In today’s fast-paced world, many of us take pride in how busy we are. But are you overloading yourself? Working all day, eating on the run, rarely relaxing or having fun is a recipe for being unhealthy. Even unhappy. So how do you know when you’re burning out and when it is time to take a break to recharge your mind and body?
Here are some signs:
Feeling tired or fatigued all the time is not healthy and is an obvious sign you need to recharge. Exhaustion can be emotional, mental or physical. Exhaustion means you have zero energy and feel completely spent. Exhaustion can lead to loss of motivation because you don’t feel enthusiastic about anything. You may have trouble getting out of bed each morning and find going to work challenging.
- Cognitive Problems
Do you have trouble paying attention or concentrating? This could be a sign of burnout due to chronic stress. Scientifically speaking, when we’re under stress our attention focuses on what we perceive as a threat. We’re designed to handle stress in short bursts then have things return to normal. Under chronic stress though, the narrow focus goes on for a long time resulting in a struggle to pay attention and having a harder time remembering things.
- Health Problems
Over a long period of time, serious chronic stress can create real health problems like digestive issues, heart disease, depression and obesity.
- Not Taking Care of Yourself
Often people turn to unhealthy coping strategies when suffering from a burnout. Such strategies include things like drinking too much, smoking, binge eating (or not eating enough), avoiding exercise, and sleeping too little. Do you rely on alcohol after a long day at work? Or need copious amounts of coffee to make it through the day? These might be signs it’s time to recharge.
If you find yourself identifying with the burnout symptoms described above, here are some ideas for what to do about it.
- Exercise! Shoot for 30 minutes of medium-high intensity exercise every day. BootCampSF classes are perfect stress relievers, but if you can’t squeeze in a class, then make sure to do something on your own. Regular exercise will help regulate hormones, releases those feel-good endorphins, increase circulation, and will often help you clear your mind and reduce stress.
- Unplug. Yes, we acknowledge being separated from our phones is scary. It is is also a necessity for regaining control of your wellbeing. Technology allows you to stay too connected sometimes keeping you stressed while you are supposed to be spending time with family or friends or on vacation. Set cell phone boundaries by turning it off during dinner and set specific times to check email.
- Sleep. Getting enough sleep has been linked to experiencing burnout. Poor sleep decreases motivation, makes stressful events more stressful, and impair mental function. The number of required sleep hours varies from person to person. But a healthy target lies within 7 to 9 hours each night.
- Get serious about relaxing. Listen to music, read a book, take a walk, meditate. Do whatever you know works to relax you, and then designate time for it.
Our new normal these days is go, go, go! We live in a society that celebrates being busy and stressed. But what is that stress really costing you? Exhaustion, quick meals and no time to play (or workout) aren’t leaving you fulfilled, that’s for sure. Think about taking a BootCampSF class several days a week, you’ll get the benefits of the outdoors and medium-to-high intensity exercise. When you feel your best, you’ll do your best. Start carving out personal time to recharge and you’ll be surprised to find you accomplish more during your day in a shorter period of time.