Will You Burn Out Before You Check Out?
Burnout is a real thing. It can impact every aspect of your life if you let it, from how you interact with people to how you feel about yourself. When burnout strikes, it’s hard to keep up with the demands of everyday life, let alone any greater life purpose or goals. But what does burnout actually do to your mind, body and soul? Let’s take a look.
Mind: When we get burned out, our minds can go into overdrive. We become overwhelmed by the smallest of details and worry (this can look like anxiety and or panic attacks)about things that may never happen. It can be hard to concentrate on anything because our brains are constantly running in circles as we try to make sense of the chaos around us. We become easily agitated and have difficulty calming down once we reach this state.
Burnout also can take a toll on how the brain functions, you may experience:
- Difficulty paying attention
- It’s harder to learn new things
- An increased risk of making mistakes
- Decision fatigue
According to researchers burnout can also enlarge the amygdala, which is the part of the brain responsible for our “fight-or-flight” response when in danger. Operating in this state increases the stress hormones released in your body, exhausting the body even more and often contributing to adrenal fatigue.
Body: Our bodies suffer when we experience burnout too. We often don’t eat enough or exercise enough, leading to an unhealthy lifestyle overall. This has a negative effect on our energy levels as well as on our physical health; fatigue sets in quickly and recovery time increases drastically. Furthermore, stress-related illnesses such as insomnia, headaches and digestive issues can also arise due to burnout.
Our bodies show us early signs of not being ok, but we have a terrible habit of ignoring the symptoms. Often we are guilty of popping a pill to make the discomfort go away, day after day (think headaches).
Soul: Of course, the soul is perhaps impacted most significantly when we’re dealing with burnout because it affects our mental wellbeing the most deeply. We may lose sight of who we are (this question alone can be super scary) and then there’s the feeling like nothing matters anymore; all our dreams and goals seem impossible or unimportant, so why even bother trying? Our inner voice becomes increasingly negative (damn that mean girl voice) until it seems like there’s no way out of this dark hole we’ve dug for ourselves. But I’m proof as are my clients that Burnout isn’t a one-way road, you can take a U-turn and live a life feeling revitalised, re-energised and totally inspired again.
Burnout can certainly take its toll on your mind, body and soul if left unchecked for too long but there are ways to combat it before it gets too severe.
- Take breaks throughout the day
- Prioritize self-care activities such as yoga or meditation
- Set realistic goals for yourself that you can achieve without feeling overwhelmed
- Surround yourself with positive people who will support you
- Focus on what really matters in life; and lastly
- Don't forget to have fun!
With these tips in mind, hopefully, you won't have to check out of your job before you've had time to properly check in!