In our day and age, the stress is overwhelming.
We are always drowning in deadlines, responsibilities, and busy schedules. The 21st century does not leave any room for rest and relaxation. Instead, it romanticizes working until you experience burnout. Being a workaholic is seen as an accomplishment when in reality, it is an illness. Constantly putting yourself under high levels of stress can destroy your mental and physical wellbeing. While we work hard to accomplish our goals, we neglect the needs of our bodies. We ignore our mental health and pretend that we do not feel our bodies giving up on us.
You need to pay attention to your body.
Working until you experience burnout is not an accomplishment and we need to stop romanticizing it. According to psychologist and author Sherrie Bourg Carter, Psy.D., “burnout is a state of chronic stress that leads to: physical and emotional exhaustion, cynicism and detachment, and feelings of ineffectiveness.” Carter further explains that burnout is something that creeps up on you. “You don’t wake up one morning and all of the sudden “have burnout.” Its nature is much more insidious, creeping up on us over time like a slow leak, which makes it much harder to recognize.” To ensure that you do not suddenly find yourself in this dangerous, harmful state, make sure that you pay attention to the warning signs.
There are 5 warning signs of mental and physical exhaustion.
1. Chronic Fatigue
The most evident sign of mental and physical exhaustion is feeling a chronic lack of energy. This means that you wake up feeling exhausted and unsure of how you could possibly tackle the things on your long to-do list.
When we are stressed, nervous, and anxious, it is difficult to go to sleep. While everybody experiences sleepless nights every once in a while, chronic insomnia could mean that there is a more serious issue. If you are always tired but incapable of sleeping, you need to seek help.
3. Brain fog
Experiencing brain fog feels like you cannot concentrate on the things around you. In addition to this, you might find yourself struggling to form coherent sentences or complete tasks on time. Overall, brain fog will leave you feeling forgetful and disorganized.
When you are feeling mentally and physically exhausted, you cannot do the work you used to do. This means that you begin to neglect your responsibilities and miss your deadlines. Naturally, your mind will begin to panic and worry. Unfortunately, however, this anxiety will only further fuel your burnout.
As you feel yourself lose grip of the things around you, you will find yourself becoming irritable and angry. At first, you will notice yourself feeling easily irritated by the things your family and friends do and say. When this happens, it is vital that you take a step back to try and understand why you are feeling this way. If you do not treat this, you can become aggressive and violent as your irritability turns to anger.
Experiencing some or all of these symptoms means that it is time for you to take a break. Push your deadlines back, take time off, and take care of yourself. Tend to your physical, mental, and emotional needs instead of forcing yourself to work harder. If you find that you are incapable of coping with your symptoms, consider seeking professional help.