What kinds of stress deplete your ability to cope?

Our previous post introduced burnout and the role of hormones in your ability to react to challenges and emergencies in your daily life.

How do you know if you could be in burnout? Have you done any of these recently?

  • Kicked yourself over simple mistakes
  • Missed details you normally catch
  • Forgot something that was important
  • Overreacted to a small problem
  • Found it difficult to make decisions or commit to work especially if someone else evaluated it
  • Had challenges face people when you realize you have made simple mistakes

These events and reactions, especially if there is a pattern of them, is a common sign that you are moving toward burnout.

Being overwhelmed and losing track is a sign that stress is causing some potential problems in other parts of your life. You don’t have to have a high-pressure job or be in traumatic situations to have stress build up. Any combination of demands can have the same effect: learning new procedures, being in emotionally-charged situations and being affected by issues and delays you don’t control are common stressors.

Why is this happening? The hormones that help your brain and body deal with these situations get depleted and you no longer handle these challenges as well. It’s hard to process new ideas and think quickly when adrenaline and cortisol are depleted.

If you are in the ‘small mistake’ stage of burnout you still have enough energy to turn it around. The key is to recognize it now.

Regular exercise builds energy and, matched with healthy food, can start rebuilding those essential hormones as your body goes back to a better balance. Any amount of exercise will help, even a walk.

The next post will list some of the things you can do when you don’t have complete control over all the stressors in your life.

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