Burnout

Symptoms

Change: Sleeping, eating, sexual interest, or exercise changes are often signs of trouble.

Clutter: Some say clutter is a sign of genius, but not always! It could be a sign of stress and can add to stress.

Boredom: You’re tired; you’ve lost interest in people and tasks; you’re doing the minimum amount required each day.

Pressure: You’re feeling pressured, even rushed, by others and events. Suddenly you’re not controlling your time; it’s controlling you.

Anger: You’re experiencing excessive anger over the problems and events of daily living.

Abuse: Substance abuse may walk hand-in-hand with burnout and stress. (This includes alcohol, cigarettes, drugs, food, etc.)

Absentmindedness: You keep forgetting appointments, assignments, etc., or you’re constantly preoccupied with other things than the business at hand.

At home: Reoccurring problems with friendships and other relationships.

Joylessness: No feelings of joy about your work, yourself, your life.

Escape: You have a desire to escape, run away. Are you fantasizing a lot about dropping out?

Recovering

Admit the trouble: Clearly let someone know how you’re feeling; get the help and support you need rather than ignoring your feelings and the situation.

Simplify your life: Say “no” when you don’t want to add an additional responsibility. Center yourself to get things into balance again.

Establish your priorities: Do some goal-setting exercises. Also, make a list of 10 or 20 things that you like to do. Ask yourself how much time you’re spending on these.

Seek counseling: Personal or career counseling, depending on the situation.

Prevention

Get positive feedback: People like to hear it when they’re doing a good job. You deserve recognition too. You may have to ask for it or “toot your own horn.”

Take care of your health: This is basic to well-being. Eat healthy, exercise, and get enough sleep!

Establish supports: Maintain a support system, people you can talk to when you’re upset as well as happy. Find and enjoy people with whom you can be yourself, without risking embarrassment or disapproval.

Manage time: Learn to manage your time. Take a course in time management if necessary. Make lists of what’s “to do” each day, week, and month.

Indulge yourself: If possible, do the work at which you are most likely to succeed. It’ll help fortify you for the tougher tasks.

Schedule fun: Include leisure time, family time, or other fun time in your regular activities. Do things that really get you away from it all and give you a mental break !

Stay clean: Don’t pick up everyone else’s garbage! You have your own tasks and responsibilities. Don’t take on others people’s too. Respect your own limits and boundaries.

Laugh: A sense of humor is strong armor against stress! Keep one!

Expand: Widen your horizons. Keep your outlook on life broad. Avoid ruts!

Take chances: Try new things! Sometimes it’s invigorating and uplifting!