Burnout or Mental exhaustion seems to be the “illness” that we all developed during the crazy Covid-19 pandemic, but the reality is that it is a problem that has been affecting adults for years, and we must learn to solve it.
It is normal to have a bad day. You may feel listless, unmotivated, and exhausted (or burnout), especially when things get difficult or very stressful, but that does not mean resigning yourself and learning to live with that mental exhaustion is the only option.
The problem is when even the most minor things, or things you used to enjoy, feel like you’re walking uphill on a muddy mountain that won’t let you move forward (are we the only ones with that recurring dream where we run without getting anywhere? side or without moving from the same place?).
All this can make you pessimistic, bitter, and in a terrible mood, but psychology has some clues that can help change things.
Burnout is real, and sometimes it’s unavoidable, but it’s also real that there are things that you can then use to your advantage so that life doesn’t feel terrible or overwhelming.
Am I Physically and Mentally Exhausted?
Daily wear and tear can wreak havoc on our bodies. The feeling that you lack energy and would like to spend the whole day sleeping can be the first warning sign.
The worst happens when you continue to be tired or listless despite sleeping for many hours in a row. The most common causes of physical and mental fatigue are:
- Long workdays
- Intensive exercise practice
- Not sleeping the right hours or sleep disorders
- Abuse of diuretics, tranquillizers, and laxatives
- Vitamin or protein deficiency
- Convalescence due to illness or surgery
- Poor diet, anaemia, or not meeting the amount of daily intake
- Stress or depressive disorders
- Diseases such as diabetes, fibromyalgia, cancer, hepatitis, or hypothyroidism.
The Symptoms of Burnout
We have seen the causes of this exhaustion, and now we will see how it manifests itself. The most common symptoms are:
- Gradual reduction of energy and difficulty in doing daily activities
- Body weakness and poor physical performance
- Loss of appetite
- Difficulty concentrating, forgetfulness, drowsiness
- Headache, feeling lightheaded, dizziness
- Discouragement, depression, irritability, lack of optimism
How Can You be Free Burnout?
There are many ways in which we can combat burnout which affects our daily lives, and some of the ways to recover from burnout are briefly explained below:
Don’t Forget To Take Care Of Your Body
Believe it or not, being sedentary also affects your mental state. Exercise has been shown to release certain substances in the brain that help deal with stress, improve mood, and experience general well-being. So it’s essential to set aside time for exercise or some physical activity. An exercise of 30 minutes a day is enough.
Identify the Causes
The first step in solving a problem is identifying and understanding it, so you need to know what is causing your burnout. Although we have mentioned some of its causes above, we thought it best to include some causes. According to experts at the University of California, Berkeley, these are other common causes for this:
- Workload too heavy
- Feeling like you have no control over anything
- Exploitation (or believing you are being exploited) without sufficient rewards
- Having an unfair or hostile work environment
- Lack of support or community
- Having to do a job that goes against your values
- focus on the future
Don’t just focus on the problems. Think about where you would like to be, what you would like to achieve, do or see, and start working to develop what you need to achieve those goals. That allows you to focus on the positive and what you can do instead of what is out of your control.
Dare to Make the Important Decisions
If the exhaustion or burnout comes from your job, for example, not only do you have to identify the causes, but you have to decide if the problems have a solution. If not, you have to dare to decide to look for something different and change. Because the world will not adjust to what you want, you can always find something that you like, making you feel better.
Share the Load
You can’t do everything alone; trying to do too much will only leave you exhausted and worn out. With that in mind, it is essential that you surround yourself with the right people and learn to ask for help whenever you need it.
Diversify Your Time
Burnout can be related to a too-tight routine, where you do exactly the same thing all the time. Focusing only on work can be exhausting, so it’s also essential to set aside time to do the things you love. Try to get out to nature or pursue a hobby that helps relax and unwind.
There you have it. Recovering from burnout can be one of the hardest things to do, but we hope our little insight will help you pull through.