Physical Signs And Symptoms Of Burnout
- Feeling tired and drained most of the time.
- Lowered immunity, frequent illnesses.
- Frequent headaches or muscle pain.
- Change in appetite or sleep habits.
Chronic Fatigue Anxiety Symptom Descriptions:
Here are some of the common descriptions weve heard for the anxiety symptom chronic fatigue:
- You feel extremely exhausted, fatigued, burnt out, or worn out
- A chronic fatigue feeling
- Always have no energy to do anything
- Chronically fatigued and dizzy or lightheaded
- So tired that even small tasks are draining
- So tired you cant think or feel anything anymore
- Feel completely burnt out
- Have no stamina for anything
- Could sleep all day and still feel exhausted, tired, and worn out
- Have zero energy
- Have to drag yourself around all day because you are so tired
- You may feel tired all of the time and find even small tasks to be unusually tiring
- You feel persistently fatigued, exhausted, tired, and worn out
- You are devoid of energy and any activity is exhausting
- Unrelenting exhaustion
- Persistent fatigue
- Feel completely worn out like when you have the flu
- Wake up feeling completely exhausted as if you havent slept at all even though you had a good sleep
- You feel unable to function at work or home because of feeling chronically tired and worn out
- You feel so exhausted that you cant handle your daily affairs
- You feel so exhausted, worn out, tired, and have no energy that even your emotions feel too much to handle
- You feel physically, psychologically, emotionally, and spiritually exhausted, spent, worn out, and like you cant take anything more
- Persistent lethargy
- Chronically listless
- So chronically fatigued that you cant even think straight or clearly
What Tests Help Confirm A Sleep Anxiety Diagnosis
In some cases, your provider may do a sleep study to find out if you have a sleep disorder. Also called polysomnography, a sleep study is a test where you stay overnight in a sleep lab. Your healthcare provider evaluates how your body works during sleep by checking your:
- Blood oxygen levels.
- Snoring or other noises you make during sleep.
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Youre Having Trouble Thinking Clearly
If youve been having a tough time concentrating on one task at a time, remembering things accurately, or just generally operating on a higher level, stress could be to blame. Stress makes it difficult for you to think clearly, as it clouds your thinking and makes it difficult to focus.
This mental fatigue sometimes happens when small stressors pile in at a volume with which we cant keep up. Things like making multiple tough decisions at work, handling ongoing interruptions, and juggling social commitments all of these can accumulate and start to weigh on you . If you don’t have a chance to hit the pause button and reset, brain fog could set in. Focus is a finite resource and when stretched thin, it falters.
The unfortunate reality of this mental fatigue is that it can affect your physical energy levels, too. If youve spent the whole day feeling exhausted just doing the tasks you that you normally knock out in one afternoon, your body will feel tired. For some, this perpetuates the stress cycle no energy for stress-busting outlets like meditation, creative endeavors, or exercise means nowhere to release that stress, and it remains a looming burden.
How Is Burnout Diagnosed
There are various questionnaires for self-assessment. But because there’s no generally accepted definition of burnout, it isnt clear whether questionnaires can actually measure burnout and distinguish it from other illnesses. The most common questionnaire is the Maslach Burnout Inventory , which is available for different professional groups. But this questionnaire was originally developed for research purposes, not for use by doctors.
Online questionnaires on the risk of burnout aren’t suitable for determining whether someone has burnout or whether the symptoms are caused by something else.
The symptoms that are said to be a result of burnout can generally also have other causes, including mental or psychosomatic illnesses like , anxiety disorders or chronic syndrome. But physical illnesses or certain medications can cause symptoms such as exhaustion and tiredness too. So it’s important to consider other possible causes first together with a doctor, and not to conclude you have burnout straight away.
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What Happens To Our Body When We Experience Stress
No matter the source, whether its a bad day at work or an encounter with a predatory animal, your body is hardwired to respond to any form of stress in the exact same way by prioritising your short-term survival over your long-term survival. This starts with your brain stimulating your adrenal glands to produce steroid hormones like adrenaline and cortisol. Together, these work to dilate your vessels, increase your blood pressure and encourage your liver to take any stored sugar and release it into your bloodstream as glucose so your body can better utilise it as a fuel source.
This is all well and good if youre about to engage in either fight or flight but the downside is that several key areas of your body, such as your digestive system, reproductive system and immune system, often take a backseat and slow down as a result. As I mentioned earlier, this sudden onset of sluggishness can impact your energy levels but for now, it might be more pertinent to examine how your adrenal glands cope under this increased demand.
What are your adrenal glands?
How Can I Relieve Fatigue
If you feel as though the fatigue youre experiencing could be related to your stress levels, then this at least gives you some idea about what you can do to fix the problem. Stress and anxiety can be difficult issues to tackle and although addressing the source of your emotional distress is arguably the first step, sometimes there is no easy answer or solution, particularly when it comes to personal issues such as family or relationships. In these instances, it might be easier to work on changing how you respond to stress and your outlook, rather than trying to eliminate the source of problem entirely.
So, how do you go about changing your approach or reaction to stress? Well, lets start with the basics. If youre feeling under pressure, exhausted and fed up of worrying then the worst thing you can do is bottle these feelings up. You might think theres no point talking about it nobody will able to help and all youll do is worry the people you care about. This kind of reaction will only lead to further problems down the line though even if the person you confide in cant help your situation directly, at least they can offer you some emotional support and give you a chance to vent your feelings aloud.
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You’re Suddenly Tired Before A Social Event
If youâve been fine all day but get a bout of sleepiness right before that big get-together, take note. “For those who experience social anxiety, being around a large group … will drained, sometimes both physically and mentally before, during, or after,” says Aimee Noel, L.C.S.W., the clinical director at Sober College. “Those without social anxiety could feel energized interacting with a lot of people. If your tiredness correlates with these events, it may be a sign of anxiety.”
Work/life Balance Is Nonexistent
If youre getting paid the big bucks, some employers think its their right to demand all your time and attention, and you shouldnt complain.
Regardless of your position or how much you earn, you shouldnt let a job control every aspect of your life. Working around the clock benefits your paycheck, but it does absolutely nothing to help your sanity. Putting everything important to you on the back burner is a recipe for burnout.
An occasional hectic week at the office is normal. But if your job just leaves you tired and stressed, and if you cant remember the last time you ate dinner with your family or worked a normal shift, you might want to make changes as soon as possible to avoid burnout.
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How The ‘lost Art’ Of Breathing Can Impact Sleep And Resilience
Another way that chronic stress makes us feel exhausted is by interfering with sleep, says Bufka. “When we’re feeling stressed, our sleep can get disrupted, which naturally leads to feelings of tiredness and exhaustion,” she says.
“We really rely on sleep to recover each day,” explains Epel. “And so for many of us, even though we might think we’re sleeping the same number of hours, it’s not the same quality. It doesn’t have the same restorative ability, because we’re getting less deep sleep, and we think that is tied to this chronic, subtle uncertainty, stress.”
What Is Chronic Stress
Unlike acute stress, chronic stress can go on for weeks, months or even years. It can feel like unrelenting pressure that consumes your mind, body and soul. It might be caused by your job, your relationship, your finances, or any number of different factors. Long term, this type of stress can lead to wear and tear on the body.
Over time, the endocrine system response to chronic stress results in a high level of hormones circulating in the bloodstream. The effects of this include high blood pressure, muscle tissue damage, suppression of the immune system, inhibited growth and long-term impact on mental health. Heart disease, high cholesterol, type II diabetes, and depression have all been linked to chronic stress.
One of the most prominent symptoms of chronic stress is constant fatigue. If youre one of those people who is always tired, ask yourself now: are you facing chronic stress?
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What Is A Caregiver
A caregiver helps another person with their medical and personal needs. Unlike a paid healthcare worker, a caregiver has a significant personal relationship with the person in need.
Usually the person being cared for is a family member or friend whos chronically ill, has a disabling condition, or is an older adult who cant care for themselves.
A caregiver helps with daily activities, such as:
- preparing meals
- performing medical tasks, such as setting up tube feedings and giving medications
Being a caregiver for someone you know and love can be very rewarding, but it can also be exhausting and frustrating. Its often emotionally, physically, and mentally draining. It tends to limit your social life and can cause financial problems.
Caregiver burnout occurs when the stress and burden from these negative effects become overwhelming, negatively affecting your life and health.
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Your Diet Might Need Adjusting
Since stress taxes the bodys energy resources harder and faster than normal, chronic stress, such as that caused by overly apprehensive behavior, can deplete the body of important nutrients . This is especially true if you arent eating properly or regularly enough to replenish these nutrients. Being deficient in important nutrients can cause episodes of low energy. A visit to your doctor or Nutritional Practitioner can help determine if you have a deficiency, and if so, what those deficiencies are.
Moreover, if you havent adjusted your eating patterns to accommodate the rapid energy consumption, you might become tired or exhausted as your body runs out of fuel. Physical fatigue can also affect our emotional health.
Not eating correctly to accommodate the extra demand for fuel and being deficient in certain nutrients can cause episodes of low energy and fatigue.
Tip : Support Your Mood And Energy Levels With A Healthy Diet
What you put in your body can have a huge impact on your mood and energy levels throughout the day.
Minimize sugar and refined carbs. You may crave sugary snacks or comfort foods such as pasta or French fries, but these high-carbohydrate foods quickly lead to a crash in mood and energy.
Reduce your high intake of foods that can adversely affect your mood, such as caffeine, unhealthy fats, and foods with chemical preservatives or hormones.
Eat more Omega-3 fatty acids to give your mood a boost. The best sources are fatty fish , seaweed, flaxseed, and walnuts.
Avoid nicotine.Smoking when youre feeling stressed may seem calming, but nicotine is a powerful stimulant, leading to higher, not lower, levels of anxiety.
Drink alcohol in moderation. Alcohol temporarily reduces worry, but too much can cause anxiety as it wears off.
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Low On Energy It May Not Be Depression
Steven Gans, MD is board-certified in psychiatry and is an active supervisor, teacher, and mentor at Massachusetts General Hospital.
Depression is a common cause of fatigue, so you might be wondering whether your fatigue is a result of depression. But just because you’re tired all the time doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re depressed.
The fact is there are many underlying conditions that could be responsible for feeling tired all the time. From mood disorders to issues affecting your physical health like chronic fatigue syndrome, the following psychiatric and medical conditions are some of the most common ailments associated with fatigue.
But first, it’s important to note that many of these conditions share symptoms similar to depression, so we’ll start there. By understanding the distinctions between depression and other factors that cause fatigue, you can seek out the right treatment and start to feel like your energetic self again.
What Causes ‘your’ Fatigue
Many physical and mental illnesses, as well as lifestyle factors, can cause your fatigue, and that can make it hard to diagnose. In some cases, it might be something simple and easy to fix, like having caffeine at bedtime. But other causes, like heart disease or COPD, are serious, and you may need to start long-term treatment right away.
Your doctor can help you sift through your health issues, as well as diet, exercise, and other lifestyle habits, in order to zero in on the cause and help you on the road to recovery.
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You Feel Tightness In Your Chest For No Apparent Reason
Feeling any abnormality in your chest will probably be a red flag for you. Sometimes, though, the pressure creeps in slowly. It might seem normal after a while.
What youll recognize is a tightness in your chest. Its not uncommon to experience shortness of breath and intense pressure on your chest like an elephant is sitting on it.
When Stress Leads To Extreme Fatigue
Sleepiness is one thing, but some people experience intense fatigue during periods of high stress to the point where it can be debilitating. Experts have a few theories as to why, the first being that the fight-or-flight response simply taxes the bodys energy levels.
Because it is so metabolically expensive to keep the body on high alert, sleepiness may occur so that the body can replenish that energy, Prather said.
Others think that sleep is a coping mechanism for stress, because it can be so exhausting and unpleasant.
Under periods of stress, many people choose to spend excess time in bed, and often fall asleep, as a way of escaping from the stress, Prather explained. Because sleep, at least in the short term, can provide some relief from the distress, sleeping behavior can be reinforced.
Prather said that if you consistently use sleep as a means to escape stressful life periods, wanting to climb into your covers can become increasingly hard to resist and habitual.
The last theory is that your brain simply can only handle so much stressful content.
Theres the possibility that the brain can only hold so much emotional information, and sleep helps clear some space and help figure out which daily experiences need to be put in long-term memory storage and what can be discarded, Prather said. Stress can produce high-arousal emotional information, and thus sleep may be needed earlier than usual.
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Ways To Treat And Navigate Emotional Exhaustion
Have you ever emotionally felt like you were at a breaking point? If youre nodding your head, its possible youve experienced emotional exhaustion.
The good news is there are helpful ways to treat and manage emotional exhaustion so you can flourish both at work and in your personal life. But before we share some tips, lets explore what emotional exhaustion is.
Depression Affects Your Diet
When youre feeling depressed, you might have less of an appetite, skip meals, or have an overwhelming desire for sweet foods that have less nutritional value.
Large quantities of fat and sugar can make you feel groggy and tired.
Nutritious foods, like fruits, vegetables, and whole grains can provide healthy antioxidants and nutrients with energy-boosting effects and these are the foods that we tend to put to aside when depression arises.
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