Life is hard! Ok, now that we agree on that point, we can talk about the fact that most people experience some form of burnout somewhere in life. What is it and what can you do to avoid it?
We previously shared our ideas to overcome creative block but what if your slump isn’t just a slump?

What is burnout
The dictionary definition is “physical or mental collapse caused by overwork or stress” but burnout is often a bit more subtle than a “collapse” and if you haven’t experienced a collapse yet, it doesn’t mean you’re not on your way to a burnout.

Burnout is caused my intense emotional stress, coupled with the feeling of being overwhelmed and the inability to cope with these issues on a long-term basis. Most people can manage a very taxing situation if there is an end in sight, but the dangerous part of burnout is that it might be caused by a prolonged stressful influence paired with the lack of healthy coping skills.

Some symptoms of burnout can range from emotional to physical signs and might include insomnia, fatigue, loss of appetite, anxiety, recurring infections, irritability, depression, feelings of isolation and detachment, pessimism as well as feelings of hopelessness or apathy.

Burnout can cause severed mental and physical issues. Burnout can lead to decrease in productivity, depression, suicidal thoughts, chronic illness and a slew of other complications.

How to avoid it
Let’s start by practicing something simple, that is REALLY hard to do: Say No! When you learn how to manage your commitments to correlate with the amount of resources you have (time, money, skill etc.) then avoiding burnout becomes a much simpler task.

Now that we’ve practiced saying no, we need to learn to say “Yes!”. Yes to self-care, exercise, good habits and taking time off. Making changes to your self-care routine, your schedule and taking time to adjust to stressful situations can help you to avoid overtaxing your body and mind and may help you to avoid burnout.

The basics like sleeping, eating and drinking enough water will take you far. You should also incorporate some form of socialising and spending time with your loved ones. If you are consistently making provision for the basics, and your body isn’t responding, you need to start thinking of other options like counselling.
It is important to know yourself, your body and your limits so you can identify the warning signs and seek help when needed. You should never ignore symptoms of failing mental health because most issues of this nature won’t simply get better over time. If you are feeling overwhelmed, GET HELP NOW!

What you need to learn from burnout
First lesson, we’re all human, and we’ve got limits! You need to learn those limits and find ways to adapt to stressful circumstances, so burnout becomes a thing of the past. Life is a process, so enjoy it, take a break when you need to and come back fighting fit next time!

In the next few weeks, we’re sharing tips on finding and taking part in a community- don’t forget to check back so you can get some amazing tips on incorporating community into your life to better deal with burnout.

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