Burnout is a state of emotional, physical, and mental exhaustion caused by excessive and prolonged stress. Sometimes it can be hard to differentiate between burnout and depression because both have similar symptoms. One way to know if it is burnout rather than depression is by removing the source of your stress and noticing if that makes you feel better. Unfortunately, if it was that easy to remove the source of stress—we wouldn’t be feeling so burnt out! So, what can you do?
Take a vacation. Sometimes having a solid 5-7 days to relax and recharge can alleviate a lot of the symptoms we are experiencing with burnout. And we don’t mean one of those vacations where you get home and realize you need a vacation after your “vacation”. We mean the kind where you can really unwind and take a pause from obligations, stressors, and expectations. Also, sometimes the best vacation is a staycation!
Create distance. Whatever the stressor may be, try to find ways to create mental and emotional distance. Job stress? Learn to leave work at work and unplug from e-mail and other forms of work communication. Relationship stress? Make sure you are spending enough time nurturing the relationship with yourself, even if that means advocating for some quality alone time.
Exercise. Sleep. Food. Yes, going back to the basics here. When you are living in a constant state of stress our sleep patterns, eating patterns, and our physical health can often be neglected. Be sure to stay consistent in eating healthy, practicing good sleep hygiene, and getting the right amount of exercise that your body needs on a daily basis.
Re-evaluate obligations. We often get stuck in the daily grind of life, but sometimes a major shift is needed to get back to our authentic selves and start feeling centered again. Do you ever have that nagging thought that “There must be more to life than this!” That is your first clue that perhaps changes need to be made in certain areas. Take time to assess your life circumstances and figure out which areas you can make some major changes in. What would that look like? Weigh out the risks and rewards and be sure to surround yourself with supportive people that will be there for you when you take a leap of faith in a different direction!
If you are struggling with burnout or having trouble making changes in your life, please reach out to us at 253 Therapy and Consult to schedule an appointment. We are here to help!