Welcome to Episode 132 of the Sheep Dressed Like Wolves Podcast. In this episode I look at ‘burnout’; addressing what it is and how we can recognise the early warning signs that we are suffering. You may have noticed that it is a common topic, especially in advice for introverts and highly sensitive people.
Burnout isn’t always huge and obvious.
In fact many of us may experience acute burnout more often than we realise. It’s a symptom of a world that places so many demands on us; pressures to do more and to push ourselves harder.
We are living in a time of ultra connectedness where we cannot unplug for long without people asking questions.
It’s no wonder that burnout is talked about a lot in reference to introversion and sensitivity. It often occurs as a result of time/life/self-management issues in the context of a world that demands an infinite supply of more.
Stress vs Burnout
Psychologists are keen to point out that burnout and stress, although they might sound similar, are not the same.
Stress is characterised by over-engagement, burnout is characterised by dis-engagement.
Stress is the state where everything is urgent and carries more meaning than is necessarily proportional.
Burnout is the state where everything loses meaning and we feel unable to affect anything. It is closely linked to our motivation, sense of hope, and the overall values and ideals we place on aspects of life.
So with this in mind, here are some early warning signs of burnout that we look, listen, and feel out for both in ourselves, and also in people around us. I expand each of them in the podcast episode.
- Every Day is a Slog
- Life Feels Futile and Your Efforts Feel Like a Waste of Time
- You Don’t Have Motivation/You Just Feel Exhausted
- You are detached and cynical
- The small things feel massive
- Physical symptoms
- Neglecting Self-Care
When you recognise that you are on the road to burnout then you must start by saying ‘I have one priority, and that one priority is my health. I am committed to making sure I am fit, healthy, and relaxed so that I can become the best and most effective version of me I can be.’
How Can We Affectively Intervene?
1. Get Enough Sleep
2. Take Breaks (physical and digital)
3. Step into Your Comfort Zone
4. Get Used to Saying No
5. Draw Inspiration from Siesta Culture
6. Be Kind and Be Brave