What is Wrong with Me? Why Do I Feel Like This?
Lacking Energy? Can’t Get Out of Bed? Difficulty Sleeping? Constantly Grumpy? No Motivation? …Could you be burnt out?
Burnout has become a real buzzword. You often hear people casually say “I’m so burned out” when what they actually mean is they are having a busy, stressful or bad day or week. In actual fact, being truly burned out is so much more. It is a significant problem that interferes with your health, happiness and quality of life. Most people suffering from burnout don’t realise until it’s too late. However, if you identify the signs early enough, you can reverse the spiral.
What is Burnout?
Burnout can be defined as a state of chronic stress and frustration, leading to:
• Physical exhaustion
• Emotional exhaustion
• Feelings of detachment
• Feelings of cynicism
• Feeling hopeless, ineffective and like you can’t achieve anything
This leads to an inability to perform successfully on both a personal and professional level.
Signs of Burnout
1. Chronic Fatigue. At first, you may lack energy and feel tired, often waking up weary. Slowly, over time, the fatigue becomes worse, you feel drained and have trouble getting through the day – you may struggle to get out of bed. You are in an extreme state of mental and physical exhaustion.
2. Insomnia. You feel tired but you can’t fall asleep. You may have disturbed sleep, or you wake in the middle of the night and are unable to get back to sleep. You may lie awake worrying. At first this may only be a problem occasionally but it can become a nightly ordeal.
3. Difficulty Concentrating. Trouble with attention, forgetfulness, no focus – all this prevents you from getting work done.
4. Physical Pain. Chest pains, palpitations, dizziness, shortness of breath, headaches, stomach pain, all of which may interfere with daily functioning.
5. Illness. You may be vulnerable to infections, colds and flus, and you may take longer to recover.
6. Loss of appetite. It may start with skipping meals and progress to complete appetite cessation and substantial weight loss.
7. Anxiety, Depression or Anger. You may feel apprehensive, full of dread and you experience panic attacks. You may feel trapped, like the world is better off without you. You may feel like a failure which turns into anger and resentment. You may have outbursts and arguments. This will interfere with your ability to function at work and home.
8. Loss of Enjoyment, Pessimism. You may feel like nothing is going to turn out well. You may be preoccupied with thoughts of how to avoid activities and escape. This can extend to all aspects of your life.
9. Isolation and Detachment. You start to feel more and more like being alone. You make excuses to avoid situations. You start to feel disconnected from people. It may even come across as anger towards others.
10. Feeling Apathetic and Hopeless. These feeling become immobilising, like nothing is worth doing.
11. Amplified Irritability. This is often due to frustration because you feel ineffective and useless
12. Poor Productivity and Performance. Try as you might, you just can’t seem to deliver the way you used to.
Could it be Depression?
• Find your mood is low for substantial periods of the day?
• Lack motivation to do things you previously enjoyed?
• Often feel weepy or irritable?
• Feel that things are getting on top of you?
• Have low confidence and a poor opinion of yourself?
The lack of motivation caused by depression can be debilitating. Don’t mistake depression and lack of motivation for laziness
How to Increase Motivation
1. Adjust your ideas about what is essential and what isn’t.
2. Break up large tasks into smaller, easier ones.
3. Be positive about even the smallest victories.
4. Figure out what you’re afraid of. What is holding you back?
5. Limit social media.
6. Talk about it with a friend or family member
7. Read some inspiring quotes, something that speaks to your heart and identifies with your struggle.
8. Meditate – it clears your mind. and promotes mindful awareness.
9. Exercise. It is a renowned motivator, raises energy levels and moods and promotes a good night’s sleep.
10. Write a to-do list – it will help you stay organised, and ticking tasks off gives you a feeling of accomplishment.
11. Just do it. The more you procrastinate, the harder the task becomes.
12. Don’t be afraid to ask for help
13. Take a walk and enjoy nature – it is very restorative
14. Set a routine
15. Acknowledge your feelings and know that those feelings are valid.
Don’t continue to experience these feelings alone, contact Wellbeing Therapy Space on firstname.lastname@example.org.
Author: Claire Mansveld
Photo: by Hans Eiskonen of Unsplash