Stepping Back from Burnout
- September 10, 2021
- Posted by: Explore Sex Talk
- Category: Relationships
Life can throw us some serious hardballs that we were weren’t expecting. Often so many people end up feeling stressed without realizing they are feeling stressed. We start doing things to help us get by in the moment and it can end up putting us into a kind of survivor mode. This can be a wonderful tool to get us through a stressful time but when it goes on too long, it drives us closer and closer to burnout.
When we are in the throes of burnout, everything seems exhausting, even engaging with those we love and cherish. It can feel impossible or like a chore. We have so little energy that the thought of doing anything is an uphill battle. Everything feels like work, even things that we used to enjoy. Burnout can end up being damaging in multiple ways. Not only can it leech away our energy, positivity, and drive us into anxiety and depression but it also tends to isolate us and can damage our relationships.
What is Burnout?
The best definition of burnout is a chronic condition that is out of sync with one or more aspects of your life. If everything in your working life and your enthusiasm is in sync, you will feel valued and engaged in your work. Everything runs smoothly, your work and your life are in balance, and you feel valued in your works. When work, life, and enthusiasm get out of balance, you lose balance and fall off.
Burnout is often associated with a job or occupational activity and can be triggered by the stress of a demanding job. Burnout is not always caused by stressful work or too many responsibilities though. The crucial point is that there are many causes of burnout that people are likely to experience when working in a demanding role and their efforts to work hard are not producing the expected results. Even if you are aware that there is a lot of stress, you may not notice burnout when it happens. Excessive stress can feel like drowning in responsibility, and burnout is a feeling of dehydration.
Burnout goes deeper than typical stress. In the long run, burnout can have lasting neurological effects on problem-solving, memory, and emotional regulation – derailing the pursuit of the impossible. The negative effects of burnout extend to all areas of life, including domestic, professional, and social life. Burnout can cause long-term changes in your body and make you more susceptible to illnesses such as colds and flu.
It is a slow and gradual process that robs people of their passion, motivation, and energy, leaving them with feelings of exhaustion, disillusionment, and frustration. As overwhelming as an infiltrating burnout may feel, recovery is possible.
Stepping Back From Burnout in Simple Steps
Inner recovery is about freeing ourselves from stress by using short periods away from work to reduce our physical stress response. We need to have more recreation time where recreation is finding time and space for oneself, where one does not occupy oneself with things that are professional or stressful.
Fatigue can exacerbate burnout and make you think too much. Instead of bouncing back and forth between demanding projects and tasks that can perpetuate burnout, try to remember to take a walk, do breathing exercises, and get back to work. Also, if you are in a state of burnout, you may need more sleep than usual. This is part of your physical healing process and listening to the needs of your body can make a huge difference.
Breaks can also be useful because they can help restore your energy. They are important when you are burnt out, in part, because opting for a break shows you yourself to have a degree of control on a micro-level. One of the hardest things about burnout is feeling like we have no control over our stress. Having that micro-control and incorporating small breaks reclaims some sense of power over your schedule and commitments. Breaks can be as simple as getting up and stretching your legs when you feel stiff or choosing to have lunch with a colleague instead of eating at your desk while you’re working.
The stress and problems you experience at work are likely to persist, so taking time for those small breaks is crucial to provide some counterbalance while you determine what long-term solutions might be.
Sharing Your Struggle & Getting Support
In an ideal world, reaching the burnout point means taking the time to sort out your schedule and devote your days to rest and relaxation. Time away from work gives you the distance you need to relax and relieve stress. Taking time to recover has been shown to help people feel more engaged at work and to protect themselves from the long-term effects of work stress and burnout risk. Unfortunately, this is not always an option.
If you can’t take the time, talk to people you trust who are in a good place of work/life balance. When we are feeling unbalanced, it’s really easy to lose sight of where important boundaries should be. Talking to someone who has achieved a good balance could help guide you and help you assess where you may need to reset some of your own boundaries. You also never know what your loved ones are going through or have gone through, and they can have valuable insights to share. It can also help them understand what you are going through and why you may be acting differently.
The simple act of sharing and feeling heard and understood by our loved ones can also have a positive effect. It can reduce our feelings of isolation. When we feel we have people in our corner, it can make the challenges that we face more bearable. It also creates some opportunities for exploring if anyone is able to step in to help reduce any of the workload or stress that is contributing to our burnout.
Identifying Problem Areas
It’s really easy to just feel like everything is just wrong when we are feeling burnt out. Part of stepping back from burnout is identifying the real areas of stress that are overshadowing all other aspects of your life. A simple way to do this is to imagine what your ideal and perfect life would look like. How does this picture differ from your present situation? It should become more apparent fairly quickly what are some of the biggest stresses are by comparing the two. It may not help you identify everything immediately but it can help you figure out what the biggest sources are at this time.
Once you have identified the causes of your burnout, write down possible strategies to eliminate or manage them. You should also make a list of things that will give you energy and positive feelings in times of stress (setting limits of 5-10 minutes for each task) and remember that burnout is a recovery process. If you feel that you are feeling an increased stress level, look at the demands on you and make sure you balance different parts of your life so that you are creating other opportunities for nourishment for the soul.
Starting the Journey to Recover
When we are feeling extremely burnt out, the thought of doing anything can be exhausting. That’s why it’s important that we start with very small steps that are easy to achieve to start. The more you can motivate yourself to take steps to reduce the stress and make changes, the easier it will become. Taking care of your needs and taking care of your physical and emotional health is the key to recovery from burnout. Burnout recovery begins by focusing on yourself, your health, and the work and relationships you burn out.
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