Are you someone who does one thing and then goes to another thing over and over until you go to sleep or do you skip sleep? Are you that person who works 40+ hours a week? Do you have a homework assignment after another that keeps you busy until the due date? Are you working on a project and then when it’s done your right away working on another? If you said yes to any of these questions, then there may be a chance that your heading to a burnout or may be burned out.
The Body Needs Energy
We wake up, eat breakfast, do something (school, work, etc), eat lunch, do something else, eat dinner, do something another thing, then go to bed and repeat the process the next day. Energy is what gets us to do anything, but you knew that. The reality is, there is only so much energy we have to do things until we can’t do no more. We push ourselves to keep going. We drink things with caffeine and sugar in them like energy drinks and coffee for example to get through the day. We then crash at any point in the day and sometimes we don’t expect it because your body has had enough.
The Reality of Burnout
Burnout is real. I have experienced it numerous times in my life. So your not the only one who experiences this phenomenon. I guarantee you that every person has experienced this. We push ourselves and push ourselves because our mind says we can. We get to the point where we run out of energy and we dip into our reserves. When we run out of our reserves, I believe that we just run off of fumes until we crash. For the time being our body and our mind are in sync with each other, but when we push ourselves too far, our body takes the steering wheel and taps out. It doesn’t matter what our mind says what we can do at this point, our body has the final word and always will.
Here are some ways to detect burnout and how to prevent that:
1. Eat Something
When we wake up in the morning, we have a tendency to skip breakfast and just have a cup of coffee. There are times we get a pastry and something to drink at Starbucks. We also just don’t eat or drink anything in the morning and go to school, work, or run errands, etc. Our body needs food for energy and we all know that; we just don’t have time or we ignore that fact. Eating something whether it’s waffles, a bowl of cereal, fruit, pancakes, eggs, toast, in the morning will help give your body the right kind of energy to help you get through your day. Recharge yourself with lunch and eat a good dinner. Skipping meals will can lead to burnout since your body has nothing to give it fuel.
2. Get a Good Night Sleep
Besides eating, sleep is also important to avoid burnout. Your body needs to recharge and repair itself. Sleep is good for building muscles, hormone growth, protein synthesis, and to process information you have learned. Sleep can also help your brain to have the energy it needs to stave off stress and better handle anxiety. Lack of sleep can lead to unwanted emotional outbursts, mood swings, feeling weak and fatigue to do anything. I’m sure you know or have experienced that a lack of sleep can lead to falling asleep at the steering wheel and dozing off in class.
3. Listen to Your Body, it Knows Best
As I mentioned, our minds may tell us to keep going, but our body has the last word. Our mind can help make us or break us. Our body will tell our mind that it’s had enough and needs to rest. Our mind needs to respond and act responsible toward that. We can’t ignore what our body is telling us. If we push our bodies too far, too much, we can possibly end up doing permanent damage to ourselves which will stick with us for life. I know you don’t want this to happen to you, so listen to your body, it knows best.
4. Recognize the Signals
If your doing something and you start to feel tired all of a sudden, then maybe you need to stop and rest. If your studying for something and you find yourself having trouble concentrating and focusing, take a break. If your out of breath from exercising or doing something extraneous, then you should stop what you doing and rest. Drink something, get something to eat. These are the signals that our body tells us that it’s heading toward a burnout and it doesn’t want that to happen. There are other signals that you know and have experienced that I didn’t mention here. Only you know what they are; best listen to them.
5. Manage Stress
One of the things we forget to do when we are so caught up in things is to manage our stress. Stress can be good, but it can be bad. Stress can take over because our minds are focused and putting energy toward completing whatever task were working on. With our minds preoccupied, stress can sneak in and cause us to not pay attention to the signals our body is telling us. If you are feeling stressed, first make yourself aware of it. As time goes on, try to pace yourself. You know stress is present and you know it can drain you. Try giving yourself a longer break or give yourself an extra break. Maybe you need a quick power nap. Get something to eat and drink. Whatever it is, take care of yourself. Don’t let stress take the steering wheel.
Final Thoughts and Sum Up
Burnout can hinder us from experiencing the joy we get in life. If we’re burned out, everything we do can get sloppy. We may say the wrong thing to someone because we’re tired which has made us moody. You have to listen to your body. It knows you better than anyone in your life. Exercise is good for you, just don’t overdo it. Don’t fall victim to burnout. Take care of yourself; you can’t help anyone if you’re out of energy.