Burnout: it can happen to anyone. One day you're feeling fine about work and life, and the next, it's hard to get excited about anything. You just feel completely overwhelmed and unmotivated.
Unfortunately, burnout is a pretty common problem. Depending on your job, lifestyle, and self-care routines, you might find yourself on a burnout cycle or chronically burned out. Ultimately, this can cause both mental and physical health issues.
So, what can happen if you don't take steps to address your burnout? Here are 5 reasons to be concerned.
Stress and burnout are closely linked. If you're happy at home and at work, if your responsibilities are manageable yet challenging and your needs are met, then you're probably experiencing pretty low-stress levels. If your work/life balance is off or you work at a high-pressure or extremely stressful job, it's probably a different story.
Chronic stress can easily lead to burnout. Stress is also the culprit for multiple mental and physical health problems. Many people with chronic stress suffer from anxiety and have trouble relaxing. If stress levels remain high, it can lead to any number of problems, including a weakened immune system, respiratory problems, and high blood pressure.
Sleep Issues and Fatigue
If you're burned out, then you're probably not sleeping well—which could be making the problem even worse. Around 35% of adults don't get enough sleep, which can spell trouble for performance, health, and well-being.
Poor sleep can lead to all kinds of problems. You might have trouble focusing at work, making you feel more overwhelmed and burned out than ever. Your work performance could slip even more.
You can also experience everything from memory issues to mood changes if you don't get enough sleep. Long-term physical effects may include weight gain, increased risk of developing diabetes and heart disease, and poor balance.
The good news is that most wearables on the market today allow you to track your sleep. If you think burnout could be contributing to poor sleep, you should take action immediately. A lack of sleep can have a huge impact on your life, especially if it's a chronic issue.
Lack of Social Interaction
The exhaustion associated with burnout can have another surprising side effect: loneliness. The more tired and burned out someone feels, the more they're likely to be emotionally exhausted. It's hard to connect with other people when you're feeling overwhelmed and constantly tired.
Burnout influences some people to withdraw from their favorite activities—and people. Also, many people who are burned out are working long hours and are unable to find time for social interaction. As humans, we need this kind of interaction for our well-being. Burnout robs you of that sense of support and community you need to thrive.
TMJ (Temporomandibular Joint Disorder) is a jaw issue that is generally triggered by clenching and grinding the teeth. TMJ can cause severe pain in the ears, jaw, and head. Most people grind their teeth due to stress, so it's not that surprising that TMJ can be caused indirectly by severe burnout.
Not only can TMJ cause acute symptoms that can be extremely painful, but it also can indicate other damage. Grinding your teeth at night can wear them down, leading to tooth problems down the road. If you have TMJ, then in addition to addressing your burnout, you'll want to look into a nightguard to protect your teeth while you sleep.
Burnout can have a huge impact on your mental health if you don't address it. Many people who are experiencing burnout feel trapped and unmotivated. This can ultimately spill over and trigger depression in some people.
Depression affects the lives of millions. It can make it difficult for you to enjoy your favorite activities or even get out of bed in the morning. If you are struggling with depression, you will want to seek help from a skilled mental health professional to improve your mental health and well-being.
Don't Dismiss Burnout
If you're feeling burned out, take it seriously! You don't want to get to the point where you're affecting your long-term health. If you start to spot the signs of burnout, get help right away.In the United States, burnout almost feels like a rite of passage. It's time to change the narrative and feel better at work and in your personal life.