***DISCLAIMER*** I AM NOT A MEDICAL PROFESSIONAL. THIS IS A LOT OF RESEARCH BUT YOU SHOULD TALK TO YOUR DOCTOR OR HEALTH CARE PROFESSIONAL IF YOU FEEL THAT YOU ARE EXPERIENCING SIGNS OR SYMPTOMS OF PROLONGED STRESS OR BURNOUT
This post will be discussing Burnout. Because stress and burnout are so closely linked I am going to post signs and symptoms again, there will be a lot of cross over and I will be posting stress vs burnout… which is it?
BURNOUT SIGNS & SYMPTOMS:
-MUCH less energy
-Constantly exhausted, even after a long sleep, nap or break
-Neglect your own needs – you’re too busy or you no longer care
-Life revolves around caregiving, but it no longer gives you satisfaction.
-You can’t relax, no matter what.
-You’re increasingly impatient and irritable
-You feel helpless &/or hopeless
STRESS VS BURNOUT… WHICH IS IT?
STRESS – Over engagement BURNOUT- Disengagement
STRESS- Emotions Overactive BURNOUT- Blunted Emotions
STRESS- Urgency & Hyperactive BURNOUT- Helplessness & Hopelessness
STRESS- Loss of energy BURNOUT- Loss of motivation, hope & ideals
STRESS- Leads to anxiety BURNOUT- Leads to detachment/depression
STRESS- Damage is Physical BURNOUT- Damage is Emotional
STRESS- CAN KILL YOU BURNOUT- Can make you feel like life is not worth it
CAUSES OF BURNOUT:
-Little to no control over work
-Unclear or over demanding job
-Chaotic or High Pressure Job
-Lack of close relationships
-Lack of sleep
-Lack of recognition
-Monotonous or Unchallenging Job
-Taking on too much
-Perfectionist (in any area)
-Type A Personality
TO DEAL WITH BURNOUT:
-Social Contact!! Put aside your stresses and just go do something FUN! Forget your child’s disability for a day and go out and do something “normal” like sledding, skating, swimming, etc.
-Make new friends and foster the friendship.
-Consider joining a Church or social group.
-Learn to say NO
-Set up an hour a day tech-free
-Nourish your creative side
-Set aside relaxation time
-Get Plenty of sleep
-EXERCISE! Just 10 minutes of walking will improve your mood for up to 2 hours!
-Rhythmic exercise – Moving arms and legs is hugely effective in combating stress. It improves energy, lifts your mood, sharpens focus and relaxes your mind and body.
Try… Walking, Running, Weight training, swimming, martial arts &/or Dance!
-Foods with chemical preserves or hormones
-Nicotine – immediate relaxation but prolonged anxiety
-Alcohol – Immediate relaxation but prolonged anxiety
Omega 3’s. Incorporate fatty fish, seaweed, flax seed, and walnuts.
WHAT ELSE CAN YOU DO?
Ask for and accept help.
You need breaks, too. If at all possible, take at least 2 days but preferably a week away from time to time. Go somewhere that you can relax… hot springs, spa, vacation, etc. If at all possible, go with your significant other. DO NOT DISCUSS YOUR CHILDREN ON THIS BREAK! It may seem impossible, but the goal of this is complete relaxation. If need be, set aside 30 minutes per day to discuss children, but other than that it should be a taboo subject when on your break. DO NOT FEEL GUILTY FOR FOCUSING ON YOU!
Look online for resources… some google tips are:
-“intentional living” google search should get you some decent tips and ideas
-“stress reduction techniques”
-“Yoga for stress”
-“P2P Support for _____________” (insert what you are stressed about)
If you have tried any or all of this, but you are feeling burnout or like it’s not working, PLEASE see your doctor or mental health immediately. This can honestly be an emergency situation and it would be appropriate to head to the emergency room in many cases.
Until Next Time… Take Care of yourself….. ~C