Burnout can easily be described as being emotionally, physically, and mentally drained. The most common causes of burnout include having to deal with an overwhelming amount of workload in a short period of time, stress, getting undesired results for something you’ve been working hard for, family and friendship issues, and many more. Since the beginning of the pandemic, it is undeniable that many people have been experiencing burnout more frequently than ever, and it gets harder and harder to pry ourselves out of the tight grip of burnout every time.

Burnout can be experienced as feelings of low energy, unmotivated to be productive, lack of confidence and feelings of self-doubt, wondering if life is worth living, putting the things you used to love doing on hold, procrastination, and many more.

Everyone and anyone can experience burnout and it is VALID to feel burnout. Burnout is our body and mind telling us to take a break, to go easy on ourselves. Breaks are just as important as being productive. Think of our lives as campfires, we would need to constantly be adding wood and sticks to keep the campfire going to keep us warm, but what happens during summertime? If we keep adding wood and sticks, it’ll be too hot and we’re going to burn ourselves. Instead, we would have to let the campfire burn out, set them aside, and once the weather gets colder, we can light it right back up again. The moral of the story is that we need to take a break, allow our mind and body to rest, if we force ourselves to stay productive, we’re not going to produce the best outcomes and will only hurt ourselves even more.

Burnout can lead to reduced efficiency in your work, you may experience more stress, moodiness, anxiety disorders, and a turmoil of distasteful events. And things will only get worse if burnout is ignored.

Unfortunately, there are no easy steps to walk out of burnout. Everyone experiences burnout differently and will have to find ways that are most suitable to them individually. But to begin healing, one must first learn to forgive themselves, to realise that burnout is normal and desperately needed before life takes a turn for the better. There are many resources online to help with burnout such as videos, articles, books. Talk to a friend or even a family member that would understand. Don’t be afraid to seek help from professionals. Take some time alone and think about your future and goals. Break down your goals into small pieces, realistic and easily achievable.

I would like to share a quote I saw from the famous actor Jim Carry, he said “You should think of the word ‘depressed’ as ‘deep rest’. Your body needs to be depressed. It needs deep rest from the character you’ve been trying to play”

By Tham Rou Win

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