How to recognize burnout. Seems like it should be easy, right? I mean, we live in our bodies and we would know if we are teetering on the edge of burnout, wouldn’t we? One would think so, but that is not always the case.
Sure, there are typical signs. Depression. Anxiety. Loss of interest in things that used to give us joy. But did you know that burnout can manifest itself in small sneaky ways that compound over time? It’s true.
We have all heard of “nervous breakdowns” haven’t we? While this might be a phrase that you hear whispered in the break room about a colleague who just cracked all of the sudden, a nervous breakdown is usually the end result of a lot of warning signs that went ignored for far too long. So how do we recognize burnout? Let’s take a look.
Learning how to recognize burnout is as easy as listening to your oldest ally. Your body. The problem is that we are so plugged into technology, so busy running the rat race, that we often don’t slow down or pay close enough attention. Let’s look at some of the signs.
- That lingering headache that you get every single day…could be a sign. Not always, but could be.
- Digestive distress. When your body is always in a heightened state of fight or flight, your digestive system can suffer. You know those butterflies you get before a big event? It is not a coincidence. It is your body reacting to stress.
- Body pain that can’t be explained and that has baffled your doctors.
- Breakouts in your skin.
- Hair falling out.
- Nervous energy. That tired but wired feeling.
- Sadness that is unexplained and won’t go away.
- Loss of interest in things that used to give you joy.
- Feeling foggy and unable to complete simple tasks.
- Avoiding things that need to be done like doing laundry, paying bills, or making a meal.
Honestly, these are just a few of the signs and symptoms, and in isolation, they may not mean burnout at all. But no one knows your body better than you do, so if your body is whispering, try to listen before it has to scream.
Now that we know how to recognize burnout, how do we combat it? Join us next week when we talk about this very topic.