Burnout: How it feels when it’s building up
Burnout happens when you are operating at 100% capacity all the time. While it sounds like a good thing, it is actually not healthy or effective to do this. When you need to ramp up your energy to handle a more urgent situation, you don’t have it. A healthy dedication to work is to do routine items at about 85% energy level, so you can respond to emergencies well and bounce back.
What does working at 100% for long periods do to your body?
Burnout happens when the hormones (cortisol and adrenaline) that keep our energy and mood up are depleted. These hormones are heavily used when we are under stress. They help us react quickly to what we see and hear and make decent decisions in those situations. We can run faster, we can think quickly, and we can react in the moment with calmness and reason.
However, we have a finite supply of these hormones and once they are used up, and we are not healthy enough to be making more, that kick start to the brain is just not there. A healthy diet and exercise actually helps us rebuild our supply so our brain has what it needs to function in extreme situations. When our hormones are depleted these hormones and so is our ability to react to even normal situations.