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  • Writer's pictureCeri Kerrin


What is burn out and how do you recover from it?

Although not a formalised mental health diagnosis, burnout is a mental health issue that needs to be addressed.

What is Burnout

Everyone feels tired and stressed from time to time, however, prolonged periods of chronic stress can result in burnout. Burnout is characterised by a state of constant physical and mental exhaustion, a decrease in work performance (inefficacy), and an increase in negativity (cynicism).

According to Slow (2011) burnout progressive from excessive expectations & hard work with no reward to feelings of hopelessness, despair and a loss in any belief in a better future. Identifying the progression towards burnout is often challenging. Here are some signs to watch out for

Signs of Burnout

1. Fatigue

2. Insomnia

3. Difficulty remembering everyday things

4. Difficulty concentrating

5. Weakened immune system

6. Change in appetite and eating habits

7. Symptoms of anxiety and depression

8. Increased anger and frustration

9. Loss of interest in pleasurable activities and disengagement.

10. Feelings of self-doubt and self-criticism

11. Decrease in productivity

12. Lack of motivation

How to deal with burnout

Dealing with burnout can be challenging. Especially considering the demands and expectations of work and life do not go away. It is, however, important to remember that if you continue without addressing burnout the symptoms will increase and productivity will continue to decrease.

Here are a few tips to help manage burnout

1. Take a break

2. Practice self-care

3. Rest when you can

4. Learn to say NO

5. Set aside time for healthy meals and exercise

6. Focus on getting enough sleep

7. Find a creative outlet

8. Celebrate small accomplishments (the only way to eat an elephant is one bite at a time)

9. Spend time in nature

10. Stop multitasking and focus on one thing at a time

11. Keep your home and work space neat and tidy

12. Resist working overtime

13. Ask for help

14. Practice meditation

15. Look for ways to affirm yourself as opposed to berate yourself.

Although burnout is a common in todays fast paced society, it does not mean it needs to be part of your life. Practicing healthy boundaries, seeking help when you need it, and focusing on self-care are vital in nurturing healthy relationships and working towards a balanced life.

For fast-acting relief, try slowing down. – Lily Tomlin



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