Stress is an unavoidable part of life. We may find ourselves dealing with far too many responsibilities at the same time. Whether it is working more than one job, sandwiched between taking care of young children and aging parents, or managing family life while going back to school.
All of these are good things until it starts to feel a bit overwhelming and exhausting, negatively impacting your life and health. If constant stress is leading to negative thinking, feelings of helplessness, or hopelessness you may be heading to burnout.
Common Signs of Burnout
If you think you may be experiencing burnout but are unsure, here are some of the most common signs:
- Physical and mental exhaustion
- Feeling overwhelmed
- A need to isolate
- Fantasies of escaping
- Lack of motivation
- Frequent illnesses such as colds and flues
- Detached or withdrawn
5 Ways to Prevent Burnout
Exercise and Healthy Diet
You know exercise is necessary for your physical health, but it is also fantastic for your mental and emotional health as well. Physical activity helps our bodies secrete feel-good hormones, which give our mood a boost. So be sure to commit to exercising at least 3-4 times a week.
In addition, a healthy and nutritious diet can promote overall well-being. Reduce caffeine, alcohol and sugar intake and increase whole grains, fruits, and vegetables.
Get Enough Rest
It’s essential to get enough restorative sleep each night. Sleep not only helps our bodies build and repair new tissue, but it helps us be able to feel calm and focus.
If you have trouble getting enough sleep each night, skip caffeinated beverages eight hours before bedtime, ban smartphones and other electronics from the bedroom, and establish a relaxing nighttime ritual like meditation, reading, or taking a bath.
It is okay to say ‘no’. Overextending yourself can lead to stress and possible burnout. Saying ‘no’ gives you the freedom to say ‘yes’ to you.
Remember to Have Fun
Just because you’re an adult, that doesn’t mean you don’t need some downtime to just have fun. Whether you want to play a sport, enjoy a hobby, or go to the theater, be sure to make time each week to enjoy yourself and your life.
Ask for Help
During stressful times, it’s important to reach out to others for help. Sometimes all we need is a friendly ear to listen to what’s on our minds and hearts. Let your friends and family know you could use a little support.
If your stress levels don’t seem to go down, you may want to consider working with a counselor who can help you navigate your feelings and offer coping strategies to deal with the issues you have going on.
If you’d like to speak with someone, please reach out to me.