Burnout: What’s at Stake and What Can You Do About It?

a group of matches with one burnt out against a pink background

Are you running low on energy, constantly exhausted, irritable, and feel like you’re spreading yourself too thin? You might be experiencing burnout, and you’re not alone. 42% of women and 35% of men have reported feeling burnt out in the last year. 

Burnout isn’t as simple as just feeling stressed. In fact, the World Health Organization recognizes burnout as an official medical diagnosis. Burnout is a prolonged state of emotional, physical, and mental exhaustion typically caused by mismanaged stress, namely in the workplace. 

[Related: Case Study: How One Mom Got Back Her Time]

The term burnout has traditionally been associated with high-stakes occupational positions, such as doctors, nurses, business executives, and first responders. However, recently burnout has been recognized to affect other individuals as well, particularly caretakers, teachers, and single parents. 

Here’s how to recognize the symptoms of burnout, and how to fight it.

Symptoms of Burnout

Are you suffering from burnout? Review the following symptoms. 

You may be experiencing:

  • Constant mental and physical exhaustion 
  • Daily tasks that seem consistently overwhelming or extremely dull
  • Muscle aches and frequent headaches
  • Lowered immune system and frequent illness
  • Change in appetite or sleep habits
  • Feelings of failure and self-doubt
  • Loss of motivation
  • An increasingly cynical or pessimistic attitude about life
  • Decreased satisfaction

If you notice any of the aforementioned symptoms, you might be experiencing burnout. 

[Related: Five Things to Do With the Time Your Personal Assistant Saves You]

Effects of Burnout

Left untreated, burnout can cause long-standing changes to your mental and physical health. 

Physical Effects of Burnout

Physically, when stress reaches an all-time high, your immune system can suffer, leaving you more susceptible to flus and colds. The exhaustion your body feels from the stress can make getting out of bed in the morning and falling asleep at night more difficult. 

Mental Effects of Burnout

Mentally extended burnout can negatively impact your relationships with friends and family. Prolonged and untreated stress can make it hard to regulate emotions like sadness, anger, and guilt. Panic and anxiety attacks are not uncommon with those suffering from burnout.

[Related: Compassion Fatigue and How to Easer the Symptoms]

How to Fight Burnout 

Don’t let burnout get the best of you! If you focus on making just a few changes you can better deal with burnout and feel happier and healthier.

Outsource Unpleasant Tasks

One main way to fight burnout is to outsource some unpleasant tasks and get your time back. We’ve mentioned this before, but time-saving investments like rideshare services, food delivery, and cleaning services can help you regain time and feel more in control of your day-to-day life.

Establish Work and Personal Life Boundaries

Think about your workload and how available you make yourself during non-work hours. Especially if you tend to be a people-pleaser, reducing your workload and establishing firmer boundaries between work and personal life can help reduce stress and provide some relief. 

Take Time for Yourself

Taking time for yourself is essential to fighting burnout, but it can be a lot harder than it sounds, especially if you’re used to putting yourself last. Without self-care, you won’t be as focused and you won’t have the energy to help others and get work done throughout the day. The cycle of burnout will continue. 

Simple things such as reserving an evening or two a week for just yourself, taking a few minutes each morning and evening to meditate, or letting someone else take care of you through spa treatments or eating at a restaurant can all help nourish your well-being.

[Related: Our Advice for Getting Started With Your Personal Assistant]

Engage in Healthy Diet and Exercise

After a long day, grabbing fast food on the way home and skipping an evening workout sounds like it’ll solve your unhappiness. And in the moment? It might. But engaging in healthier habits will make you feel a lot better, happier, and more energized in the long-run.

Studies have shown that cardiovascular exercise can increase well-being and decrease psychological distress, perceived stress, and emotional exhaustion. Eating healthy doesn’t hurt either, with nutrition reports indicating that fast food consumption is directly related to burnout.

[Related: Overcoming Stress: A Guide to Better Communication Within the Home]

How Pepper’s Personal Assistants Can Help

Pepper’s Personal Assistants is an incredible resource for empowering you to fight burnout and feel happier. Hiring a personal assistant to take care of things like meal planning, paying the bills, grocery shopping, and crossing things off of your to-do list will help you avoid the dreaded burn-out. Interested? Visit our website to learn more about our services.

We’re ready to help you regain your time and increase your happiness. Our personal assistants offer long-term, recurring household support in the Puget Sound Area. 

Contact us today to get started.

Featured image via Pexels