Are You Experiencing Burnout?

Photo by Sid Leigh on Unsplash

Experiencing burnout seems like a fairly common occurrence these days. How often do you hear a friend or co-worker make a statement like, “Ugh! I just don’t want to be here. I’m feeling so burnt out.” The term “burn out” is often used to describe a state of tiredness or a “really bad week” and may have a tone that comes across as trivial. However, if burnout is left unaddressed, it can have very serious mental and physical impacts.

Burnout is defined as a state of emotional and physical exhaustion which results from prolonged stress. Generally, there is a feeling that the prolonged stress has been overwhelming, draining or defeating. This is most commonly linked to one’s workplace or job. However, burnout can also develop from experiences such as long-term care of an ill family member or consistently seeing negative or distressing messages on the news.

What are the Signs?

Common symptoms of burnout include:

  • Physical and emotional exhaustion
  • Loss of motivation
  • Isolating yourself from others and withdrawing from responsibilities
  • More frequent illnesses
  • Increased use of alcohol, drugs or food
  • Frequent headaches or muscle pain
  • Feelings of failure or helplessness
  • Procrastination
  • Irritability

Does this Sound like You?

If the symptoms listed above are consistent with how you have been feeling or acting, it’s important to get support. Burnout will not go away unless some kind of change occurs. Without that change, burnout can lead to depression and/or physical illnesses such as heart disease. A recent study showed that 1 in 5 Australians had taken time off work in the previous 12 months due to being mentally unwell. It’s clear that burnout is far more than the phrase itself might suggest.

Counselling for Burnout

Counselling is a highly effective way to deal with burnout symptoms. Your counsellor will provide a space for you to release all of the negative emotions and overwhelm that you have been feeling.  It’s common to invalidate your feelings of burnout as if “it’s not that bad” or “some people have it worse.” Your counsellor will be on your side. They will help you to battle the internal critic which has impeded your ability to seek help and support.

Through the implementation of strategies, you will identify areas where boundaries and self-care might reinvigorate a sense of purpose and energy. You will assess expectations, develop methods to nourish your physical health and build compassion and care for your emotional health. Whether it’s internal or external pressure that has been building up in your life, we encourage you to finally prioritise you. Your physical and emotional health is so much more important than a job or an obligation.

You are worth it. Reach out to one of our warm, supportive counsellors today.