Burnout has traditionally been seen in the workplace, but it actually can occur in any area where you’re overexerting energy. Sometimes the signs of burnout are subtle – here are some ways it can sneak up in your day-to-day! Identifying it early can help provide much needed mental nourishment!
Burnout Sign 1 – Slouching
The more depleted we feel, the more it can show up in our bodies. So a big mental load actually makes us feel like we’re carrying more and can manifest in poor posture. Another potential side effect of burnout? It can negatively impact our confidence, and a symptom of low confidence is — you guessed it — slouching. When we feel energized, inspired, and in the driver’s seat of our health, we stand (and sit!) a little taller.
Burnout Sign 2 – Short-term memory loss
Burnout is a result of an overwhelming amount of stress for a consistent period of time. The high cortisol levels that our brains experience during this time renders it in a state of overload. If not addressed, living in this state becomes our new norm, and limits our ability to process and internalize new information. In other words, the convo you had yesterday doesn’t stick as it should.
Burnout Sign 3 – Relaxation time isn’t relaxing
Do you ever sit down with the intention of relaxing? You hit the couch in your comfiest sweatpants, hot chocolate in hand, and ten minutes into the movie realize you haven’t been paying attention? That’s because when we’re burned out, it’s harder to mitigate high-stress levels, so it takes more energy and brainpower to unwind. And if we’re really feeling the effects of burnout, designated relaxation time is merely a bandaid rather than a solution.
Burnout Sign 4 – Poor Hygiene
Listen, sometimes looking after ourselves can feel like an additional task on our to-do list. And once in a while, neglecting a shower or brush is normal! But finding it consistently difficult to take care of yourself is an unfortunate sign of burnout. If you’re feeling like you’re neglecting your hygienic needs lately, pay attention to when that shows up for you, and the thoughts and feelings associated with it.
Burnout Sign 5 – The glass is perpetually half empty
Speaking of thoughts and feelings… Is it consistently hard for you to see the good in situations? While it’s unrealistic to expect the sun to be shining all the time, do you allow yourself to acknowledge when it is? When our energy levels are depleted, we can become impatient and more irritable. Things that once felt bright to us start to dim, and tend to get worse if not addressed.
If this sounds familiar, you’re not alone. 73% of Americans are experiencing some level of burnout right now, so if you’re noticing any of these sneaky signs but not sure how to navigate them, let’s chat. Burnout doesn’t have to be your baseline.
Learn more about Integrative Health and Mindfulness Coach Hanna Berman of Mental Nourish on Vitalxchange.