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Burnout

Burnout

Burnout

Burnout is a condition that leaves sufferers feeling bodily and emotionally exhausted. It is usually caused by long periods of intense pressure, vast responsibility, or excessive stress. Any of which can leave individuals depleted and overwhelmed physically and mentally.

In many instances, the condition is related to one’s job and is sometimes referred to as executive or occupational burnout, as it is the result of chronic work-related stress. However, it can happen to anyone; in any position, or in any situation; when they feel they are being drained by constant or incessant demands, on their time or energy.

The stress and exhaustion lead to feelings of helplessness, cynicism, disillusionment, and resentfulness. It can also manifest in physical symptoms such as headaches, stomach problems and an increased vulnerability to cold and flu like viruses. The individual will feel like running away, unable to face situations, and day to day issues can feel overwhelming.

Burnout is often accompanied with mental health conditions such as anxiety and depression, or it can lead to substance abuse. Individuals struggling with the symptoms frequently look for a way to ease their emotional and physical pain and discomfort. Repeated nights of not being able to sleep, despite being overly exhausted; the head spinning, full of racing thoughts that just won’t turn off; and the bad day at work that you just want to forget about.

Signs of burnout:

    → Crushing physical or emotional exhaustion.
    → A change in appetite. Eating too much or too little, poor food choices.
    → Disruption in sleep. Insomnia, or difficulty in sleeping, despite feelings of extreme tiredness and fatigue.
    → Frequently wanting to stay in bed all day or crashed out on the sofa.
    → An increase in anxiety or depression.
    → Physical symptoms including unexplained head or stomach aches.
    → An increase in susceptibility to viruses, (cold and flu like illnesses).
    → Isolating from family, friends, and co-workers.
    → Withdrawing from social activities or mixing with other people.
    → An increase in the use of drugs, alcohol, food, or prescription medication; or using activities such as gambling and online shopping, or compulsive and obsessive behaviours.
    → Mood swings or changes in emotional behaviours.
    → An increase in irritability, quick to anger.
    → An inability to adapt to situations and difficulty in making decisions.
    → Loss of self-confidence and esteem.

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    It is easy to understand why turning to a glass of wine, smoking a joint, or popping a sleeping pill, may seem like the remedy to a stressful workday; or why some online shopping or gambling is a way to forget what needs to be done tomorrow.

    However, the next day the problems are still there, the financial implications of overspending hit home hard, and you still haven’t had a decent night’s sleep, so the exhaustion just won’t go away – plus you have a hangover to boot. Some will rely on caffeine to get them through, whilst others turn to stronger chemicals such as cocaine and amphetamines.

    Unfortunately, what seems like the solution to start with, can rapidly turn into a habit that only creates more issues, doesn’t really resolve the underlying causes, and can lead to a serious problem with dependency and addiction.

    Drugs, alcohol, and addictive or compulsive behaviours only exacerbate mental health conditions such as anxiety and depression, and stress worsens the physical health of a person.

    Burnout doesn’t happen overnight, rather it tends to creep up over time, with most of us ignoring the signs until it lays us out completely. If you’re experiencing symptoms that could be indicative of burnout, or another stress-related, or mental health condition, then seek professional advice. Don’t just ignore them and hope they will get better on their own.

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    in the north of Ibiza, Spain

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