With the crazy pace of today’s society, it’s not surprising that burnout is a common occurrence. Symptoms of burnout can include lethargy, depression and cynicism or detachment. In addition, there are often feelings of futility or lack of effectiveness or accomplishment.
Burnout is defined by Merriam Webster dictionary as exhaustion of physical or emotional strength or motivation usually as a result of prolonged stress or frustration. Note that not only stress, but frustration can also be a cause. The more it’s prolonged, the higher the chance of burnout.
If you don’t adjust your life to counter burnout, you could end up with a host of mental and physical consequences. Here are a few keys to avoid burnout:
Take care of your body. Physical exercise and healthy eating go a long way toward helping prevent burnout from taking over. Allow yourself adequate time to sleep—most people need 7-8 hours each night.
Remember what matters most to you. Sometimes we can get so busy trying to meet demands and expectations that we forget to do what most satisfies and recharges us emotionally and intellectually.
Build times to rest and reflect into your schedule. Self-reflection is not a waste of time; rather, it helps you identify what you care about and eliminate unnecessary busyness from your life.
Don’t take yourself too seriously. Give yourself permission to enjoy life. Try it—the world will keep on spinning without your help. Laugh with friends, tackle a fun project, or help someone for the joy of giving of yourself.
Above all, recognize the symptoms of burnout and take radical steps, if necessary, to deal with it. Life’s short; don’t waste it on burnout.
Paid for by Dr. Jim Hines for Governor; P.O. Box 5595, Saginaw, MI 48603