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How to Manage Your Relations While Experiencing Burnout
This post was developed via a partnership with BetterHelp. Together we're committed to your better health. Read On!
As a social creature, you develop a number of different relationships throughout your life. Friends, family, colleagues, peers, and mentors are all individuals and groups that make up the relations of your social life. Having a healthy relationship with people even helps you to maintain a quality work-life balance. But what happens when you’re feeling overwhelmed, stressed, or anxious?
There are moments when you may have a difficult day and look toward your relationships for support and a break from the stress of daily challenges. However, sometimes even keeping up with friends or colleagues may feel like an additional task each day. When your stress becomes so overwhelming that even social activities feel like a burden, you may be experiencing burnout.
Maintaining a healthy relationship with those around you doesn’t have to be a task that adds stress to your life. These individuals contribute to the development of your social skills, inspirations, and biases. Developing the relations around you is about effective communication and prioritizing your schedule’s needs.
Recognizing the Signs of Burnout
When you're over-encumbered by a mounting list of tasks that need to be completed, the effects of burnout can start to influence your daily life. Unfortunately, many people don't recognize the symptoms of burnout until they're already dealing with the effects.
Burnout happens for a number of reasons, but it's most commonly recognized when you're finally at your limit for stress and anxiety. It's important to remember that burnout doesn't just affect you mentally but can also influence your physical well-being. You may begin to experience any number of these symptoms as you're reaching the point of burnout:
- Heightened stress and anxiety, even when at rest
- Fatigue or insomnia
- Feeling a constant sense of dread
- Headaches or muscle fatigue
- Decreased motivation, focus, and effort
- Easily annoyed, frustrated, or irritated at yourself and others
Burnout is likely to affect everyone at some point in their life, regardless of how well they put together their schedule and plan through their days. It's most often caused by having too many high-priority projects going on at the same time. For example, if you're packing up and moving to a new home but you haven't taken time off of work, you'll likely become overwhelmed by the number of things that require your attention throughout the day.
In order to help reduce the chances of becoming overwhelmed by stress, it’s important to try to space out major events and requirements in your schedule. Unfortunately, you can’t always control when certain events are happening. Your sister’s wedding falling on the same week as a major project deadline isn’t the fault of your poor planning. Instead, this is where communicating with your social circle is the most essential.
Some people have a hard time saying "no" to others or even themselves, which can result in taking on too many tasks in a short amount of time. Luckily, there are ways to avoid an increase in stress while also creating a workaround to your gut reaction to accept the needs of others.
For your friends and family, you can take initiative to suggest dates and times for seeing each other, mentioning your work schedule or personal plans. This can help them better understand when you’ll be available, including how much rest you may need due to demands from other responsibilities.
Similarly, letting your colleagues know when you may need assistance or an extension goes a lot further than you may realize. If you're having a stressful time at home because of a major event like an upcoming move, wedding, or even sickness in the household, communicate this with your peers. It won't necessarily grant you an extensive deadline change, but there may be others that can take some of the workloads or give you another day or two to complete what you need.
Working Through Burnout
When you notice you're experiencing an increase in social anxiety, depression, or exhaustion, it's time to take a moment to acknowledge the burnout. First, consider what you've had on your plate lately. This doesn't necessarily mean you've had a lot of major events going on; even having too many small tasks at once can impact your stress levels. How many directions are you being pulled in? How many people have been requiring your attention lately?
The next step is to reevaluate your current tasks. If you have a difficult time prioritizing your needs, consider looking at the Eisenhower Matrix. Whatever tasks aren't important and urgent can be written off on a "Later Date" list. If they're urgent but unimportant, communicate with your social circle for assistance. When you have tasks that are important but not urgent, reevaluate their deadlines and plan accordingly for these projects when they resurface. Finally, find space for important and urgent tasks.
If being around people helps to reduce your stress, ask coworkers out to lunch or see if you can schedule a brief meet-up with friends after you get home. When you're barely feeling social, it's normal to let others know that you're having a busy week and can't connect with them right away. While you don't need to go into detail, sometimes just letting others know that you need a break from connecting can be a bit of stress relief itself by removing social expectations.
Finding Your Support System
Regardless of whether you're already in the middle of burnout or you're noticing more sleepless nights, it's important to try to talk with someone about what you're going through. A support system is a group of trusted individuals with that you feel comfortable sharing your thoughts, concerns, and challenges without feeling judged. This group can be however large or small you feel comfortable with and typically consists of people like your close friends, family members, and even your mental health care professional.
Talking through your struggles helps in a number of ways. When you have the opportunity to express yourself, it provides you with an opportunity to dump out all of the negative emotions that may be bottled up inside. Freely letting out your frustrations and desires can have a calming effect, as if you’re physically releasing the stress from your chest.
It can also give you the opportunity to hear outside opinions and take advice from an individual that has a unique perspective. Your support system will know you fairly well, enough to most likely understand your personality and common hang-ups you may run into. They can make suggestions to help adjust your schedule, reevaluate important or urgent tasks, and offer advice for relaxing when you have a minute to spare.
Get the Latest & Recommended articles in your InboxMaintaining your relations even when you're stressed doesn’t necessarily mean you need to continue keeping up with your usual amount of contact. Instead, communicating your needs and asking for assistance can help to reduce the effects of burnout and even potentially help you avoid one. If you’re starting to feel overwhelmed, one of the best first moves is to reach out to those that you know can support you and take a moment to gather quality advice and reassurance.
Copyrights © 2023 Inspiration Unlimited eMagazine
Any facts, figures or references stated here are made by the author & don't reflect the endorsement of iU at all times unless otherwise drafted by official staff at iU. This article was first published here on 21st August 2022.