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Feeling overwhelmed, unmotivated, irritated? These can all be signs of burnout. 

Burnout occurs when people become mentally, emotionally, and physically exhausted due to feeling high levels of stress for a prolonged period of time.

It is completely normal to experience some burnout, but it can become harmful so it is important to deal with it accordingly.

Disclaimer: If you feel like you or someone you know is experiencing burnout, please do not hesitate to reach out for help and take the steps and time you need to overcome this feeling.

Symptoms of burnout can manifest themselves physically, mentally and behaviorally. 

  • Some physical signs of burnout include a constant feeling of fatigue, frequent headaches, changes in eating and sleeping patterns, and getting sick often and more easily.
  • Emotional symptoms of burnout include feeling alone, unmotivated, helpless, like a failure, self-doubt, and decreased satisfaction in yourself and the tasks you accomplish.
  • Finally, behavioural symptoms of burnout include isolating yourself from others, procrastinating on tasks, taking a long time to do simple tasks, and using food, alcohol, or drugs to cope with the feelings associated with burnout.

This list is not exhaustive and not everyone will experience each symptom so it is important to listen to yourself and speak with a medical professional if you suspect you are experiencing burnout. 

Burnout needs to be dealt with swiftly since it can make you more vulnerable to physical and mental illnesses such as colds, flu, depression, and anxiety. Seeking support from friends, family, and medical professionals is a great avenue to turn to when trying to deal with burnout. Another strategy to deal with burnout includes taking a break and reflecting on how to come back in a way that preserves your well-being and avoids future burnout. If a break is not feasible at that moment, perhaps cutting down on activities or finding alternate activities can be options to lessen the effects of burnout. It Is also important to take care of yourself by eating well, sleeping in healthy amounts, drinking water, getting exercise, etc. Making time for self-care is also helpful when dealing with burnout.

Ultimately listening to your body and its needs are essential in overcoming burnout. Do not ignore the signs of burnout and deal with them as quickly as possible since burnout only worsens if no measures are taken to deal with it.  

Burnout is hard on our bodies, mentally and physically. I am currently dealing with burnout and it has gotten to the point where it is hard to reverse. Some tips I use for trying to cope with burnout include speaking with a councillor, applying for academic accommodations to ensure I have extra time for school since tasks take much longer even with proper time management, making time for activities that make me happy, and prioritizing my health by eating well, working out, and getting outside. Some days are easier than others but on the hard days, being extra kind to myself is so important. Unfortunately, I didn’t recognize that I was burnt out until it was too late since no one ever told me about burnout its manifestations. I wish I had known earlier since now every small task seems like Mount Everest. I cannot stress this enough, but please learn the signs as burnout can be avoided or at least minimized. Essentially, if you ever feel burnout or sense burnout is near, take a step back, reflect on how to minimize that feeling and seek the support you need. Burnout happens and is nothing to be ashamed of. Please take care of yourselves <3

Victoria Paller

U Ottawa '22

Just a west coast girl living on the east coast. I love fitness, cooking, hockey, baking, snowboarding and my cat. I hope you like my blogs :-)
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