Our fatigue is often caused not by work but by worry, frustration and resentment – Dale Carnegie,
As I share this article today with you, I will share my own recent experience with Emotional Burnout.
I have never known what it meant to be Emotionally burned out or Emotionally Exhausted for, I am someone who has always thought that no time should be wasted, no no money should be lost, my cellphone is almost never given a chance to cool down, probably because i am constantly checking my phone, either to check updates from my social media or from work, or something that my significant other said, so as to not miss the time we’d share, however little it might be.
So where does the Emotional Burnout come into play you ask?
Well for starters, when I retraced aspects of my own life, I realised that, I was EVERYWHERE, YET NOWHERE.
Emotional burnout is not an unnamed parcel that just lands into someone’s life without notice or signs.
Rather it gives off warning signs,, it is like a small dark seed, that you yourself nurture and water.
You do not realise you are nurturing it, but slowly bit slowly, everyday, it grows, while you would show you are happy and alright, but inside it keeps sucking onto your positive energy and establishing its roots.
Until one day, it takes power over you, you are unable to fall asleep for there are so many thoughts running through your mind, you cannot concentrate on your work because you feel you are either too bored or too tired or feeling irritated. You wish to be left alone, and if anyone persistently asks you to join them, you would first beat around the bush and then finally lose your temper and burst out.
An important aspect to remember about burnout is that, it manifests itself in three areas of your life,
- Physical health
- Mental health
- Emotional Health
Thus, if you wish that your personal relationships and professional life is not affected due to your own interpersonal reasons, lookout for the following warning signs of emotional burnout.
- You are either feeling tired and lethargic or insomniac :
A sure sort sign you are nearing emotional burnout is that you would feel that even after sleeping 8 or 9 hours in the night you feel tired or feel drained of energy less. And there could be a possibility that you would not be able to fall asleep quickly at night. Maybe you have too much on your mental calendar and running thoughts do not let you sleep.
- You are unable to concentrate on work :
Another thing I noticed when I suffered from Emotional Burnout was that my concentration level went down, it’s as though I was not able to perform well, the way I used to earlier. I was also experiencing difficulty in focusing on things at hand, even though I was attending a meeting or a work call, I would find myself getting easily distracted or just getting lost into one of the many thoughts I had, about finances, my S.O our future, etc, all of this was started interfering with my other aspects of life.
- You are easily losing your temper:
Did your subordinates recently remark to you that you were behaving a bit agitated or maybe a bit moody?
Maybe it became the hottest topic of gossip in their grapevine.
But the reason why this often happens is that wherever we are feeling physically tired, mentally exhausted and emotionally numb, the result is that we tend not to show or share our emotions and our true beliefs, thoughts, for our own reasons.
But the more we keep things inside and hidden the more the chance of them erupting as they wish to be out and wish to be heard.
Hence, there is a chance that you would not be able to regulate your emotions in a proper manner, this happens when you are unable to fully express them, and thus, the cycle continues.
- You don’t feel “YOU”
You feel that you are not this person.
You have goals to achieve, you have dreams to fulfil, people to meet, love to procure.
This person you see in front of the mirror with dark circles and a sullen face, who’s droopy eyes seem tired yet smile the brightest are happy, but you know inside it is not.
Maybe you were a person who was very jolly and witty, but now you don’t enjoy them, you have stopped pursuing your favourite hobby, maybe you loved riding horses, playing polo, going for sails, but now all you do is sit back in a chair and sulk.
You have lost the spark that once made you feel alive.
So now that you know a few warning signs, of Emotional Burnout, realise that it would and is also bound to have drastic effects upon your health, (Mental, Physical, Emotional)
It will affect your relationships:
I once asked a doctor friend of mine, who was working almost seven days a week during the time of the pandemic, how he was managing his family life and his “ME TIME” ?
He was not.
He was unable to make time to even have bathroom breaks, for even missing a seconds time would mean some patient could be at a risk of not getting his medical attention.
He used to keep his phone on silent or not attend to them, his beard grew, he would hardly have time to eat as well.
The worst of them all?
He mentioned that he and his peers experienced heightened levels of anxiety and stress and they also complained of insomnia and feeling emotionally numb.
They also mentioned that it negatively affected their personal and social relationships, ie, they were unable to make time for their boyfriend/ girlfriend, were unable to attend parties, social functions, etc.
It impacts your health :
As mentioned earlier, you would notice that you would be unable to adequately take care of your health,, follow your healthy routine, exercise, or indulge in yoga or some form of healthy practise, due to your burnout.
So a question I was asked during a recent talk session with a close pal, about how is it that I manage or do whenever I feel I am on the verge of having burnout.
My answer is simple.
When you begin to worry go find something to do, Joyce Meyer
I have found that every time I am stuck with my own loop of thoughts, the best way to not be a slave to your thoughts is to let them go.
I do this by :
- Sleep it out:
Physically exerting myself to a point I do not have the strength to think about unnecessary things, thus I fall asleep quickly.
Now a lot of people told me that the best way to do this is either grab a bottle of wine and drink the entire bottle and whoosh your sleep.But that is not a healthy way, for you’d be dependent upon an unhealthy coping mechanism.
Rather, I run till the sole of my feet feel warm and I am tired. You can even take part in kickboxing or any form of martial art such as jiu jitsu or Krav maga, now these are not only the best way to defend yourself against any random goon on the street but also to let those demons under your bed sleep tightly.
- Following my routine :
I have found the main reason I lose a track of myself is whenever I feel I am getting out of control, and since I am not god, I understand that I cannot control every aspect of my life, but I can follow a few routines which make me feel alright, and make me feel in peace with myself, eg, going for a walk, stretching every time I feel bored, drinking coffee right after getting up, not attending texts from my S. O whenever I am working.
-Taking a break:
This is the best strategy that helps with both toxic people or with the environment, everytime I feel things are getting too much for me, I either remove myself from the situation or completely do something that is not related to my field.
Example, I love reading, but at times the more I read upon a topic that I wish to write, the more variations I see and the more information I get I find it difficult to filter it to add those into my writing.
Thus I do something else, I watch food videos, or I go and play with my pet or just take a short nap. It helps, as it allows my unconscious to work upon those aspects I just read,
– Pursue your hobby:
Remember the things you have stopped doing because you thought you are not good enough or just tired or cannot do it?
Well now is the right time to do it.
Right from trying gardening, to singing to learning painting, pursue what thrills you, excites you, motivates you to become the best version of yourself!
Emotional Burnout can seem as a temporary or plain ordinary bodily response to stress or daily ruckus, but it is much more than that. The quicker you would acknowledge the signs your body is trying to tell you, the more you would be able to recover from it.