Am I still stressed or is this already burnout? In recent years, burnout has become a huge social problem. In some cases, there is more sick leave due to mental illness than physical illness. But how can you tell if you’re just stressed or if it’s already heading towards burnout?
Burnout describes a state of being totally burned out. Sufferers feel totally exhausted emotionally, physically and mentally. To a point where it’s hard to get up in the morning and nothing good at all.
Burnout can develop gradually and in phases.
Often, the batteries are only completely empty after years and nothing really works anymore. Only then will action be taken.
Most common reason for burnout: too much stress!
Which doesn’t mean that you immediately suffer from burnout just because you have a stressful phase.
That is part of life. Burnout is the term used to describe a chronic overload in terms of how you cope with life.
You lack necessary resources to cope with your everyday life and job and to deal with the whole situation.
So stress refers to situations when they seem uncontrollable, you have the impression that you can no longer cope with situations and you just feel helpless and overwhelmed.
A few years ago, burnout was attributed to individuals in nursing professions. Then it was managers and leaders. The truth is, burnout is a societal problem that is not limited to certain professions.
Regardless, there are personal characteristics that burnout sufferers have in common. This includes, for example, a tendency towards perfectionism. People with burnout often define themselves by their performance. If this is compounded by a lack of self-confidence, confirmation is sought externally. Added to this are increased demands on themselves.
In combination, there is a lack of inward focus. What is important to me anyway and what do I want and need?
These questions are often not asked or ignored.
Often affected people also do not live according to their identity. They live according to an ideal image, an idea of how they should be in the eyes of others.
Just suppose you feel the need to please other people and to prove something to them. You will start motivated. Motivation in itself is something very positive. However, if you spend yourself now to meet your own inflated expectations, overwork yourself now, and don’t take breaks, you will be exhausted very quickly.
You neglect your personal needs. As a result, social contacts are limited, hobbies are scaled down. You only think about this one thing.
Tunnel vision develops.
The first physical symptoms, such as trembling, sweating, the famous lump in the throat, nervousness, tension and anxiety are no longer so easy to ignore.
Outwardly, you still manage to cover them up. Inside, the whole thing already looks quite different. You start to charge yourself even more, after all you are not performing enough and need to work harder. As a result, your dissatisfaction grows stronger every day.
After some time, there comes a point when you no longer see any sense in anything!
Now is high time to pull the emergency brake! If you don’t draw them, the emptiness inside you will grow bigger and bigger.
Because you feel misunderstood by everyone, you withdraw.
At this point, at the latest, your symptoms intensify and become complaints of stomach pain, nausea, ringing in the ears, headaches and tension, and nausea.
When you retreat, you just function. You feel “dull.” Often the feelings are turned off so that nothing needs to be felt at all! The distraction is now getting bigger and bigger to avoid conscious awareness. The risk of addiction is now at its peak.
If you’re a smoker, there’s a risk of smoking more to get you down. Others resort to alcohol and or painkillers.
Other behaviors are also possible. E.g. excessive sports or constant affairs to somehow get confirmation from the outside.
By now you’re pretty exhausted. Your burden seems inescapable.
You may already have chronic symptoms, like constant headaches.
You’re also sick more often now than you used to be. Falling asleep and sleeping through the night is enormously difficult for you.
You may also feel sad, depressed and need to cry. Anxiety and pessimistic thinking can be added.
Everyday things already present a huge hurdle. You’ve pulled back even further and motivation is at an all-time low. You have become indifferent to everything.
A mental and physical breakdown is now inevitable.
Lack of interest
Permanent fatigue, lack of strength and exhaustion
Feelings of futility
Insomnia and sleep disorders
Physical symptoms such as stomach, intestinal problems, cardiovascular problems, frequent infections etc.
Burnout is still not considered a disease. But as a state of exhaustion.
Pulling the emergency brake in good time is important. A coach can help preventively counteract burnout. If burnout has occurred, a doctor or therapist can help.
Burnout unsettles affected persons in their way of life. Serious damage can be a consequence.
As soon as you feel you only function, your everyday life consists only of work and duties, your alarm bells should not go off at all! Now is the highest time to pull an emergency brake, give yourself rest and / or seek help.