In the last article, we talked about what burn out is, the signs and symptoms of burn out, and some of the common causes of burn out. Now you can find out if you have burn out and we will discuss what to do about it.
Burn Out Quiz
Read through the following questions and ask yourself if you would agree with the statement most days over the past month.
- I feel that my support is lacking and I don’t have people I can talk to.
- I feel misunderstood and unappreciated.
- I have negative thoughts about my relationship and/or job.
- I wake up tired even when I go to bed early.
- I don’t have enough time to plan or get things done.
- I feel like I have more tasks, chores, and jobs to do than there is time to do them.
- I often feel frustrated with my job, coworkers, or the people in my life.
- I am easily irritated by things that I know should not bother me that much.
- I find myself being unsympathetic toward others.
- I feel run down and lacking energy physically and/or emotionally.
- I dread what lies ahead today or tomorrow.
- I feel less productive or accomplished than I should.
- I feel I am in the wrong job or career.
- It seems like small tasks take more energy than I can afford.
- My efficiency is down and things seem to take longer to do than they did in the past.
If you answered yes to half or more of these items, there is a high likelihood you may be experiencing burn out.
How To Do Deal With Burn Out?
There are lots of ways to deal with burn out and you may have to experiment to find out what will work for you individually. We will try to cover some of the common and more beneficial ways of coping more effectively with things.
- Some people simply need to take a break. This means stop working, take a break, or maybe even a day or two off, especially if your burn out is stemming from your job. Taking a couple days to relax and recover can allow you to recharge your batteries and go back and tackle things with greater vigor. This strategy is more effective if work does not continue accumulating while you are off.
- Having an outlet or release for pent up frustrations and stressors is great for some people. This could be martial arts or some other form of exercise. Expelling this energy can be quite cathartic for people. This can also include verbal venting. Finding a good sounding board and help release other emotional energy while also feeling a sense of support.
- Setting boundaries with family, friends, significant others, coworkers or bosses can make all the difference. Often in an attempt to make others happy or gain their approval, people take on too much and find themselves overwhelmed. There is nothing wrong with saying, “I have too much on my plate right now to help with this but ask me again next time.”
- Sometimes we can free up some time and energy by clearing some room on our plates. It may be well worth the time to knock out some smaller tasks, reduce some clutter, and check some things off your list. In doing so, it may make other projects or enduring stressors seem more tolerable and less overwhelming.
- Self-care is a vital skill to possess in the war against burn out. Good quality self-care involves taking some time for you to engage in hobbies and activities that are both relaxing and rejuvenating for you. Burn out feels like you are running on fumes. Self-care is about refueling your tank so you can keep operating.
- Avoid denial and escapism. Although burying your head in the sand or escaping through alcohol, drugs, TV, or any of the other escapes we have at our disposal may provide temporary relief, it will ultimately make things worse. Letting things build up and compound will only crush your drive, purpose, and sense of hope. Nothing breeds a sense of defeat than staring at the mountain that seems insurmountable.
- There is nothing wrong with asking for help. Sometimes we have to put our pride aside and realize we can’t do it all, nor do we have to do it all. The very nature of humanity is to reach out and assist those in need. Keeping it all under wraps and not letting others see you are struggling is only going to hurt yourself and lead to burn out. Don’t be afraid to ask for help.
- Sometimes there are limits to what we can do and what we can control in terms of the outcome. Most people focus too much on the outcome and invest way too much of their worth into it. One thing you can control is the effort you put forth. Try to remember to attach your worth to the effort you put forth, not the outcome. In doing this, you really cannot lose and you can still feel good about the energy you put forth regardless of what happens.
If you are interested in talking with one of our therapists about whether you may be burning out and what you can do about it, please call us now at 763-416-4167, or request an appointment on our website: WWW.IPC-MN.COM so we can sit down with you and complete thorough assessment and help you develop a plan of action that will work for you. Life is too short to be unhappy. Find the peace of mind you deserve.
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