Prolonged stress and physical exhaustion has now gone beyond the workplace, and this global problem has expanded to everyday life activities, including relationships, parenting, and even personal identity. Through the complete depletion of energy levels in all areas of life, nearly 84 percent of millennials say that they experience burnout from their current jobs, and higher rates of burnout are becoming more prevalent with the rise of global conflicts, demands of the previous pandemic, and increasing social conflicts due to economic disparities. Through all of this, many people today are facing depletion of energy levels due to the overwhelming stress of these situations, and because of this, it’s essential that physicians pay attention to these rising rates of burnout and help themselves, and their patients find ways to manage and prevent burnout.
What Does Burnout Look and Feel Like?
Burnout is more than just physical exhaustion. The complete depletion of energy levels affects every aspect of your life, including your physical, mental, and emotional well-being. This often occurs when the capacity to manage life circumstances or manage levels of stress becomes too overwhelming to handle on a day-to-day basis. Feelings of burnout have negative effects on mental health, leading to an increased risk of developing anxiety, depression, and negative outlooks on life. Physically, burnout can lead to chronic stress, a predecessor to other conditions such as coronary heart disease, type 2 diabetes, musculoskeletal pain, and migraines, all of which can have drastic consequences on your health.
Burnout in people is a clear and prevalent problem today. Some of the tell-tale signs to look out for include:
- Physical fatigue that isn’t resolved with rest or sleep.
- Poor sleep quality by sleeping too much or inability to fall or stay asleep
- Frequent headaches and migraines
- Symptoms of Depression and anxiety
- A feeling of fidgetiness and irritation
- Forgetfulness and memory loss, or the inability to recall specific events or activities within one’s life
- Inability to enjoy activities as normal.
- Inability to perform tasks as normal
How Can Burnout Be Managed or Prevented?
Our current social setting right now plays a massive part in the feelings of burnout commonly experienced by people today. While the more significant issues cannot be directly controlled by you personally, the one thing you can control is yourself. You can manage symptoms of burnout and help prevent it during times of stress, and here are some tips to help you get started:
- Practice Self-Care: Self-care is about caring for your body, mind, and soul with life goals and activities, but it’s also about maintaining a positive relationship with yourself that includes aspects such as self-respect, practicing mindfulness, gratitude, and discipline in the face of stress and adversity. Physically, getting good enough sleep, eating a healthy diet, spending time in nature, and staying hydrated can help. Mentally, devoting time to new hobbies, scheduling appointments with psychiatrists, and practicing mindfulness techniques can also help reduce burnout.
- Set Boundaries and Ask For Help: Asking others for help with daily tasks and setting boundaries with problems in your life that no longer serve you are essential in managing burnout. Setting boundaries can include separating work from home, saying no to a current project, and performing activities you can manage during that time can provide help. For help, having partners go grocery shopping, letting friends plant get-togethers, and coworkers handle other tasks can help.
- Stay Connected to Loved Ones: Connecting with friends can help you feel more secure in your life and provide additional support. It can bring out a sense of connectedness with others relating to experiences and help remind us about concepts of mindfulness and gratitude under challenging circumstances. Staying connected can also help ease feelings of uncertainty and bring us back to the present moment.
By adopting these few tips into your life, you can create a protective defense against burnout and reduce the risk of it returning full scale. For more information about how to treat burnout, visit your primary care physician today to learn more.