Mind Over Matter: Overcoming Burnout

Sometimes, we feel tired or lose motivation. Over-exhaustion from work or school can at times be unbearable. During these times, we begin to feel disengaged and lack the enthusiasm to get back to work. With how much our world has grown, life is now busier, more stressful, and more demanding. Thus, it is common to experience what most psychologists refer to as “burnout.”

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Back in the 1970s, Dr. Herbert Freudenberger contributed to our understanding of stress. He studied anxiety, chronic fatigue, and substance abuse. His most important contribution is coining the term “burnout.”

What Is Burnout?

According to Sonja Seglin, LCPC, “There are so many ways stress creeps into our lives, yet if we take control of our time and make proactive and healthy decisions, we can stop these negative cycles and truly take care of our mental health.” Due to excessive stress, an individual will sooner or later fall into a state of mental, emotional, and physical exhaustion. Also, there are times that you may feel overwhelmed or drained, especially when you fail to achieve the things you need to do. All these are symptoms of burnout. The following are the stages of burnout.

  1. Inspired and motivated
  2. Beginning of stress
  3. Too much to handle
  4. Exhaustion
  5. Burnout

Burnout usually begins with excited and motivated individuals. However, they will eventually start to overwork and feel tired. Once they’ve worked too much, they feel overwhelmed and begin to lose it. What comes after is the feeling of exhaustion and the thought of throwing everything away. Finally, they will arrive at the state of burnout when they become unable to overcome all the stress and fatigue.

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You should avoid being under the state of burnout because it would only consume more of your energy. You become less productive, increasingly helpless, and hopeless. You begin to push away your responsibilities and alienate yourself from the people around you. In the end, you will only feel lost and empty with nothing else motivating you to move forward.

How To Overcome Burnout

Have no fear; it is possible to overcome being burned out. Here are four tips to help you overcome it.

1. Learn to say “NO” and manage your time.

“Set boundaries. Maybe stress is piling up because you keep taking on additional work or saying yes to others when you really should be saying no.” Melanie McNally, PsyD, LCPC said. There is nothing wrong with saying no. You will arrive at a point where you know that taking in more work will not do you any good. Once you notice these times, it may mean that you’ll only be over-exhausting yourself. Learn to say no and manage your time.

2. Have fun.

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Don’t confine yourself in a world of work. Remember that you can also do things outside of it. Hangouts with your friends and enjoying your hobbies are some things to help you de-stress. There is nothing wrong with having fun. Let this serve as your reward for the hard work you’ve done.

3. Take care of yourself.

A healthy mind is often associated with a healthy body. Make sure you have a healthy diet and exercise. Personal care becomes difficult when you are stressed; however, by taking the time to attend to yourself, you will feel better afterward.

4. Sleep.

Take the time to get enough sleep. According to Staci Lee Schnell, MS, CS, LMFT “Sleep helps your brain work properly. While you’re sleeping, your brain processes complex stimuli.” Your body begins to heal when you’re sleeping. Also, by having enough sleep, you gain enough focus and concentration for the next day. Make sure you sleep for about 6 to 8 hours every day.

Burnout is a terrifying condition that may severely affect your mental health and everyday life. Take action now, and start taking care of yourself.