Today I provide a public service announcement for the very dark side of stress. It creeps in slowly when the stress pipeline never shuts off or lets up. Like many mental health topics, it's often hidden or downplayed. This only serves to perpetuate the perceived experience of isolation and brokenness.
A Fact with Wow Factor
In May of 2019, the World Health Organization (WHO) finally acknowledged burnout as a valid reason to seek health services. It listed burnout in the 11th revision of the International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems (ICD-11) as a "syndrome" resulting from unmanaged, chronic stress. Unfortunately, WHO stopped short of declaring burnout a legitimate medical condition. It also limited burnout to work environments only. [Source]
Stress Less Tip
Chronic stress left unchecked eventually reaches a point of emotional, mental, and physical exhaustion known as burnout. I call this the "I'm so done" stage of stress. Pursuing a productive, meaningful, and balanced life feels like way too much effort. What exactly does burnout look like?
Burnout often includes depression and anxiety as symptoms. They end up dominating the focus of treatment. Without addressing the bigger burnout picture, though, this approach offers limited long-term results. Beyond depression and anxiety, burnout presents itself in many ways:
Recovering from burnout takes time and patience with yourself. It requires replacing instinctive habits that no longer benefit you with conscious ones that make yourself a priority. Gentleness and hope resonate beautifully in the message of "Rise Up." This song is a fitting anthem for rebuilding a healthy, fulfilling life after burnout.
Here's an article with more in-depth explanations of the burnout symptoms above: The Tell Tale Signs of Burnout... Do You Have Them?
Use the list of burnout symptoms not as a checklist, but as a gauge for your position on the stress spectrum.
The presence of each symptom moves the gauge a little more in the direction of "burned out." Regular self-care moves the gauge back toward "balanced."
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