Overcoming Stress, Anxiety and Burnout

Do you feel like you want to escape or run away? Do you dread going to work or facing the day after you wake up? Are you tired, drained and without enthusiasm? Do you frequently experience a sense of being invisible, perhaps feeling that you are unappreciated? Are you frequently angry and resentful? 

Do you ever wonder how your life might have been different if you had married someone else, or fulfilled your childhood dreams? These are all thoughts and feelings coming from people who are burning out.

No one is immune to burnout, and as you get older your chances of experiencing burnout increase. While most burnout is job related, relationship or family burnout is also common. Burnout occurs when a great deal of energy is invested and there is little or no return in the form of desirable and positive rewards.

Symptoms of Burnout

Psychological symptoms of burnout are reactions to stress and pressure that linger after the immediate situation that created the stressor have passed, and you are still left with a diminishing your ability to function effectively. They include…

  • Nervousness Depression or anxiety
  • Fatigue, low energy, or apathy
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Low tolerance for frustration
  • Feeling pressured, trapped, or tense
  • Loss of interests in social activities
  • Nagging self-doubt
  • Irritability or outbursts of emotion
  • Sleep disturbances
  • Feeling emotionally drained
  • Difficulty turning thoughts off

Behavioural symptoms of burnout are self-defeating actions to cope with tension and anxiety in an attempt to relieve, forget, or escape the pressure…

  • Withdrawing from close/intimate relationships
  • Increased smoking or drinking
  • Loss of appetite or overeating
  • Criticizing, or blaming others
  • Watching TV more than two hours per day
  • Taking tranquillizers or other drugs
  • Feeling overwhelmed by relationships or work, yet feeling that you are indispensable
  • Cynicism or sarcasm about work/career
  • Difficulty meeting commitments or completing tasks

Physical symptoms of burnout involve body responses to excessive, chronic stress in the form of pain and physical disorders, such as…

  • Headaches
  • Back pain
  • Muscle tension
  • Gastrointestinal and stomach complaints
  • Lingering colds
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Grinding or clenching teeth