While the festive season can be lots of fun it can also be tiring. For some of us, starting the new year with a bang is hard after an exhausting holiday period that just capped off a hectic and stressful year.
If you felt like 2021 was just go, go, go and that you barely have enough energy left now to get out of bed, you may be burned out. Here are the signs to lookout for and some steps to address burnout.
Signs of Burnout
One of the clearest signs that you have burned yourself out over recent months (or years) is that you never seem to have any energy anymore. You may find it a struggle to get up each day and to have the alertness you need to get work and other tasks done. Similarly, those who are burned out typically find it tough to concentrate properly, even on the things they would normally enjoy or at least be motivated to work on. They often lose interest in their job and other things they once liked to do, and their performance at work may slip.
Another sign that you probably need to give yourself some time out is if you or other people in your life have noticed considerable mood changes in you. While it’s normal to go through ups and downs in life and have changes in moods accordingly, any big and noticeable alterations that seem to occur quite a bit can be due to burnout. Pay attention to feeling more cynical, negative, angry, frustrated, and upset than usual.
Also, you may be burned out if you’re getting lots of headaches, have frequent gut issues, or find that you just don’t sleep properly anymore. Insomnia, bad nightmares, or waking up in the middle of the night or early morning and not being able to get back to sleep may be caused by burnout. Other signs to look out for include relying on caffeine, alcohol, drugs, or other vices to get through the day, and more frequent illnesses and trouble recovering from them. Plus, burned out people can sometimes get blood pressure that’s often high or unusually so.
Do note, though, that many of the above symptoms can also be indicative of other bodily and mental health conditions, and cause or coincide with feelings of burnout. As such, always talk to a doctor to see if you need to get some tests done to check for other issues.
What to Do to Combat Burnout
If you know that you’re burned out, it’s time to address this condition right away. For example, start by prioritizing sleep. Your body and mind need quality rest in abundance to recover, so the deeper sleep you can have for a time, the better. If you struggle with sleeping, be open to utilizing aids such as sleeping tablets, valerian root supplements, lavender sprays, and even melatonin-featured CBD tablets or soothing CBD lotions that you can find online at a specialist CBD store. Ensure you have a room conducive to sleep, too, with blackout blinds, a comfortable bed and pillow, and cozy linen.
Schedule self-care time where you switch off from work and stop doing other jobs and do something nice for yourself. You might have a bath, meditate, read a book, listen to music, go for a walk, or catch up with friends, as just some examples. When faced with burnout it’s also important to see what you can delegate or outsource at work and elsewhere to lighten your load.
Plus, be sure to take a vacation and, longer-term, take regular breaks during the day and proper whole days off during the week to decompress so your burnout doesn’t get worse or come back. Set yourself stricter work hours and talk to your boss, as needed, about what support you need moving forward.
It’s also wise to speak with a therapist about how you got to where you are now and what emotional wounds and beliefs might be driving you to get to the burnout stage. Furthermore, you can help yourself recover by reevaluating your priorities, doing more gentle exercise rather than anything too strenuous for a time, and eating healthily. Most people find that eating small amounts more regularly helps them to feel well again, rather than leaving it too long before meals.
As you can see, there are plenty of things you can do to address burnout, so there’s no time to waste on trying at least some of them. The sooner you acknowledge being burned out and take steps to address the situation, the sooner you can start to feel better.