How do I know if I am experiencing burnout?

A holistic gameplan to address the causes of burnout

Everyone seems to be talking about burnout, but how is it different from everyday stress? When our bodies experience something upsetting, we have a normal physiological reaction: Our heart rate increases, our breathing speeds up, we might sweat or lose our appetite. When that stress is over, we need to recover – in the same way we need to rest after a nasty bug. However, if we don’t get that chance, and stress accumulates, we end up burnt out.

ShiftGrit Psychology & Counselling - burnout

ShiftGrit Psychology & Counselling - burnout

A few quick questions to ask yourself if you think you might be experiencing burnout:

  • Are you having trouble concentrating?
  • Are you regularly lacking in energy?
  • Have you experienced moodiness / irritability?
  • Do you feel disillusioned or dis-empowered?
  • Has your outlook become cynical?
  • Do your achievements fail to bring you joy?
  • Have you started using drugs, alcohol or ‘comfort foods’ to boost your mood?
  • Have your sleeping habits changed?
  • Do you have physical symptoms such as lower libido, increased resting heart rate, headaches, digestive issues, or muscular pain?
  • Are you using food, drugs or alcohol to feel better or to simply not feel?

Certain groups of people have higher instances of burnout, including:

  • Stay-at-home parents
  • Managers
  • Teacher
  • Self-employed individuals
  • Consultant
  • Psychotherapists
  • First responders

Burnout presents in different ways, with varying levels of severity. However, sustained burnout weakens the immune system, and may result in heart disease, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, depression, and suicide. If you think you are experiencing burnout, or know that you do, therapy can help.

ShiftGrit Psychology & Counselling - burnout

What causes burnout?

Familiar with the expression, “burning the candle at both ends”? You’re working extra hours, you’ve got family to care for, relationships to nurture, a house to maintain – oh and it’s also a pandemic. There’s a lot to juggle, and it feels like you’re not just keeping balls in the air but lead balloons.

Burnout is caused by an accumulation of stress, but it goes deeper than having a full plate. People who are susceptible to burnout often share certain limiting beliefs: feelings about yourself and the world, internalized in childhood, that condition your entire experience. Feelings such as “I’m not good enough” or “I’m less than” or “I’m a burden” live in the irrational part of your brain, building up pressure as you say yes to everyone and everything – and never ask for help. Eventually, the stress builds to a point that you aren’t able to meet your basic needs; and once you mess with your diet, exercise, social life and sleep, it becomes impossible to recharge your batteries without making a bigger change.

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How long will it take and how much will it cost?

A financial and time commitment, therapy with ShiftGrit is no overnight solution – for a reason. Think of it like getting physically fit: it takes consistent work and an excellent approach to achieve – and maintain – optimal mental health.

Once you build a foundation by re-calibrating your mind, you develop more focus, more motivation to plan and achieve your goals, and more resilience to deal with the things that knock you down and trip you up. Imagine if all the bandwidth you spend on managing your burnout were available for you to realize your purpose and enjoy your life instead.  Developing your mind is the key to success and happiness, which is why our therapy has a wild return on investment.

ShiftGrit Psychology & Counselling - burnout