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How to Stop and Prevent Yourself From Burning Out

Updated on July 23, 2021
Hope Wilbanks profile image

Hope is a freelance content writer, specializing in mental health and wellness, personal growth and development, and content marketing.

Do you know how to tell if you're close to burn-out?
Do you know how to tell if you're close to burn-out?

Have you ever experienced a burn-out before?

A burnout happens when you become extremely overloaded, to the point that you become totally incapacitated, due to physical or mental strain. This commonly happens to those who create bloated schedules for themselves, or to those who are in a stressful situation for long periods of time. It is preventable, but you have to know the signs of impending burnout, as well as what measures you should take to stop it before it happens to you.

Some signs to watch for...

Burning out doesn't happen overnight. It is created over time and usually builds upon the pressure that is not dealt with over a long period of time. Some signs you should watch for include:

  • Huge amounts of stress that are not attended to.
  • An overloaded schedule that is impossible to keep up with.
  • Saying yes to everyone/everything, even though you'd really like to say no.
  • Feeling like you want to pull your hair out.
  • Wanting to run and hide, or crawl into a hole and hide from the rest of the world.
  • Withdrawing from social situations.
  • Lying because you can't handle the truth and you're afraid others won't be able to, either.
  • Bouts of emotional fits, like crying, ranting, or even yelling at someone you love, then feeling horrible about your actions immediately afterward.
  • Mood swings.
  • Vivid nightmares.
  • Depressive or oppressive thoughts.

What you can do to prevent burnout

If you are experiencing any of the symptoms of burnout listed above, or more, there are things you can start doing right now to help yourself before it gets any worse. It is imperative that you recognize the ultimate need to take care of both your body and your mind. Here are some things you can do to help prevent burning out:

  • Get plenty of rest each night. Both your body and your mind need enough sleep every night to recharge.
  • Drink water. Most nutritionists recommend a person drink at least 6 glasses of water every day. Getting plenty of clear fluid, in form of water, will make you feel better.
  • Get help. Don't be afraid to reach out for help. The worst thing you could do is bottle it up and keep it to yourself. In the end, you'll end up exploding anyway. So get help before you are too far gone.
  • Smile. You've probably heard it said a million times, but it bears repeating: It takes fewer facial muscles to smile than it does to frown. Smiling, even though you might not feel like it, can help change your mood and thoughts.
  • Have fun. Call up a few friends and plan a fun night out together. Or set a date with your spouse. Do something to get out of the house and have some fun. This is a great way to release negative energy inside you.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2009 Hope Wilbanks


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