Burnout is a physical or mental collapse caused by overwork or stress.

Early signs of burnout include: high levels of stress or anxiety, increased cynicism, not getting enough sleep or exercise, low energy, excessive worrying, physical illness, and/or feeling numb.

Having high amounts of stress in your life isn’t something to cast aside. That kind of stress can cause lasting effects on the mind and body. If you have any of these warning signs, it’s important to address them now.

Here’s a few ideas on how to prevent a burnout:

Cut out some of the busyness of your life that you can control.

Of course, there is busyness that you can’t control. Sit down and think about your life. What can you cut? What must you do? In an article entitled, “Busyness is a Sickness“, Scott Dannemiller addresses these questions. Dannemiller describes his busy day, and tries to get to the bottom of why. Here’s what he asks of himself:

“That I stop defining myself by my doing, and start defining myself by my being. That I stop measuring time by the clock on the wall, and start measuring it by the experiences I share with those around me. And that I stop seeing my life as ‘busy,’ and instead, see it for what it truly is. Full.”

It’s OK to say NO.

The worst thing you can do is to overpromise and then under-deliver, especially when it comes to your career. Whether at work, school, home, or in your church community, know that it is okay to say no.

Find an outlet.

What are your interests outside of work? If you’ve always liked writing, start a new poem or story. If you used to sew, find a new project to work on. Choose activities that are important to you, not to your work or to your friends or family. Find a yoga or Zumba class, and indulge yourself.

Get support.

It can be difficult to ask for help. If you have someone that you can talk to and trust, reach out to them. If you don’t, consider seeing a therapist. You might feel that you don’t have the time to talk to someone, or you just might want to avoid people, but that’s the exact opposite of what you should be doing. It’s important to seek help sooner rather than later.

If you’d like to set up a time to meet up with Reka, you can contact her by phone at 402-881-8125, by email at reka@omaha-counseling.com, or via Twitter or Facebook.

photo credit: Tired #2 via photopin (license)