It feels pretty impossible to find the energy to work right now.
Work and home life do not feel safe and secure. Procrastination is kicking in and reigning supreme, you cannot seem to get your focus back, all motivation has disappeared. It does happen occasionally when a little tired, but sometimes for much longer periods than manageable. Losing that creative spark is more common than you think. It can be an ongoing occurrence amongst the freelancing community and those running their one start ups and businesses, when self motivation has to be in gear in order to thrive. So what can you do to get back on track? How will you overcome this loss of creative appetite and zest to acheive?
‘Busy’ has become our default state, the busier we are, the more successful and dependable we feel these days. It has replaced ‘fine’ (f****d up, insecure, neurotic and emotional, in some cases!) as our go-to answer on how our lives are living. But while we steadfastly champion our busy lives, there is a dark side to cramming more and more into our days. The more we work, the more mental weight, stress, and responsibilities we pile onto ourselves until we simply can’t bear it anymore. Comparisonitus and fear kicks in until we feel overwhelmed and stuck in a rut.
In the current climate, we all feel insecure about the future implications which can exacerbate all these feelings also.
Burnout: The rock bottom consequence of our busy lives.
More than the daily stress we feel from anxiety over the future and work, burnout syndrome can have serious consequences to both our physical and mental health. Over time, it can even lead to memory, attention, and emotional problems. But burnout does not have to be a certainty in our lives.
While there is no easy answer for dealing with it, there are clear triggers we can watch out for, and techniques we can use to help circumvent, alleviate and recover from burnout. There’s a difference between the kind of exhaustion you feel after a long day of meaningful work and the perpetual fatigue of burnout, the depletion and lack of drive.
Burnout is not just increased stress. More than being simply irritated or tired from the workload, a person suffering from burnout syndrome will feel constantly exhausted, like their work doesn’t matter, and have skewed and often pessimistic perceptions of both themselves and others.
Are you suffering from personal or professional burn out?
If you think you might be suffering from burnout syndrome or on the verge of being totally drained with, here are a few of the telltale signs:
Chronic fatigue, physical and emotional exhaustion, crying much more than usual.
Burnout and depression share many of the same symptoms. In fact, if left unchecked, burnout can quickly develop into chronic depression and start to infiltrate all aspects of your life.
A sense of exhaustion, with no relief in sight. While we all get tired, the constant fatigue associated with burnout syndrome is a different beast altogether. We become extremely emotionally reactive also.
Ask yourself these questions:
This sort of mental exhaustion can also manifest itself physically, with increased vulnerability to colds and flus, nausea, and headaches. Our immune system is directly affected as is our nervous system also. The word frazzled springs to mind. All our thoughts directly affect our bodies. This is very apparent during the pandemic.
It is only natural to go through periods of self-doubt and less fulfilment about the work you do. However, if this feeling of doom won’t leave, and lingers incessantly, even during your time with friends and family. Or you become preoccupied with thoughts of how you can escape work and projects, altogether, it’s a major red flag that you might be suffering from burnout. We often want to ‘run away’ and lose ourselves during this serious time and possibly self medicate or find an unhealthy habit to self soothe.
Additionally, burnout syndrome can lead to increased pessimism, being less trustworthy of coworkers, friends, and family, isolation and antisocial behaviour, as well as a general sense of being disconnected from people and your environment.
Here are some signs to watch out for:
Once your burnout reaches a certain level, it’s sure to affect your work and how you perceive your own value in the workplace and your colleagues.
You might start to feel apathy, helplessness, and even hopelessness, and continually ask yourself ‘What’s the point?’
This can lead to feeling ineffective and useless and even frustrated and angry over your lack of productivity. If you feel like you’re paddling as hard as you can and still drifting away from shore, you’re most likely facing a serious bout of burnout syndrome.
Is your workplace causing burnout syndrome?
Many of the signs and symptoms we just spoke about can be linked to workplace-induced stress:
It is a complex issue, but the main point is that we should not shoulder all the blame for being burnt out. In many cases, we need to look beyond just the individual and hold our environment equally responsible for our mental state and identifying and speaking up about these issues can help alleviate our stress.
If you’ve been sending the same type of emails, attending the same type of meetings, and inserting the same type of data in the same type of spreadsheets for as long as you can remember, you’re most likely in a creative rut. And, while performing identical tasks day after day will make you an expert in certain areas, it can also hold you back from unleashing those innovative ideas hidden at the back of your mind that, although different, could make your work so much easier. Mental blocks eased.
Thankfully, unlocking those thoughts is not all that difficult. Here is a list of quick and easy ways to step away from your routine and get your creative juices flowing.
We use a 4 pillar programme to help your coping mechanisms. We have to work together to establish root causes, unlock subconscious patterns and thought processes that are outdated to move forward.
You have the tools within you to reset. It’s uplifting!
These strategies will prove that you are capable of designing new approaches, with a fresh zeal and vigour, even wowing everyone at work with your fresh ideas: