Positive Impacts of Art TherapyMarch 18, 2023
Self-CompassionMarch 29, 2023
Signs you may be burnt out and what you can do to help
Burnout is described as feeling empty and mentally exhausted. People struggling with burnout may be devoid of motivation, feel like they are beyond caring and don’t see any hope of positive change in their lives. If you feel like you’re drowning in responsibilities you’re not alone, a study released earlier this year found one in three working Canadians feel burnt out.
Some of the sure signs of burnout you may notice are mental and physical exhaustion, a greater reliance on coping mechanisms such as drugs, alcohol, food or excessive sleeping and a loss of motivation and confidence at work. If this is your current reality there are a few things you can do to support yourself. First, evaluate your options- is there any way for you to reduce your workload even for the short term? Ask yourself if there is anything you can do to help make your work more manageable and consider bringing your superiors into this conversation.
What can you do about Burnout?
As soon as you notice signs of burnout take a moment to be present, try naming 5 things you see, 4 things you hear, 3 things you feel, 2 things you smell and 1 thing you taste. Take notice of what you feel in your body and see if you can release some tension. If it’s possible, take a walk outside to ground yourself and acknowledge the way you are feeling without guilt or judgment. Try to make space for presence and mindfulness each day, noticing how you feel, where you may be holding those feelings and if you can release any piece of them.
Next, start prioritizing activities you enjoy. This strategy can help remind you that there is life outside your job. Depending on your level of burnout it may be difficult to think of things that bring you joy. If this is the case, start by making a list of any hobbies you once enjoyed or have wanted to try. Try considering how you might spend time with people who light you up. These activities may include physical activities such as joining a sports team, hiking or yoga which can help to relieve stress, improve your physical health and help you form new social connections. Looking into art-related activities is another great way to find hobbies you enjoy. A 2020 study found that participation in anything art related was associated with lower levels of distress, higher life satisfaction, and better mental health overall.
It is important to seek support when you notice feelings of burnout, simply sharing these feelings with loved ones may alleviate some of the symptoms. When this just isn’t enough it is a great idea to consider connecting with a counselling professional who can help you find perspective, help clarify values and teach you valuable tools for how to regulate your nervous system. These strategies can help treat and prevent burnout. It is important to begin making even small changes as soon as you notice symptoms of burnout.
Written by: Mary O’Neil, MACP Candidate
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