Ok my title is meant to be funny because today, October 17th is the first day that marijuana is legal in Canada.
Sadly for some of you, this post is not about cannabis but rather actually burning out – you know, running yourself ragged, so much so, that eventually your body and mental health are negatively impacted by you trying to do it all, without rest or self-care.
Given that I just spent the better half of the past month fighting off illness, thinking I’m invincible and then capturing the worst sinus infection, I thought I would be qualified to discuss some ways to identify if you suspect you’re on the verge of burning out.
You Literally Don’t Want to Get Out of Bed
Ok this one sounds super straight forward but there’s even more to it. Of course if you feel unusually tired that should be a red flag but if you feel no excitement in your attitude toward the day then that is also a sign that something’s not right. Make sure that you’re pushing yourself to get up, drink a glass of water, get a good breakfast and try to do something to pump your endorphins – a few yoga poses, have your morning coffee outside on a walk or run in place. A little heart rate increase will help your productivity and fake it til you make it to the weekend and can get some proper rest.
Feeling Uninspired by Friends or Social Plans is the Norm
If you have no desire to workout, see friends/loved ones or go out (and that’s typically what you like to do) then this dip in productivity might mean that you’re on the verge of a little shut down. If you’re feeling the need to take a break or same as above not excited about plans outside of the home then my best advice is to do just that. There is no shame in cancelling plans, having a night or two to yourself and relaxing. Once you have given yourself some space from the real world, try to identify why you felt that way and see what you can do in your routine to prevent it from happening again. And eventually you should get up and go out – seeing friends and having positive people surrounding you will only help you get your mindset straight.
Work Seems Like It’s the Worst
This one is a little ambiguous but I remember when I was in my old career and reaching my breaking point, work truly felt like the most challenging part of my day. And it didn’t help that it was the longest part of my day. I had a constant state of panic in my chest and felt as though I could cry at any point. Even though I was doing the same things I always did, with the people I enjoyed working with, I couldn’t shake the negative feelings and state of anxiousness. If you feel like everything at work is starting to pile on and you can’t cope, you need to take a proper step back. Again a daily walk or midday exercise break is helpful but be sure to explain what you’re feeling to your manager or a close work friend. It’s definitely important to identify this and be upfront to look for ways to work together to find a solution that allows you to be your best at work.
You’re Forgetting Things
I don’t know if this is just me but I find when I’m on the cusp of a burn out I am always forgetting things. My brain is truly just not functioning at 100% I don’t know how else to explain it. Whether it’s leaving my phone at work or prepping my lunch and completely forgetting to take it with me, I am the most forgetful human on the planet. It just feels as though I’ve been moving my brain past the point of enough and then it starts to get tired and needs a break. Have you noticed I’ve been less consistently active on social media? It’s because I feel like my brain needs to be turned off of the screens for a bit. It’s so important to take a break when you’re feeling frazzled like this especially from your screens and social media. I have been doing yoga twice a week and trying to meditate to develop more positive skills to help counter this one.
It Feels Impossible to Complete One Single Task
This one is a cumulative of the above because if any of the above feels like it is so challenging and unbearable, chances are you are about to have an epic meltdown LOL. Don’t be alarmed, you’re going to be fine but it is so crucial that you recognize this and then look for the ways that work for you to get some downtime and recharge. Because the best thing you can do is identify how your body tells you a burn out is on the way, and then you’ll know what to do to prevent any fatigue, illness or mental struggles.
What are your tips for successfully working through a burn out?