How Burnout Culture Might Be Affecting Your Mental Health
Burnout culture has run rampant amidst COVID-19, but it existed long before the virus changed your life. Burnout culture gives “work hard, play hard” another meaning: you can only enjoy activities and rest once you have “earned” it.
In recent years, this “no days off” approach has been worn with pride and superiority. When examining burnout among Americans, it is common to pinpoint healthcare workers and corporate America as the primary victims. However, this is far from the truth. Anyone can experience burnout no matter their age, race, sex, or ethnicity. Burnout is a plague that touches all at some point in life.
The increasing pressure to perform at 100% leaves many feeling defeated and depressed. Levels of anxiety and depression have increased substantially in recent years, with over six million people suffering from anxiety disorders and 16 million people struggling with depression.
Signs You May Be Struggling With Burnout
Signs that may point to burnout include:
#1. You feel guilty when you rest.
An overwhelming sense of guilt when engaging in self-care is a crucial sign of burnout. Rest is essential to your wellbeing, and it is a right, not something to be earned. Part of rest is saying no or skipping a hard workout at the gym that day. Rest is a beautiful way to reconnect with yourself and refill your gas tank.
#2. You measure your worth with how productive you are.
It is extremely common to correlate self-worth with productivity. Have you ever checked off all the boxes on your to-do list and felt terrific just to wake up the next day and feel drained?
Engaging in structured routines can give you that initial dopamine boost. Still, it is not to be mistaken with self-esteem. The sense of fulfillment and worthiness that stem from hyper-productivity is fleeting. Your self-worth and value are constant because you are valuable regardless of how you spend your time.
#3. You spend less time socializing with your friends.
Are you constantly canceling events because you cannot muster up the energy to be social? Do your friends complain that you never respond to their texts?
Even though isolation may be tempting, in reality, social engagement is a vital aspect of your health. Spending quality time with loved ones is highly beneficial to our mental health. However, if your gas tank is already empty, spending time with loved ones may drop to the bottom of your to-do list.
#4. You never feel rested, no matter how much sleep you get.
Fatigue is something that can plague everyone. Unfortunately, many people believe the common misconception that sleep quality diminishes as you get older. While REM sleep decreases as you get older, this does not mean that you should not feel refreshed upon waking. Occasional morning grogginess is to be expected, but if you are constantly waking up fatigued, this might be your body telling you something.
#5. You struggle with insomnia or racing thoughts at night.
This may not be new information, but stress affects your sleep — big time. Stress leads to sleep deprivation which leads to more stress. If you are experiencing racing thoughts at night, your body may be in a hyper-alert state, which is not optimal for sleep. You may be trying all of the remedies in the world and still cannot get a decent night’s sleep. If you are experiencing this, it could be that your body is trying to deliver a message.
How to Avoid Burnout: Rest and Self-Care
Rest and sleep are some of the easiest ways to bring your body back into a low-stress state. While it is not always feasible to spend hours sleeping on the couch, there are other ways to care for yourself in high-stress scenarios.
Self-care does not always look like getting massages, facials, or pedicures. Sometimes self-care is just allowing yourself to do nothing. Contrary to societal beliefs, sometimes it is okay to do nothing. In fact, you are allowed to do nothing. Sitting still can seem like a scary concept for some, but it will enable you to recenter and recharge your batteries.
If the idea of self-care or rest seems scary to you, here are some ways to explore rest:
- Physical Rest: sleeping
- Mental Rest: slowing down, observing your thoughts, meditation
- Sensory Rest: reducing screen time and blue light, reducing noise
- Emotional Rest: raking time to process your emotions in a journal or with a therapist
- Social Rest: spending quality time with friends or loved ones – people who uplift you
- Spiritual Rest: exploring your purpose, connecting with nature
Burnout culture is something that plagues most Americans as they navigate these unprecedented times. Burnout can occur when you do not receive appropriate rest and can also negatively affect your mental health. Those suffering from burnout often feel fatigued, suffer from isolation, and have mild to severe insomnia. Often, those around you may praise your achievements due to living in a high-productivity society. However, this nonstop attitude is difficult to maintain and may pose serious issues long term. At Achieve Concierge, we offer you the tools necessary to overcome burnout, including therapeutic measures and nutritional infusions so you can feel your best again. Although life goes on, Achieve Concierge is committed to giving you a calm and serene environment to navigate life’s stressors. We offer same-day appointments and telehealth appointments for our members to provide easy, accessible care. If you’re interested in starting your journey to a healthier future, contact us today at (858) 221-0344.