What is Burnout?Ever feel like the stress you have in your life is weighing you down like a lead balloon?  We have all had this feeling at one time or another!

If you feel disillusioned, helpless, and completely worn out, you may be suffering from burnout. When this happens problems can seem insurmountable, you walk around like everything in life is grayed out and you often have such low energy you don’t even really care about anything.

The unhappiness and detachment burnout causes can threaten your job, your relationships, and your health. But it doesn’t have to be this way.

You can feel like yourself again by reassessing your priorities, making time for yourself, and seeking support from people that can help you.

Burnout is a state of emotional, mental, and physical exhaustion caused by excessive and prolonged stress that occurs when you feel overwhelmed and unable to meet constant demands. As the stress continues, you start losing interest or motivation that initially had you going after the role that you are playing.

We all have days when we feel bored, overloaded, or unappreciated; when the dozen balls we keep in the air aren’t noticed, let alone rewarded; when dragging ourselves out of bed requires the determination of Hercules. If this is something that occurs for you almost all the time rather than occasionally, you may have burnout.

Some signs that you are heading to burnout:

  • Every day is a bad day
  • Caring about your work or home life seems like a total waste of energy
  • You’re exhausted all the time
  • The majority of your day is spent on tasks you find either mind-numbingly dull or overwhelming
  • You feel like nothing you do makes a difference or is appreciated

The negative effects of burnout spill over into every area of life—including your home and social life. It can cause long-term changes to your body that make you vulnerable to illnesses like colds and flu.

Burnout is something that you need to deal with right away.

Here’s how:

  • Watch for the warning signs of burnout
  • Undo damage by managing stress and seeking support
  • Build your resilience by taking care of your physical and emotional health

Being burned out means feeling empty, having no motivation, and just not caring. People experiencing burnout often don’t see any hope of positive change in their situations.

In many cases, burnout is related to your job. Anyone who feels overworked and undervalued is at risk for burnout.  You may be a hardworker who hasn’t had a vacation or a raise in two years, or a frazzled stay-at-home mom struggling with the responsibility of taking care of three kids, the housework, and an aging parent.

Other factors that contribute to burnout, include your lifestyle and personality. What you do in your downtime and how you look at the world can play just as big of a role in causing burnout as work or home demands.        

Burnout doesn’t happen overnight.  It creeps up on you if you’re not paying attention to the warning signals. The signs and symptoms of burnout are subtle at first, but worsen over time.

Next time we will go over 8 steps to avoid burnout!