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Bust Burnout

You’re loving your job, social life, and volunteer coaching for your kid’s soccer team, but it’s all starting to feel a little much with a few things falling between the cracks. You’re starting to experience physical and emotional exhaustion and some health conditions. Maybe you’re also exhibiting depressive symptoms like having trouble sleeping or focusing. These are all potential signs of burnout. 

Burnout is a state of emotional, physical, and mental exhaustion caused by extreme stress. It occurs when you feel overwhelmed, emotionally drained, and unable to meet constant demands. Even with the best of intentions, our clubs, organizations, and volunteering might be leading slowly but surely to compassion fatigue and burnout in our personal life.

It can lead to physical symptoms like chronic fatigue, insomnia, weakened immune response, and increased risk of chronic illness like cardiovascular disease. These symptoms not only diminish overall physical health but also reduce the body’s ability to cope with chronic stress. Mentally, burnout can result in depression, anxiety, and a decrease in cognitive function, such as impaired concentration and memory. It also leads to emotional exhaustion, diminished sense of personal accomplishment, and depersonalization, impacting personal and professional life. The cumulative effect of these symptoms can significantly degrade quality of life and overall well-being.

Here are some other symptoms of burnout to look out for: 

Physical Signs

  • Feeling tired and drained most of the time 
  • Getting sick often 
  • Muscle aches and pains 
  • Change in sleep habits and appetite 

Emotional Signs

  • Thoughts of failure and/or self-doubt 
  • Feeling helpless, trapped, and/or defeated
  • Loss of motivation 
  • Decreased satisfaction in things that normally bring accomplishment and joy 

Behavioral Signs

  • Withdrawing from responsibilities
  • Isolating 
  • Procrastinating 

As you examine your various commitments, take note of these signs. If you’re starting to feel burnout, try the following self-care tips: 

  1. Take inventory. See how you can support a better work-life balance. Maybe there’s something you can do to feel more connected. 
  2. Say no. This might be the hardest word to say, but setting boundaries can be a radical act of self-compassion. Aim to create healthy boundaries to avoid job burnout and workplace stress. Leave work at work or say no to specific tasks that sap your ability to show up for yourself and others. 
  3. Exercise. Getting moving can dramatically improve our mental health and reduce feelings of anxiety and increase energy levels. As you read this, get up and do five jumping jacks. How do you feel? 
  4. Use your social support network. You don’t have to go at it alone. Reach out to a friend, co-worker, or family member to see how you can lighten your load. People are not mind-readers, so they may not know how we’re feeling until we advocate for ourselves. Furthermore, ask how others deal with burnout as they might also be relieved to have the conversation.  
  5. Remember why you started. You got started in this field or role for a reason. Are you still meeting that purpose and vision? If not, you’re likely taking away from the organization and yourself. Reset and recenter to truly be the change you want to make in the world. 

Don’t get burned by burnout – it can have some pretty significant unintended consequences. Use this knowledge to recognize the warning signs of burnout in yourself and others and be ready to take action when needed.



*If you or someone you love is struggling with mental health, request an appointment with one of our professional mental health providers at Diversus Health today. If you need immediate assistance, call our crisis hotline at 844-493-8255, or text ‘TALK’ to 38255.

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