Burnout is the state of mental, physical, and emotional exhaustion due to prolonged and excessive stress. There a multitude of emotions associated with feeling burnout, the primary ones include feeling overwhelmed, emotionally drained, and unable to meet constant demands. People are constantly coming up with different ways to avoid feeling burnt out. If I were to ask 5 people “The way to avoid burnout is ___”, I will receive 5 different answers. That is the beauty of self-care, because the answer is different for each person will likely involve more than one standard idea. People experience burnout through a variety of ways which goes to show the different ways how they handle it as well. Burnout effects everyone ranging from parents struggling to balance work-family-personal life to individuals flooded with anxiety, burnout causes people to feel stretched to the max by the demands of their job and other aspects of life that fall in-between.
Burnout can affect anyone in any stage of life. As humans who live in a society that is primarily individualistic, it can be pretty difficult to say, “I need time for myself”. No one likes to feel selfish, but taking time for yourself is not being selfish; if anything you are beginning to take care of yourself and your well-being. If chronic burnout is left unmanaged and untreated, it can lead to severe health conditions such as issues with physical and mental health. Stress is not a diagnosable health condition, but it can turn into one if it is prolonged.
What burnout means and how it looks on each individual is different. Burnout is a constant feeling of being at the end of your rope, a.k.a. the last straw. Burnout can even manage as physical symptoms like restlessness, crying, fatigue, and irritability. Being vulnerable is ok and disclosing to a trusted loved one in your life of how you are feeling is the first step in acknowledging burnout. Putting the problem and how you feel into words can be difficult, but it is worth it. Make time for whatever grounds you and will pull you back from feelings of burnout. Remember, you can’t pour from an empty cup.
Bray, B. (2018, March 28). The battle against burnout. Counseling Today. https://ct.counseling.org/2018/03/the-battle-against-burnout/.
Written by: Abrea, 2021 Undergraduate Intern
Want to talk to someone who can help? If you would like to speak to a professional counselor or psychologist about this or other negative thoughts and are in the Chicagoland area, please feel free to contact Olive Branch Counseling Associates, Inc. at 708-633-8000. We are located at 6819 West 167th Street in Tinley Park, Illinois 60477.