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From Exhausted to Empowered: Mastering Resilience and Overcoming Burnout

Updated: Dec 8, 2023


Resilience and Burnout: How to Recognize the Signs and Take Action

Resilience is an important skill to help you maintain a healthy and fulfilling life. It is the

ability to adapt and cope with stressors and challenges in life.


However, when resilience is depleted, it can lead to feelings of stress, anxiety and burnout.

Burnout is a state of emotional, physical, and mental exhaustion caused by prolonged or

excessive pressure. Burnout can affect anyone, regardless of their profession or life circumstance.

Recognizing the signs of burnout Recognising the signs of burnout is the first step in helping prevent it in the future. Some common signs of burnout include feeling exhausted and drained, like you are not progressing in your work or personal life, becoming more irritable or impatient, and feeling

detached from others.



According to research, approximately two-thirds of full-time employees will experience burnout. Burnout can result in various adverse consequences, such as decreased productivity, increased absenteeism, and diminished job satisfaction. In addition, chronic fatigue can negatively affect both physical and mental health, increasing the likelihood of conditions such as cardiovascular disease, depression, and anxiety.


On the other hand, it has been demonstrated that resilience is a significant protective factor against the harmful effects of stress and burnout. Resilient individuals are better able to manage difficult situations and adapt to changing circumstances, allowing them to maintain a sense of control and perspective in the face of adversity. Resilience can also aid individuals in bouncing back from setbacks and recovering from distressing situations more quickly.


Thankfully, resilience is not a fixed characteristic we either possess or do not possess. This skill can be strengthened and developed through numerous practises and interventions. Social support, positive thinking, physical exercise, and mindfulness are the main factors contributing to resilience. Individuals can enhance their well-being and avoid burnout by focusing on these factors and taking proactive measures to manage stress and develop resiliency.



Signs that you may be experiencing burnout

Burnout occurs in two primary ways, and looking out for early signs can help you identify and

prevent it from becoming a more major, long-term problem.:


Physical Burnout:

● Exhaustion

● Long-term stress

● Inconsistent sleep habits

● Sudden, frequent health problems

Mental Burnout:

● Dreading work

● Lack of interest or motivation

● Feeling incapable of coping with new challenges

Emotional burnout:

● Suddenly and intensely disliking your job

● Feelings of hopelessness at work

● Feeling like you should isolate yourself from others









Resilience: The Key to Maintaining a Healthy and Fulfilling Life


One way to improve resilience and prevent burnout is to prioritize your self-care. This

includes getting enough sleep, exercising regularly, eating a healthy diet, and taking daily breaks to recharge. It is also important to establish boundaries between work and

your personal life and to set realistic goals for yourself.


1. Exercise: A good workout doesn’t just heal your body; it also provides positivity and achievement.

2. Good sleep: Overworking yourself to exhaustion and avoiding sleep is not a positive habit. Avoiding sleep for

feeling irritable and disgruntled at work.

3. Take time off: It’s good to be a hardworking employee, but there is also a time when you

need to put yourself first. So, avoiding rest when you need it or refusing to allow yourself

to take sick days is a bad idea since it will only set you up for failure later.


4. Focus on yourself: Focusing on work is excellent, but take time off to focus and cultivate

other hobbies and activities because they are equally important. Paying attention to your

hobbies is an excellent way of building creativity and a world outside your work.



Another important factor in preventing burnout is building a support system. This can include

friends, family, or colleagues you can turn to for help and support. It is also essential to

seek professional assistance if you are experiencing symptoms of burnout. A mental health

professional can provide guidance and support in developing coping strategies and improving

resilience.



Building resilience is an important skill to help you maintain a healthy, balanced life.

By becoming more resilient to situations at work, sticking to your boundaries and prioritizing self-care routines, you will improve your overall well-being and quality of life.


It is crucial to remember that building a support system does not have to be a complicated process. Talking to a trusted friend or family member about your feelings and experiences can significantly alleviate stress and gain perspective. If you are uncomfortable discussing these topics with someone close to you, consider seeking out a support group or therapist. A mental health professional can provide guidance and support in developing coping strategies and improving resilience.


Remember that building resilience is a lifelong process requiring continuous effort and commitment. It is essential to take the time to reflect on your priorities and set realistic goals for yourself. By doing so, you can help to manage your stress levels and maintain a healthy work-life balance. Developing resilience also involves cultivating a positive mindset and a sense of optimism. By focusing on the positives in your life and learning from your setbacks, you can build a stronger, more resilient mindset that will help you navigate any challenges that come your way.


In conclusion, recognizing the signs of burnout and taking proactive steps to prevent it is crucial for maintaining a healthy, fulfilling life. By prioritizing self-care, establishing boundaries, building a support system, and seeking professional help when necessary, you can improve your resilience and prevent burnout from taking hold. Remember that building strength is a lifelong process that requires effort and commitment. Still, with dedication, you can develop the skills and mindset needed to thrive personally and professionally.


 

Reflection:

  1. 1. What are some specific self-care routines that you can prioritize to help prevent burnout in your personal or professional life?

  2. How do you typically react when you start to feel burnt out? Do you try to push through it or take a step back?

  3. Do you have a support system in place that you can turn to for help when you're feeling overwhelmed or burnt out? If not, what steps can you take to build one?

  4. What are some of the warning signs that you may be on the path to burnout, and how can you be more mindful of these signs to prevent burnout from becoming a bigger issue?

  5. In what ways can you practice building resilience on a regular basis, and how can you incorporate these practices into your daily routine?

  6. In what ways can you practice building resilience on a regular basis, and how can you incorporate these practices into your daily routine?


 

Sources:


  • https://www.wisefour.eu/resilience-building/burnout-how-to-spot-it-and-take-action

  • https://www.resiliencetraining.co.uk/its-official-burnout-is-real/

  • https://asana.com/resources/what-is-burnout

  • https://hbr.org/2021/01/do-you-know-burnout-when-you-see-it

  • Bianchi, Renzo, and Stefan Scherer. "Resilience training in the workplace from 2003 to 2014: A systematic review." Journal of Occupational Health Psychology 22, no. 3 (2017): 360-375. https://doi.org/10.1037/ocp0000047

  • Maslach, Christina, Wilmar B. Schaufeli, and Michael P. Leiter. "Job burnout." Annual review of psychology 52, no. 1 (2001): 397-422. https://doi.org/10.1146/annurev.psych.52.1.397

  • "Tips for Identifying and Preventing Burnout." Healthline. https://www.healthline.com/health/tips-for-identifying-and-preventing-burnout#how-you-can-help

  • "It’s Official: Burnout is Real." Resilience Training UK. https://www.resiliencetraining.co.uk/its-official-burnout-is-real/

  • "Do You Know Burnout When You See It?" Harvard Business Review. https://hbr.org/2021/01/do-you-know-burnout-when-you-see-it

  • "Burnout: How to Spot it and Take Action." Wise4. https://www.wisefour.eu/resilience-building/burnout-how-to-spot-it-and-take-action

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