We are a few months into 2023 and we can probably all agree that we need some sort of break. Whether you are a full-time mom who can’t seem to catch up on housework or you’re a full-time student/employee stuck in a mundane routine, it seems like the daily tasks don’t end. Simple things begin to add stress and become overwhelming to complete. Whether it is emotional, physical, or mental exhaustion, burnout is usually to follow.
When we begin to experience excessive and prolonged stress, constant demands seem to become heavier and it is harder to remain interested in our careers, relationships, and lifestyles. What many people don’t know are the long-term effects that burnout has on the body. It can cause physical illness and make you more susceptible to common illnesses such as colds and the flu. Due to this, it is important to attend to burnout right away. Common signs of burnout are loss of motivation, changes in habits, feeling drained, and frequent fatigue. A common misconception is that depression and burnout are the same because of their similar signs and symptoms.
While recognizing burnout and the warning signs is the first step to taking action, there are ways to prevent burnout from happening in the first place. The biggest and most important step is to set boundaries for yourself. Re-evaluate your priorities and look for signs of things that aren’t working. Pause and change direction if you find that something specific in your life is bringing mass amounts of stress. Don’t be afraid to lean on people when you feel stuck or can’t take action yourself. Lastly, reframe the way you look at life. Whether it be work, school, or relationships, create practical solutions for situations in which you find hardship.
Emily Christ is the health and human services educator at Purdue Extension Elkhart County.
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