Did you know that 46 percent of Australian workers have expressed feeling burnt out? Burnout is a form of exhaustion caused by feeling overwhelmed with emotional, physical and/or mental stress.
Burnout can happen to anyone at any age and stage of life. When we’re trying to juggle caring for our family or friends, helping others, work etc, it can get very tough.
Regularly putting the needs of others before yourself can contribute to burnout. Sometimes caregivers miss or ignore symptoms of burnout as they put the needs of the person they’re caring for ahead of their own.
Burnout symptoms can feel like symptoms of stress. Three common signs are:
· Feeling tired or exhausted
· No enthusiasm and feelings of negativity
· Inability to perform your role
When feeling burnt out it can be hard to find time for yourself. Taking time to look after your health will help you to care for others and do the things you care about.
Once you’ve identified your burnout signs, there are ways to turn things around.
Get enough sleep
Sleep is vital for good physical and mental health. If you aren’t getting enough sleep, it can lead to burnout. To improve your sleep you could try cutting down on caffeine before bed, listening to calming sounds or a visit to your GP may help.
Try a relaxing activity
Burnout symptoms can appear physically; you can hold onto stress in your body. Yoga, deep breathing or meditation can be great ways to release stress and tension. Just a few minutes at home or work can help.
Mindfulness is about paying attention to how you’re feeling in the moment. It is especially effective when we are gentle and nurturing with ourselves. Saying how you’re feeling to yourself out loud can help, such as “this is stress”. There are many free mindfulness apps available.
Exercise or movement is one of the best things we can do for our mental health. Getting your heart rate up or going for a relaxing stroll can improve your sleep quality and mental health alongside your physical fitness.
Talking with trusted friends, family members or a trained professional can help. If you’re caring for someone who is aged, has a disability or mental illness, you can contact Carer Gateway for support including: counselling, coaching, peer support groups and more. Call 1800 422 737 or visit www.carergateway.gov.au.