Are you experiencing feelings of laziness? Do you find yourself constantly exhausted and lacking motivation for your responsibilities? You may be going through burnout. Burnout is caused by excessive stress, leading to the overexhaustion of your mental health, emotions, and physical energy. It can be best described as a negative state of emotional, physical, and mental exhaustion. The reasons for burnout can vary, ranging from personal relationship problems to work-related or professional stress.
Burnout is a serious issue that is increasingly prevalent in our competitive world. While men are more susceptible to burnout due to overworking, which can also impact their personal relationships and emotional stability, it is an issue faced by all genders equally. Let's delve deeper into understanding this phenomenon.
Various symptoms can provide an indication of whether you are experiencing burnout or if someone you know is going through it.
Spending most of your time in bed
During a burnout, individuals often find themselves spending extended periods lying in bed. They may attend to their responsibilities and then retreat to bed, not necessarily due to sleepiness or laziness but rather a lack of motivation to engage in anything else. It's a state of feeling numb and having no inclination to pursue other activities.
Easily get tired
In cases of exhaustion, a noticeable decrease in energy and enthusiasm typically occurs compared to your usual state. Feelings of tiredness, being drained, and experiencing strain become prevalent during any activity. Getting up from bed requires a considerable effort due to the overwhelming fatigue associated with burnout.
Disconnected from everything
A sense of disconnection from your surroundings becomes apparent during burnout. While everything around you appears to be in motion, there is a noticeable lack of concern or interest on your part. This phenomenon is also referred to as depersonalization, where you experience a profound sense of detachment and numbness, both from yourself and the ongoing cycle of the world.
During times of burnout, a common pattern is the tendency to disconnect from people. This includes not only social circles but also your loved ones. There's an inclination to avoid conversations or meetings, leading to a more reclusive lifestyle. Unfortunately, this isolation exacerbates mental deterioration. In crucial moments when support is needed, the instinct is to push others away, adopt a cold demeanor, and intensify feelings of loneliness.
A significant symptom of burnout is the loss of motivation for activities that were once sources of passion and enthusiasm. This is particularly pronounced when your profession or passion, initially a source of fulfillment, transforms into a stressful task. Overworking, a common contributor to burnout, can lead to a sense of sadness as you question why something you once cared deeply about has become something you now want to distance yourself from. The result is a noticeable loss of passion in various aspects of your life.
Moody and Irritable: Emotionally Volatile
During burnout, emotional control tends to slip away, leading to heightened moodiness and irritability. Instances may arise where emotions become uncontrollable, resulting in outbursts directed at others, including loved ones. In these situations, awareness of one's actions may be diminished, and even minor triggers can provoke intense reactions. Apologizing becomes less frequent, and there's a tendency to delve into a spiral of remorse, reflecting on actions and experiencing feelings of embarrassment and guilt.
Emotional exhaustion often manifests in neglecting self-care habits. Regular activities like showering, brushing teeth, and combing hair become infrequent, and at times, changing clothes may be overlooked. This neglect is a particularly concerning symptom and effect of burnout, as an improperly maintained lifestyle contributes to the toxicity of one's mental health.
Feelings of hopelessness
During periods when passion and motivation have dwindled, it becomes easier to slip into a state bordering on depression. Feelings of hopelessness, low self-esteem, and numbness can dominate, creating an emptiness within. There may be moments where you find yourself on your knees, overwhelmed by prolonged bouts of intense emotion, including crying. These emotional struggles further contribute to the challenging landscape of burnout.
Ironically, during a burnout, while feeling tired throughout the day, the ability to sleep becomes elusive. Insomnia emerges as one of the most significant and perilous symptoms. The constant fatigue, coupled with the inability to rest, pushes the body to extremes, potentially leading to fainting or dehydration. Establishing a consistent sleep pattern and ensuring proper hydration become crucial components in managing the challenges posed by burnout.
Avoidance of responsibilities
There inevitably reaches a point in this state where avoiding responsibilities becomes a norm, spanning from work tasks to daily chores, and sometimes even basic self-care like remembering to eat. The sense of direction dissipates, leaving a singular desire to spend all your time in bed. Prolonged adherence to this habit can contribute to feelings of low self-esteem and frustration. Even when the desire to change surfaces, the physical challenge of getting up and turning life around becomes overwhelming. Some days are notably worse than others.
It's crucial to recognize that the symptoms mentioned above don't manifest overnight or in a few hours; rather, they unfold gradually over weeks and months. Being aware of these signs is essential for taking proactive steps before reaching a point where intervention becomes more challenging.
How can you deal with it?
Dealing with burnout involves various strategies, starting from small but impactful steps:
Take Breaks: Even if it's something you love, stepping away from work for a while can help clear your mind and rekindle motivation and enthusiasm.
Prioritize Sleep: Ensure you get adequate and quality sleep to establish a healthy sleep pattern. This, in turn, helps in maintaining a more effective daily routine.
Connect with Loved Ones: Spending quality time with family and friends serves as an instant detox from stress and worries. The support and connection can be rejuvenating for both you and your loved ones.
These are just a few initial steps, and the approach can be tailored based on the severity of your situation. In-depth guidance and additional strategies will be covered in more detail in our upcoming content.
Burnout is a significant manifestation of mental exhaustion that should not be underestimated. The symptoms mentioned above serve as a guide to help you identify whether you or someone you know is experiencing this challenging phase in life. It's essential to recognize that life is not solely about incessant work, striving for perfection, and attempting to control every detail. It is also about allowing things to unfold naturally and appreciating the beauty of the evolving course. Taking a step back occasionally and granting yourself a well-deserved break can pave the way for better optimization when you return to your tasks.
Written by: Ridhiman Das
Edited by: Aniket Joshi