You’ve only been at work for half an hour and your head feels like it’s about to explode due to a major throbbing headache which you’re convinced is really a tumour.
You’re staring at your computer but nothing is making any sense.
Your boss asks you to do something and you stare back at him blankly as if he’s speaking an alien tongue.
It sounds like you’re feeling burnt out.
If you can learn to see the early signs of a stress infused breakdown on its way, then perhaps you can avoid the breakdown all together.
Here are some triggers to watch out for:
If you’ve been sleeping twelve hours a night and your still tired, then something’s up. Chronic fatigue is one of the most common symptoms to feeling burnt out.
You may feel like you lack the energy to do the simplest jobs, and it’s not just at work either, chronic fatigue follows you home. You feel drained and depleted both physically and emotionally.
Perhaps you can’t sleep at all? Having too much on your plate and not being able to switch off at night can be the reason for your insomnia.
When things start to get a bit much for us, we tend to go through the cycle of being too busy, not having enough rest and getting to a point where we just don’t care anymore.
We start to pass on jobs to other people, which is probably a good thing for your stress levels, but if it’s affecting what your workplace is thinking of you, then it can often make the problem worse.
When we’re feeling burnt out, not caring about things that we should or giving up altogether can seem easier than facing it head-on.
Did you wake up this morning and have some Snappy Tom for breakfast? Maybe you’ve had it for breakfast the whole month and people are starting to avoid you at work in an attempt to escape your thunderous wrath?
Feeling angry, frustrated and downright cranky is a sure symptom that you could be heading for a major meltdown (unless of course you’re always a jerk?)
You may be feeling irritable at first, but in later stages you could end up having angry outbursts at work or serious arguments with loved ones at home. You want neither of these.
When a mental meltdown is on its way, we are tired, grumpy and careless, which can lead us to start thinking irrationally about many issues in our lives.
We tend to over think every tiny detail of every aspect of the problem which in turn, makes us analyse situations in a negative light.
What may be a simple problem is now turning out to be something that you could lose your job over- or that’s what your mind is making you think. In reality, the less stressed version of yourself would have shrugged it off and solved the problem with minimal fuss.
Depression and anxiety
Feeling burnt out can not only lead to feelings of general sadness about your life, but can escalate into a more serious depression, something that requires immediate medical attention.
Anxiety too, can not only be a mental burden, but will also bring on physical affects, like feeling out of breath, panic attacks or fainting. If you are suffering any of these symptoms, you should seek medical advice immediately.
How to De-stress and stop feeling burnt-out
If you are suffering from any of the above, take a few deep breaths and help yourself to fix the problems.
- Write a list of everything you need to do or everything that is bothering you and work out ways to fix them. By getting it all down on paper, it is easier to work out deadlines and organise your tasks without having everything jumbled around in your head.
- Delegate jobs to people where you can. Even if you think they won’t do as good a job as you, you will be better off for it. If your manager has a problem with this, try to delegate the smaller jobs which he/she won’t even notice.
- Always make sure you take breaks throughout the day, even if it’s just for ten minutes at a time. It will do you a world of good to get away from your desk to get some fresh air and a fresh perspective.
- When you are at home, switch off your phones and laptop. Leave work at work when you can.
- Talk to someone: When things are feeling tough and your feeling trapped or on edge, have a beer with a close mate and debrief. A good way to get the weight off your shoulders is to talk it out and have a good whinge or cry. There is nothing to be ashamed about, everyone feels this way from time to time.
- If those things aren’t helping, it could be time to have a serious chat to your manager about lessening your work load. There’s nothing wrong about asking for some extra help or to extend deadlines. Taking care of your health and wellbeing should be your first priority.