problems with no clear causes
Over a long period of time, stress caused by this might manifest itself in you in the form of health problems. These may include digestive issues, obesity, depression, and heart diseases. Before you seek any medical attention you should first check whether what you are experiencing it is mental.
Preoccupation with work at home
You might not be working at that particular time, but if you are spending time thinking about work, then your work is interfering with your ability to recover from the stresses of the day. For you to recover you should take time off work when you can and get a rest without thinking of anything concerning work.
Being careless with yourself
If you are not taking care of yourself, you might be experiencing burnout already. Some of the signs of these are drinking too much, smoking excessively, eating a lot of junk food or leading a sedentary life. Besides these, you might be relying on sleeping pills in order to sleep.
Personal problems at home and at work
If you at having too many conflicts with people at work and at home, then there might be a more serious underlying issue. Apart from this you might not be feeling like talking to anybody at home or at work.
Lacking ability to concentrate
Burnout may also interfere with your ability to concentrate. For instance, when you are burned out, your mind focuses only on negative elements. You might also be more forgetful and hence find it difficult to remember the simplest things.
Mental Health is as important as Physical Health
Doing burnout or stress relief activities such as meditation gradually helps you have in control with situations that will cause these dangerous beings. I came prepared with stress management tools and resources that are life-savers for me when I feel the stress is gonna grow into a burnout.
Remember that the mind controls the body. “Mens sana in corpore sano” means a sound mind in a sound body. Having a mind capable of good and positive outlook is as important as having a healthy body. Both could be achieved by doing things that will help you keep your work and life balance.
Have you experienced these burnout symptoms? What did you do to relieve yourselves from stress and burnout? Share your experiences in the comment section below!