Despite and perhaps, because I’m a counsellor, I am as guilty of flirting with emotional ‘burnout’ as the next person. As a sufferer myself in the past, I’ve been the whole hog. Read on to reflect how you and your experiences might be !
Meep, meep! Vroooooom!
As we now appear to be thinking we can accept, in some way, the fast-paced way of life – it is a worthy exercise to at least try and give a little of this time to some of the consequences. Warning – This article will advise you it IS okay to take your nose off the grindstone… contrary to what we’ve been conditioned to believe!
But if I stop… and see…
From my personal experiences, and those relayed to me by clients in therapy, it CAN be shocking and can create some anxiety when we do STOP… and look inwardly… and reflect! Here are 10 symptoms of burnout for you to consider:
- Reduced Concentration – and focus on tasks/loved one’s, such as when your children are wanting to share news and you can’t wait for them to finish the sentence!
- Intolerance and Anger – these emotions are visiting you more often than usual, often leading to regret about an action taken, or words said.
- Sleep Disruption – you may have difficulty getting to sleep, staying asleep or waking as if you’ve had no sleep at all.
- Anxiety – are you feeling anxious, apparently from out of ‘nowhere’?
- Stress – levels becoming more frequently tested by matters usually manageable.
- Physical Symptoms – our body tells us everything we need to know, when we can listen and slow down enough to take notice; irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), headaches, fatigue – mentally and physically.
- Laughing Less – you may find you are noticing the lighter side of life less – that IS sad!
- Negativity – you recognise that, where you once could find positives out of difficult situations – now every little thing is a catastrophe.
- Relationships Suffer – with those you love the most, and colleagues; social engagement may also drop.
- Addiction – when we lose touch with the reality of who we are, we can become reliant on finding ‘pleasure’ or solace in less healthy areas.
There are many more symptoms, but these are among the most common I myself have felt – and those my clients report.
So, what’s to do?
Firstly, let’s clear up a fairly major misconception. There is no research (that I am aware of) that shows we can ever simply work harder, faster, for longer, and be meaner – in order to navigate through burnout.
In the whirlwind of life, news and access to information, we observe much, but often take action on healthy information less. Yet, we have a choice to make. We can continue to believe we are victims of ALL that we engage with. Or choose to demonstrate awareness and compassion for ourselves – first and foremost. Returning to a place within this lifetime as a human being, rather than a human doing – is the objective.
People on their deathbeds have told us all we need to know about just what was important… when it was too late for them to change. But, but… the irony is, many believe before they agree to adjust they will somehow lose performance – and be less useful! Nothing could be further from the truth. When we return to a less conditioned state, akin to childhood, we judge less and see more.
Past, present or future. Where do you live?
We can focus with clarity on what we are seeing, feeling, hearing, smelling and tasting – without being elsewhere. And that provides less time to react to stimuli and reference points of the past, and concerns about the future, thus allowing you to feel safer, less anxious and more awake to respond appropriately to what is really here, in your life, right now.
Mindfulness! It actually helps… a lot!
If you want to experience life before you die, you can choose a little, or a lot of mindfulness. A place to live that really does exist. In truth, the only place. Here and now!
Bob Brotchie is a counsellor, mindset consultant and creator of "Conscious Living by Design"™. He writes for Anglia Counselling, is featured on various other websites and introduces us to many guest writers all covering topics related to mental health and wellbeing.
Bob provides bespoke counselling services to individuals and couples in the privacy and comfort of a truly welcoming environment at his Anglia Counselling company office, located near Newmarket in Suffolk, England. Bob also provides professional online counselling, for local, national, and international clients. The therapeutic models offered are bespoke to the client’s needs, especially those in receipt of 'childhood emotional neglect' (CEN), whilst integrating a mindful approach to psychotherapy and cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT) principles. For clients experiencing trauma and/or phobia, Bob offers EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing).