Individual Counseling Insights brought to you by California Psychotherapeutic Resources, Inc.
Take an informal poll of your friends and see what the number one answer is to the typical greeting, How’re you doing? You may or may not be surprised to find so many people answer, Busy!
It’s understandable. Employers demand more of employees. The self-employed and business owners demand more or themselves. Raising kids and grandkids seems to be an unending and relentlessly time-consuming job — even if it is rewarding and often filled with joy.
The temptation, of course, is to work harder and faster and longer. If you step back, though, and look at the research, you’ll find that people are actually more productive if they take breaks. A day off per week or a few days in a row off every couple of months is not only a welcome way to recharge, you’ll find you get a lot more done.
Need a little more convincing that you might need some time off? Writing for Healthline, Cindy Lamothe points out 12 indications that you’re on the way to a flaming burnout.
“You’re restless.” When you’re overworked it’s hard to instantly unwind and relax. That makes it even tougher to get the rest your body needs.
“You’re’ awake at all hours of the night.” Insomnia can easily turn into a vicious cycle. Being overworked can be the root cause of many a sleepless night. Lack of sleep in turn can make you less productive, which leads you to work longer hours and miss more sleep.
“You’re eating differently.” People react to stress differently. Some people skip meals while others overeat. Both are energy-sapping habits.
“You have no motivation.” A sure sign of burnout.
“You’re sick ALL the time.” If overworking is causing you some stress, remember that stress breaks down your immune system.
“You feel zapped of energy.” Chalk up another one for stress – it wears you down physically.
“You have a hard time concentrating.” Unless you’re a master of compartmentalization, your mind is probably bouncing around from one issue to another when you have too many balls in the air.
“You feel indifferent about your life.” No wonder — how much time and energy can you give before you just feel drained.
“You’re getting cynical or negative.” Surprised about that angry outburst you just let out? You shouldn’t be — how else do you think you’re going to handle stress, frustration and tension?
“You’re withdrawn.” Another no-brainer. You’ve got to conserve energy somehow — ditching out of social events is an easy one.
“You’re self-medicating.” A little relaxation with wine or a cocktail is fine in moderation. When it turns into a habit, a little self-reflection is in order.
“You aren’t enjoying your favorite things.” This is all related to your energy level, avoidance of social events and overall mood. Hard to enjoy things when you’re exhausted.
If a few of these signs hit too close to home, it’s time to step back and make rest and rejuvenation a priority. In the long run you’ll get more done if you.