The term “burnout” can mean a variety of things to different people, because we all experience it in such vastly diverse ways and degrees of severity. Burnout can manifest in a number of ways, and it often occurs as a result of feeling overworked or weighed down by responsibilities and not feeling like you get any quality time to have a mental break and to unwind. Burnout can trickle into several other areas of our lives and affect them significantly, such as our romantic relationships, friendships, and overall health, as well. There is nothing enjoyable about feeling burnt out, and it can really take a toll on our levels of creativity and inspiration, which is especially frustrating if you depend on this for your livelihood. Meeting with a mental health professional is ideal if you find yourself in a situation such as this, as CBT for burnout has shown to work a considerable amount in lessening the effects of this exhaustion. There are quite a few tips and tricks available at our disposal to help us avoid serious burnout from occurring, which is exactly what we are going to talk about today.
Burnout is inevitable if there is no balance with other important areas of life. Too much of anything ends up being bad eventually, even if it is something that we perceive as good and enjoyable. If all we do is work nonstop, of course burnout will inevitably happen. Balance is such a huge key in life, especially when it comes to preventing burnout. Taking steps to intentionally break up your day or week in a beneficial way can do wonders with how we generally feel. Midday breaks to get outside for 30 minutes, taking time out at the end of the day to relax and do something you enjoy, and separating your personal life and work (if this is the area you are feeling burnt out in) have all shown to be significantly beneficial in reducing symptoms of burnout.
It is not uncommon for someone to work in a specific field solely for the aspect of having a decent income, and not because of having any remote interest in the subject. While there is absolutely nothing wrong with not having a passion for the field you work in, this can easily become a major source of burnout after some time. People are ever-changing and evolving, and interests develop as we get older. Taking time to reflect and think about whether there is another area of work that you are more passionate about and can pursue can really diminish significant levels of burnout. Working for a company that aligns with your values more, or even taking the leap into working for yourself, can allow you a new sense of purpose that was not there before. Even just finding a new hobby or interest that you can put more attention and focus towards before or after the workday can decrease symptoms of burnout exponentially over time.
Life can feel isolating sometimes, especially when we are feeling run down and burnt out from work or other factors. Something that can help tremendously is to utilize the resources you have available, such as social media, to connect with others that are in the same industry as you or in a similar situation that is leading to burnout. Almost every single person feels burnt out in one way or another from time to time and reaching out and talking to others is a sure-fire way to feel less isolated and on your own. There is an abundance of support groups and social media groups available out there to join, and these can certainly provide new perspectives and advice on how to avoid burnout and exhaustion. If possible, connecting with a therapist is always a fantastic idea, since burnout can seriously take a toll on the mental health and create a downward spiral if it is not intercepted quickly enough.
An easy way for burnout to show up and rear its ugly head is when we bite off more than we can chew, leaving us feeling overwhelmed and overworked. It can be difficult to not be a people pleaser all the time, especially if this is what you are comfortable with and used to doing. Most of us just want to do the best job that we can and do not want to let others down. It might surprise you just how much making the conscious effort to create solid boundaries at work or wherever your source of burnout is stemming from can assist in alleviating it. While you might not want to step back and create boundaries that allow some weight to be lifted off of you, it is often necessary to do this at least from time to time so that your mental and physical health does not suffer. Setting boundaries such as not working extra on weekends and turning off your phone on any vacation days are both tactics that can lessen any burnout that is taking place. Communication is key when it comes to setting boundaries, and if your mental health will benefit from it, it is absolutely always necessary and worth it.
Burnout can stem from a number of sources, such as work, parenting, and school. These suggestions can be applied in any area that burnout is taking place and utilized to your advantage. Focusing on the positive aspects in your life and seeing the good that is present can also have massive benefits on your overall perspective and levels of fatigue. Sacrificing your wellbeing is too high of a price to pay, but it is always possible to find a healthy balance and to take the necessary steps in getting to the other side of this unwanted rundown state.
If you are in need of help, contact us at Dr. Messina & Associates. Through Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and medication management, our highly qualified team specializes in anxiety and depression in children, adolescents, and adults. We have pyschiatrists and therapists ready to work with you on your journey in life. In-person appointments are available to patients in the Southlake (DFW) area. Online appointments are available to patients in the Austin, DFW, Houston, and San Antonio areas.