Do you struggle with feelings of extreme exhaustion and changes in appetite or sleep patterns? You might feel less optimistic, less hopeful, and overall, less motivated to participate in daily activities. While this can also present itself as symptoms of depression or even extreme stress, another reason for these feelings could be due to something known as burnout.

The official definition of burnout is “a state of physical, emotional, or mental exhaustion caused by high amounts of prolonged stress.” While stress is fairly unavoidable, this past year has pushed many people to experience stress like never before and ultimately, caused people to burnout. Not only are many of us working from home, we are doing so in the midst of a global pandemic. It isn’t uncommon to feel overwhelmed, but it can be unhealthy to normalize it.

There are many factors that can contribute to burnout, but a major cause of burnout stems from job stress. It could come from receiving little to no recognition for your work, a fast-paced environment or from working too many hours. However, while burnout tends to be correlated to stressful careers, burnout can be caused by many factors, such as not getting enough sleep, not having a support system or even the pressure you put on yourself.

Once you have begun to recognize the signs and identified the source of burnout, you can start taking steps to overcome burnout, as well as how to avoid it in the future. If your main source of burnout stems from being overworked at your job, try lightening your workload or asking for help on certain projects. It’s also important to set boundaries, such as not working on the weekend or after work hours.

Another important step in overcoming burnout could be forming a support system. Burnout itself can be overwhelming, but facing it alone can be even worse. Try talking to a friend, family member or even a therapist about the challenges you are facing.

Finally, remember to be compassionate and kind to yourself. Overcoming burnout might not be an easy process, but it’s possible and important for your physical, mental and emotional health.

Staff Blogger: Mollie Clupper

Mollie Clupper works for MHA as a Communications and Support Specialist. Using her own experiences, she wants to help bring awareness and end the stigma surrounding mental health. In her spare time, she enjoys hiking, drinking coffee, and spending time with her fur-niece.