We all have felt burned out. Feeling overwhelmed, exhausted, and just done with everything. But did you know that there are different stages of burnout? And that each stage has its own set of symptoms and effects.
Today, we're going to look at the five stages of this and how you can prevent each of them. Trust us; your future self will thank you.
What is Burnout
Burnout is a state of overall tiredness caused by prolonged stress. It negatively affects how individuals approach their personal lives, relationships, and work.
Burnout can manifest itself differently for different people but generally includes such signs as fatigue, a depleted sense of accomplishment or fulfillment from work or life tasks, decreased creativity and efficiency in activities associated with work or life pursuits, irritability, and difficulty concentrating. If not adequately addressed, burnout can create even more serious mental health issues down the line, including an increased risk of anxiety and depression.
Therefore it is important to recognize signs of burnout early. Early recognition allows for the necessary steps to be implemented to help recover physically and emotionally.
The Honeymoon Phase
The first stage of burnout is when you feel excited and energized about your work or life task, but the enthusiasm gradually disappears. Traits include a lack of motivation, difficulty concentrating, and increased irritability.
This phase will often manifest in a decrease in output at work. The decreased output will then lead to feelings of guilt and frustration as well as a continued decline in overall performance.
During this phase, it is important to prioritize rest, relaxation, and self-care. It is also essential to take time out of your routine to focus on activities that you enjoy or find meaningful.
The Onset of Exhaustion Phase
A rapid decline in energy coupled with an increased sense of tension and irritability marks this phase. Symptoms include difficulty concentrating and completing tasks, decreased performance quality, increased negative thinking, and feeling overwhelmed.
The exhaustion phase can be particularly dangerous because, without intervention, it can quickly lead to chronic fatigue and long-term health issues.
It is crucial to prioritize relaxation during this stage. Regular breaks from work or life tasks are essential to reduce stress levels and give your body a chance to rest and rejuvenate. Additionally, practice positive self-care habits such as eating healthy, exercising, and getting enough sleep.
The Chronic Stress Phase
This phase is characterized by increased exhaustion combined with feelings of helplessness and despair. Signs include difficulty sleeping, increased negative thinking, irritability, and decreased confidence in one's ability to achieve goals.
At this stage, feeling overwhelmed and experiencing a lack of control over one's life is common. At this stage, it is time to seek help from friends, family, or a mental health professional to get back on track.
Aside from that, it is necessary to practice healthy coping mechanisms such as engaging in relaxing activities like yoga or meditation, exercising regularly, and maintaining a healthy diet.
The Burnout Syndrome Phase
This phase is the most serious burnout stage. A deep physical and mental exhaustion characterizes it, combined with hopelessness and depression.
Evidence of this stage includes difficulty sleeping, a decreased motivation to engage in activities that were once enjoyable, feeling disconnected from oneself, increased negative thinking, and an overall sense of being overwhelmed.
Seek professional help during this stage to help guide recovery.
It is also important to focus on self-care activities such as getting enough sleep, engaging in hobbies that bring joy, eating healthy, and exercising regularly. Taking regular breaks from work or life tasks and seeking support from friends and family is also essential to overcome burnout syndrome.
Habitual Burnout Phase
This final stage is characterized by ongoing physical, mental, and emotional exhaustion combined with hopelessness and despair. Symptoms include difficulty sleeping, lack of motivation, decreased performance quality, and an overall feeling overwhelmed.
In this situation, you should take action to restore balance in your life. Restoring balance may include:
- Seeking professional help.
- Engaging in self-care activities.
- Taking regular breaks from work or life tasks.
It would be best if you practiced positive self-care habits such as getting enough sleep, eating healthy, and exercising regularly to restore balance in your life. Make sure to take time out of your routine to focus on activities that bring joy and meaning. Finally, practice healthy coping mechanisms such as yoga or meditation, journaling, and talking to a friend.
There are a variety of ways you can prevent burnout from happening. Many beverages, such as herbal teas and adaptogen drinks, can help you relax and unwind.
These relaxing beverages can help reduce stress and anxiety and help calm the body and mind before bedtime.
No one should ever take burnout lightly. Taking the necessary steps earlier will help prevent progression to the more serious stages and help restore balance in one's life. The earlier it is addressed, the easier it will be to manage and recover.