Emotional burnout is essentially the hazard which high-achievers need to be on the lookout for. It is also, sometimes, called the illness of the best student and not because it has something to do with performance or IQ. Emotional burnout happens when you give your 100% constantly to every facet of your life; school, family, work without taking time out for your own self. Because such personalities mostly tend to be perfectionists and high-achievers they believe that they can ‘do it all’ and handle it well.
However, this ‘can do’ attitude of theirs puts them at a high risk for emotional burnout.
But what is emotional burnout?
Those who are pouring in every last bit of their energies into others and take life head on also forget to take a step back and breathe every once in a while. We are all humans after all and there is no such thing as super-humans. Burnout is a type of chronic stress which leads to:
Physical and emotional exhaustion
Sense of lack of accomplishment
It isn’t something which happens all of a sudden. It doesn’t spring out of the blue and take you completely by surprise. Emotional burnout happens trickle by trickle until one day you are drowning. Although it creeps up on us still emotional burnout is not without its warning signs or little red flags. Some of these are as follows:
Early on, you feel tired and there is a lack of energy. As the symptoms progress, you find your strength completely depleted. It feels as if you have been wiped out physically and even getting out of bed in the morning seems like the most daunting task.
This may begin by having trouble falling asleep or waking up in the early hours of the night. Slowly, it turns into full-blown insomnia and it doesn’t matter how tired you are; you simply cannot fall asleep.
Loss of appetite:
Your mind and body is under so much stress that your brain begins to neglect your general well-being and health. Your metabolism becomes confused and you may notice a sudden decline in appetite. You may also lose a considerable amount of weight because of this state of mind.
Anxiety and depression:
You will find yourself being extraordinarily edgy and worrisome, so much so that it would begin to distract you from your work. Similarly, in the beginning you may suffer from bouts of sadness or days that just don’t seem to go right for you. At its worst, you may begin to believe that the world is far better off without you and slowly descend into depression.
You cannot wait to get away from other people. At work, you are just waiting for the clock to strike so that you can get home and not see another living being. If you have a family at home, you will go out of your way to detach yourself mentally and emotionally from them until all of them become a mere blur in the background. There are no joys and mild occasions of happiness in life because even the most little of things exhaust you.
This may stem from feeling unimportant, ineffective and an increasing sense of dread for not being able to perform at your best like you once used to. All of these insecurities come together to make you increasingly irritable and may also lead to anger management issues.
Keep any eye out for any of these symptoms and remember that emotional burnout will creep up on you slowly and not come announced while kicking down doors.