Monday, May 10, 2010

Are You Burnt Out?

Most if not all of us have experienced lengthy periods of emotional, mental, and physical exhaustion because of our work and familial responsibilities. As a result, our productivity at work suffers which only adds to the pressure. We may bring this pressure home and project it onto other members of the family or we may isolate ourselves leaving others to make assumptions about what could be wrong with us. We may begin to handle our anger inappropriately at home and/or work which will also add to the stress and pressure. At this point, we probably are having trouble falling and staying asleep because of being all consumed by the negativity ruminating in our mind. What I am referring to ladies and gentlemen is burnout.

Other signs of burnout include:

· Every day is a bad day
· Your experiencing feelings of helplessness and hopelessness
· Your spending most of the day on tasks that seem remedial or boring
· Your “spacing out” regularly
· Your feeling unappreciated or like that anything you do isn’t making a difference daily
· Your feeling sick a lot
· Your experiencing frequent feelings of failure and self doubt
· Your using food, drugs or alcohol to cope

How can we combat burnout? This is the easiest part in my opinion. But getting to the point where we are looking at our situation objectively and identifying the need to do so is the hard part. Once we have identified the need to make some adjustments there are several options to deal with burnout. Some simple ways to deal with burnout include:

· Exercising – some may find this counterintuitive because of the energy required to exercise; however, when we exercise we release what I call the “feel good” chemicals in our bodies naturally
· 10 minute deep relaxation breaks throughout the day that should include slow controlled breathing, relaxing music or maybe guided meditation tapes.
· Identify what’s really in your control and focus on those things
· **Take time off or delegate duties that don’t necessarily need to be done by you
· Replace alcohol or drugs with more adaptive ways of coping like reading, playing your favorite musical instrument
· Hire a therapist

In closing, it is important to our emotional health that we become adept at recognizing when we are getting burnt out so we can make the necessary adjustments in our behaviors and thought processes. Developing this ability will help us maintain a healthy and balanced lifestyle.

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