You might be familiar with the concept of "feeling stressed," but did you know that over time that stress could lead you to exhibit symptoms of burnout syndrome? Burning out, as some people call it, occurs after prolonged exposure to a stressful environment. Over time, it can impact your health and emotional well-being. Whether you are feeling under-challenged or overworked, prolonged exposure to mundane tasks or unreasonably heavy workloads can impact your life negatively in the long run.
How do you know if you are suffering from burnout syndrome? Physically, you might find that you aren't sleeping well, feel drained or exhausted most days. Perhaps your immune system is weakened and you find yourself catching colds more often than you used to. Constant exposure to stressful settings has shown to greatly impact health and immunity. So the first step is to listen to your body and pay attention to what it is telling you.
Next, diminishing mental health/emotions is a symptom that shouldn't be ignored. You may feel hopeless or trapped in your current situation. Some people experiencing burnout feel taken for granted or completely alone. You might begin to lack motivation to do things you used to do in the past. Perhaps you take longer to do your normal responsibilities or skip over them entirely. As an extreme, you might use alcohol or drugs to numb these feelings.
Some personality types are more at risk to show symptoms of burnout than others, though it can happen to anyone. Perfectionist personalities tend to have difficulty delegating tasks to others. They take on everything themselves, keeping an unhealthy pace in their daily lives. Our bodies aren't meant to endure this continual dose of stress and our overall health is likely to suffer long term.
If you feel you have symptoms of burnout, take time to assess your workload and stress levels. Implement the necessary changes in your life to get your mind and body back into a healthier balance. There is help available and burnout syndrome is treatable.