Full disclosure, I am not a therapist or have qualities to cure issues like burnout, but having experienced it, I thought it could be helpful to write about. I think it's safe to say we have all heard about burnout in some way, especially in the pandemic. Though I definitely felt I was "burning out" at my job prior to COVID as a working mom, I would describe the last two years (2020-2022) as living in the time of burnout.
What is it? The official definition of burnout is emotional, physical and mental exhaustion caused by a prolonged period of stress. There are also different types of burnout, too:
What does it Look Like? For me, I had to identify what it was I was feeling. There was a loss of motivation, feeling trapped or defeated, sense of failure and self-doubt, decreased satisfaction and sense of accomplishment. I also experienced increased cynical and a negative outlook. Some more physical symptoms were chronic fatigue and insomnia, fueled by anxiety.
What to do? Talk about it. Isolating yourself with these struggles only fuels the sense of helplessness. Here are some ways that I dug myself out of burn out, and still apply today when I feel the symptoms creeping back in:
We have all been through the impossible these last few years: communication and connection are ways to realign. The first step is identifying the problem, then you can start enacting ways to change it. And don't be afraid to seek out help when you need it - from your manager, your partner, or even a therapist. Then we can go back to kicking that ass.
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