We don’t always notice burnout when it happens, but Counsellor Sarah Barr has advice on recognising the warning signs.

If you are feeling constantly stressed you might also be feeling helpless, disillusioned, and completely exhausted and on the road to burnout.

What is burnout?
Burnout is a state of emotional, physical, and mental exhaustion caused by prolonged stress. It can happen when you feel overwhelmed, emotionally drained and you are unable to meet the constant demands in your life.

Burnout can spill over into every area of life, including your home, work, and social life.

Some signs of burnout include:
Most of us have days when we feel helpless, overloaded, or unappreciated.

Burnout is a gradual process. If you pay attention and check-in regularly with how you are feeling it can help to reduce your stress:

• Feeling tired and drained most of the time.
• Change in appetite or sleep habits.
• Sense of failure and self-doubt.
• Feeling helpless, trapped, and defeated.
• Detachment, feeling alone in the world.
• Loss of motivation.
• Increasingly cynical outlook.
• Isolating yourself from others.
• Procrastinating, taking longer to get things done.
• Difficulty in trying to focus and concentrate.
• Taking out your frustrations on others.

While you’re usually aware of being under a lot of stress, you don’t always notice burnout when it happens.

Burnout is not caused solely by stressful work or too many responsibilities, other factors contribute to burnout, including your lifestyle and personality traits.

Whether you are able to recognise the warning signs of burnout or if you feel you’re in the middle of burnout, it is so important to not try to push through the exhaustion and keep going as you run the risk of causing further emotional, mental and physical harm.

It is the now the time to pause and listen to your needs.

Never feel guilty for stopping and allowing yourself the rest that you need.

Remember the “Three R” approach if dealing with anxiety:
Recognise: Watch for the warning signs of burnout.
Reverse: Undo the damage by seeking support and resting.
Resilience: Build your resilience to stress by taking care of your physical and emotional health and reaching out to your doctor or a local counsellor to learn new coping mechanisms and techniques that will help you

Take care ~ Sarah.