If you’re reading this, you may have already labeled what you’re experiencing as burnout and you’ve been going through it for some time now. However, if you’re not sure, please read 7 Signs You’re Emotionally Burnt Out and 7 Differences Between Burnout and Depression. I experienced what I labeled as a job burnout because I felt lackadaisical, quick to anger, extreme frustration, restlessness, and need for escapism; I also constantly looked at the bigger picture questioning my purpose in life. In truth, signs of burnout are not the same for everybody.
If you’re in a burnout, it’s actually hard to put your finger on what you’re seeking so that you can emerge from the muddle of stress and feelings. Recovering will be like, figuratively, scooping out mud around you until you free yourself. However, some people are stuck in the overwhelming burnout. Here are 5 possible reasons why a person continues to burnout.
1. No end in sight
When you’re in a burnout, you would feel mentally and psychologically exhausted. You are just dragging your literal and figurative feet along each day to function as normally as you can. The irony is that you know your routine for the day, but you are lost. You might feel that you don’t know your direction in life because you can’t see the end game, which is your purpose for being. Burnout happens to the best of us, recently, in a message accompanying his song “Abyss,” BTS member Jin described his experience this year as a burnout.
2. Inability to change
Routine might feel like a drag and yet, it feels stable since you don’t have to think much—just going through the motions of day-to-day. This complacency, in the midst of dissatisfaction, is a temptation to resist change. Deep down inside, there is a paralysis to the habitual spot. Change can happen if you can pull your will power from the depths of your burnout to awaken you mentally and emotionally to better your situation.
3. Lack of support system
Communication with family and good friends can make a difference; however, while experiencing burnout, you might only see that these people are busy with their own lives. You might find it hard to open up because you’re still grappling with how to describe your burnout. The fear is that they might not understand you and you’re not ready to hear their interpretations of your burnout. Taking a chance on trusted people can give you new ideas and spur you along to recovery. In Jin’s case, he was able to approach his boss about his burnout. According to his post, Mr. Bang Si-hyuk encouraged him to put his experience into a song and he would gather the right people to help him and make sure it was the song he wanted lyrically and musically.
4. Lack of self-confidence
During burnout, the hardest person to please is oneself. You might be the first one to put yourself down. You might be so bogged down that you tell yourself you can’t do this right and you can’t do that right, either. You might misidentify yourself as “the job” or “the routine” or “the duty” or “the obligation” and no longer the person—who you are. Thus, if “the job” fails, for example, you take it as a personal failure which affects your self-confidence even more. Self-confidence goes hand-in-hand with self-worth and self-esteem. Like puzzle bricks, one needs to stack and build the strength to recognize one’s talents and uniqueness to challenge and compete with the self again and break out of that rut of self-doubt.
5. Physically unhealthy
In this time of pandemic, the world focus is suddenly on health. With burnout, the thought of health is not important. Sometimes, you might not feel like eating; sometimes junk foods are comforting that you might use them as excuses instead of healthy choices. For some people, the right amount of sleep is rarely achieved during burnout so this accumulates the longer the burnout is experienced. Thus, exercise is not in the picture because you feel so tired already. Overall, the energy is zapped from you and when your body is weak, it drags your mental and emotional well-being down as well. The pandemic is telling all of us to take steps to ensure a strong immune system so, this could be a wake-up to people with burnout to get that energy back and be healthy to fight another day.
For me, I learned to seek new experiences that challenged and taught me new things so I could avoid job burnout again. There is hope in overcoming burnout; it is temporary if you tell yourself that you can bounce back. Helpful resources, people and organizations are accessible now so, you can make the move. You certainly can do it one step at a time.
- Deen, S. (2020). BTS Army rally round Jin as he releases solo song Abyss after experiencing ‘burn out.’ Metro News…but not as you know it. Retrieved from https://metro.co.uk/2020/12/03/bts-jin-solo-song-abyss-burn-out-army-support-13696363/
- HelpGuide. (2020). Stress Management: Burnout Prevention and Treatment. Retrieved from https://www.helpguide.org/articles/stress/burnout-prevention-and-recovery.htm
- MacKay, J. (2020). How to deal with burnout: Signs, symptoms, and strategies for getting you back on track after burning out. RescueTime:blog. Retrieved from https://blog.rescuetime.com/burnout-syndrome-recovery/
- Raypole, C. (2020). Burnout Recovery: 11 Strategies to Help You Reset. Healthline. Retrieved from https://www.healthline.com/health/mental-health/burnout-recovery