Burnout is defined as one’s physical or mental collapse due to overwork or accumulation of stress. Basically, burnout isn’t just about being exhausted. It’s a severe health issue that’s solely capable of triggering other conditions, such as depression, stroke, suicidal thoughts, and breakdown. Burnout happens when all your physical, mental, and emotional resources have already been depleted and you’re no longer capable of replenishment. It is also the final stage of chronic stress. It’s the main event as far as stress and severe fatigue is concerned.
With zero resources left to defy the appalling thoughts caused by stress, it’s difficult to dispute false notions activated by an ancient part of your brain that thinks you’re about to die. Instead of being able to apply logic or physical resolve to combat the profoundly gloomy thoughts lingering in your psyche, there’s nothing there that fuels you to do so. There’s this emptiness that makes you feel powerless. It’s like you don’t care anymore because caring means having something in you when there’s none. That feels so strange and frail to those individuals who thought they’re resilient and could always bounce back.
Burnout is a collective course, in which the alarm signal of stress goes off every day for a significant period of time. The stress response should only go off briefly until you can fight or manage to get yourself away from harm since the process it activates is seriously detrimental in huge quantities. The stress response represses the immune system, tissue restoration, and digestive functions to drive blood to the arms and legs so that you can fight or run from a perilous situation.
Thus, the longer you endure chronic stress, the greater harm it does to your body and the more resources it uses. The stress response also augments the bad cholesterol and decreases the good one. The typical response is to endure, but that doesn’t work with burnout since by the time you’re experiencing it your coping resources are already depleted. So, you’re only left with extreme tiredness and this feeling that nothing matters anymore – not your work, not your goals, not your friends, completely nothing.
One of the things people can do during burnout is to reach out, the same way people go to the doctor when they’re ill. The thing is that with stress and burnout, many are often disinclined to seek professional help in order to turn off stress response and work on becoming healthy. Studies determine that one of the most effectual methods to conquer burnout is through stress management coaching.
Stress and burnout flourish when people affected choose to stay silent about it. When you’re not sharing, you spend your time thinking and mulling over and that’s exactly the fuel that stress and burnout need to thrive. It’s this endless rumination about a stress trigger that keeps the perceived threat animate, making your organs work overtime even as you sleep. For this reason, it’s important for people suffering burnout to reach out.
Here are 7 primary signs of burnout:
1. Severe fatigue
Your exhaustion begins when you wake up in the morning. You don’t feel any motivation or desire to do anything that involves physical and mental efforts. Even just the thought of going to work makes you feel more exhausted and sick. And when you do get up, it makes the feeling even worse you wonder when it could all just be over.
2. Too much workload
Too much workload fuels stress and prevents the body from recuperating physically. It also prevents the mind from reloading mental resources. It results in lack of sleep, poor diet, unresolved stress, zero physical activity like exercise, and a weakened immunity. Naturally, physical fatigue also leads to mental and emotional fatigue.
You feel like everything is pointless. The job you used to love is nothing but a mere source of income. There’s no point in having goals anymore because you’ve stopped seeing their importance. What used to motivate you to work hard and succeed – pride, aspiration, and even money – feels worthless. Even your values and beliefs don’t matter anymore now.
4. Work that’s emotionally exhausting
Burnout was first classified in social workers whose clients and huge caseloads depleted excess emotional reserves. If your work involves extreme emotional requirements and there’s nothing to substitute those reserves or help with them, the continuous stress can taper off adrenal glands, causing serious physical exhaustion and an insufficient defense chemicals to deal with stressors.
5. Nonexistence of positive feelings
This is one of the strong signs of burnout. Chronic stress disrupts brain functions and eventually lets the brain to be consumed by perceived threats, anger, and other predicaments. Even the things you used to enjoy outside work are nothing but futile and empty activities.
6. Grim thoughts
Burnout leads to dreadful thinking. It paints everything murky and eliminates whatever willpower you have left to modify the scenario. It activates worst-case scenarios that are too overwhelming that you end up not caring and not doing anything the problem at hand. It’s all coming from an ancient region of your brain that has no idea how to construe the social stressors of the contemporary world.
7. Inadequate support or rewards
Naturally, there comes a point where your emotional and physical resources are depleted as you constantly exhaust yourself physically and mentally for the sake of your duty. You may be able to work long hours for a specific period of time, but when there’s no reward for working so hard, you’re left with nothing but fatigue and bitterness. You then end up isolating yourself that you lose social support in the process, which is an essential resource when it comes to overcoming burnout.