Feeling burnt out seems inevitable with the hustle culture on the rise and society’s expectation that we should be working all the time. The term burn out seems more appropriate than ever for today’s generation. Juggling work, study, and relationships, we can begin to feel overwhelmed, out of control and drained. However, it is possible to address and prevent this issue to feel more balanced. 

Psychologist Herbert Freudenberg first defined the term Burn Out as a growing sense of emotional depletion and loss of motivation. It is a result of excessive physical, emotional, and mental stress. This could arise from unmanageable workloads, saying yes to too many commitments or having an unhealthy work-life balance. Feeling exhausted, unmotivated, and guilty when not working are all effects of burn out. Although feeling stressed and pressured from time-to-time is normal, it is important acknowledge when this becomes persistent and prolonged.  

The common signs of burn out come under the following categories:



A decreased sense of accomplishment

Exhaustion relates to fatigue, irritability, poor concentration, and physical illness. Detachment can include feelings of disconnection, isolation, and a lack of enjoyment in usual activities. Finally, a decreased sense of accomplishment can include negative thoughts, a lack of productivity and a greater sense of failure. 

Burn out can often begin when solely focusing on one ambitious goal. This could be wanting a pay rise or aiming for top grades in your studies. Those who feel this excessive pressure can neglect self-care needs and, in some cases, can’t prioritise rest or even showering. Often non-work-related tasks are pushed aside and seen as inferior such as walking the dog or cooking dinner. The person’s life starts to revolve around this one goal. This can lead to feelings of withdrawal, denial and in some cases depression. 

If you can relate to the feelings around burn out you can take positive steps to help yourself. The first step is to address when you feel burnt out and then pinpoint the root of the cause. In doing so the actual root can be managed therefore reducing the negative effects.  You can then consider what realistic changes you need to make. Sometimes going back to the basics and taking care of your physical body can have a massive impact on your ability to cope with and manage burn out. This is ensuring you are getting sufficient sleep, eating regularly and adequately hydrating. Perhaps you need to have a chat with your tutor or manager about your work responsibilities. For others it may be more personal changes and learning when to say no to extra work so that you have time to relax. One habit I like to implement is setting boundaries- saying I will not work past a certain time or scheduling time for myself in the day to meet a friend or go for a run.  

To explain this issue more literally, burn out can be compared with a mobile phone. We live in a generation where we never let our phone die out- with many of us relying on it every day. We constantly charge it when the battery becomes low as we know it cannot work without. We as humans are like a phone battery. For us to function well we need recharging regularly. Just like our phone’s battery we only have so much energy and mental capacity at one time before we need replenishing. So, if you take anything away from this blog post let it be that you implement daily habits for you to recharge your own battery and take time to rest. 

If you do find yourself struggling with burn out and would like someone to talk to someone, contact us. Serendipity Counselling can offer consultations and counselling to help you feel and manage life more positively. If you feel you are doing this and feel you would like someone to talk to, please contact us to arrange a free initial telephone consultation. We can talk through how counselling can help you and if you decide to book in we can usually arrange an appointment within a few days. Contact us at info@serendipityyork.co.uk

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