If you’ve been feeling constant stress, then you’re not alone. At least 2 in 3 adults say that they’ve experienced increased stress over the course of the pandemic, with nearly half of adults reporting that their stress levels have taken a physical and emotional toll, resulting in a high increase in burnout. Burnout is what happens when you are physically, mentally, and emotionally exhausted from the excessive and prolonged stress you experience from the constant demands of everyday life. When burnout happens, it’s important to find ways of recovering and managing your stress, as it can affect almost every part of your life, including your home, relationships, work, and social life. Here’s what we have to say about burnout and how to handle it.
Burnout: The Signs and Symptoms of Chronic Stress
Both chronic stress and burnout are gradual processes. If you are living your life with high levels of stress, then your well-being is at risk. Chronic stress causes significant damage to your emotional and mental health by narrowing your ability to think clearly, function efficiently, and enjoy life on a regular basis. When chronic stress becomes unmanageable for long periods, then burnout develops. Burnout is the red flag, indicating that something is wrong and needs to be fixed to prevent a major breakdown.
Burnout affects everyone in different ways but presents very common symptoms that affect people in varying degrees. These symptoms include:
- Physical: Physical symptoms include frequent headaches, muscle pains, constant feeling of tiredness, frequent illnesses, changes in appetite, and sleep problems.
- Emotional: Emotional symptoms create feelings of self-doubt, helplessness, detachment from everyday life, feelings of loneliness, cynical thinking, and a complete loss of motivation.
- Behavioral: In behaviors, burnout causes withdrawal from responsibilities, skipping work, procrastinating, drug and alcohol reliance, and complete isolation from others.
All of these symptoms can affect anyone, but burnout is a highly prevalent problem among those in high-risk, heavily demanding careers such as medical nurses, emergency responders, construction workers, and financial institutions. The fine line between chronic stress and burnout comes from the feeling of not being in control over your circumstances and, in many ways, can feel like drowning.
Ways to Deal With Burnout From Chronic Stress
In urgent care, many people can experience health problems, including frequent illnesses and eventual chronic diseases, from the onset of burnout. It’s important to address these stress problems early before they become overwhelming and impossible to manage. To help with this, some tips we can offer to manage burnout include:
- Reaching Out to Others: Reaching out to others can help relieve stress, open up about burdens, and find ways to make life more positive. This includes being around loved ones, positive-minded people, and other social groups.
- Practicing Mindfulness: By changing the way you look at the world, you can reduce the amount of burnout and stress felt each day, including meditations, taking time off, and finding value in everyday tasks.
- Reevaluating Priorities: Setting boundaries, taking breaks from technology, and nourishing yourself with activities you enjoy can help you relieve stress and give you ways to remove signs of burnout.
If you feel you’re at risk of workplace burnout and need help, then your local urgent care practice can provide you with the resources you need to build resistance to stress and adversity and find treatments for chronic stress.