Looking for Signs of Burn Out

On this site, in the Solid Blog and on Wellness Wednesdays on The Spin, we discuss ongoing strategies, ideas and plans for sustaining ongoing foundation for mental health and wellness. 
If you or anyone is struggling or in crisis right now, please call 911 or visit the nearest emergency room. Alternatively, crisis resources can be found here.

Symptoms associated with feeling or being close to feeling burned out:
Feeling a little off, tired more often than not, ambivalent, cynical and generally feeling overextended.

The term “burnout” used to be used primarily for folks working in healthcare and first responders, but more and more, it is being used to also describe the experiences of workers in general who are hyper connected, overly worked with a sense that there is a need to always be doing more.

In North America, being stressed or busy, is often glorified, which adds more to the higher possibilities of burnout.  Many of us often like to be seen as being busy with a lot going on, so it can conversely be difficult for us to talk about how it can feel difficult or challenging to be feeling this way all the time.

But as always, it’s important to also mention that while we are talking about being overly extended and/or stressed, there is a fine line which can also be a sign of a mood disorder, such as depression or anxiety. 

If feeling malaise, intensely overwhelmed or apathetic for more than a two week period, it is advised to consult a medical or mental health professional.

When it comes to approaching or feeling burned out, here are some ideas to hopefully help:

Start with Small Wins
Often the feeling of being overwhelmed is due to a sense that there’s too much, so starting and focusing on getting little things done can help with a sense of momentum and also the dopamine hits can help with starting to feel better about things.

Taking Breaks
Scheduling in small breaks on an ongoing daily or weekly basis can help with managing stress and getting to a place of feeling burnt out.  But it can be even more beneficial to get out into nature or taking technology breaks for a day or weekend, as some people do.  It can help reset the nervous system to jump back into the swing of things.

Connecting and Relating
Whether it’s with a trusted someone or some people in your life, or a helping professional, it can be helpful to just externalize all that you’re thinking about and get it outside of the closed feedback loop in your head.  Hearing it out loud and also getting other perspectives can be helpful to see what you may currently be seeing as a problem or challenge in a different way.

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