By the time the end of the year rolls around, the exhaustion from work and the stress of the upcoming holidays hits hard. After a constant state of stress, feelings of burnout are common. Burnout is a state of emotional, physical, and mental exhaustion caused by excessive and prolonged stress. As a Tampa, FL Counselor, I wanted to share strategies to combat burnout. I understand how deeply burnout can affect how we feel and move through the world. Without taking steps to manage or reduce your stress, symptoms can leave you feeling less productive and drain your energy, increasing feelings of helplessness, hopelessness, cynicism, and resentment. No matter what your burnout is rooted in, it can affect every area of your life, including home, work, and social life. Burnout is a gradual process. Symptoms of burnout do not just appear overnight. By paying attention to the signs and actively managing and reducing your stress, you can prevent a major break down. 

What are the burnout signs and symptoms?

Physical Signs:

  • Feeling tired, exhausted, and drained most of the time. 
  • Frequent illnesses and lowered immunity. 
  • Headaches or muscle pains. 
  • Changes in appetite or sleep habits.

Emotional Signs: 

  • Feelings of being a failure and self doubt. 
  • Feeling helpless, trapped, and defeated. 
  • Detachment, feeling alone and isolated. 
  • Loss of motivation, increase in irritability, cynicism, and resentment. 
  • Decrease in satisfaction and sense of accomplishment, and loss of pleasure in activities.

Behavioral Signs: 

  • Withdrawing from responsibilities. 
  • Isolating and reducing social activity. 
  • Procrastination
  • Coping with food, drugs, or alcohol. 
  • Taking frustrations out on others. 
  • Showing up late or leaving early from work. 
  • Not being present with the people around you.

After reading those signs and symptoms, you may be saying to yourself: I may have burnout, now what do I do about it?

Here are 9 Strategies to Combat Burnout From a Tampa Counselor:

  1. Move your body. Exercise gives you endorphins and can help reduce negative effects of stress. 
  2. Prioritize sleep. Sleep allows our bodies and minds to rest and recharge. 
  3. Engage in relaxation techniques. Try yoga, meditation, journaling, or your favorite hobby that brings you joy. Explore what works for you. 
  4. Practice mindfulness and gratitude. Mindfulness is the act of focusing on your breath flow and being intensely aware of what you’re sensing and feeling at every moment, without interpretation or judgment. Acceptance and gratitude towards your present self is important for stress reduction. 
  5. Shift your perspective. ​​What aspects of your situation are truly fixed, and which can you change? Altering your perspective can buffer the negative impact of even the inflexible aspects.
  6. Identify your burnouts source and evaluate your options. ​​If it’s your job causing burnout, discuss specific concerns with your supervisor. Maybe you can work together to change expectations or reach compromises or solutions. Try to set goals for what must get done and what can wait. 
  7. Set Boundaries. When you’re not working, leave your work behind. And when you can step away from other responsibilities that are causing burnout (like caregiving), do so. You do not need to over extend yourself, you can say no. 
  8. Practice self-compassion. Reaching a point of burnout can bring up feelings of failure and a loss of purpose or life direction. Grant yourself the same love and support as you would a friend going through this tough time. 
  9. Seek Support. Reach out to friends and family to help support you. If burnout is becoming increasingly more prevalent for you, reach out to a Tampa counselor to explore prevention, causes, and solutions. 

At Rise Counseling, we are available to help you explore your burnout, stress and anxiety. Contact a Tampa counselor, today!