When we think of burnout most of us see pictures of slumped over, exhausted humans with their hands on their foreheads sitting at their desk or slung over a couch. And while without question this is what you and I look like when our batteries are drained to zero, on the brink of breakdown, there is a long runway of burnout signs before we hit this point of physical fatigue, fogginess and sickness.
Yogic science teaches that the physical body is the last place disease shows up. But we’ve been taught to associate burnout mostly with our physical bodies.
By the time we feel exhausted or foggy or show other physical symptoms, we’ve already depleted ourselves. The dis-ease has rooted itself into our physical body or our mental mind, and it takes much longer to recover and return to a state of harmony.
Consider the word disease — not just as physical symptom or a diagnosis but as a state of un-ease within you. Dis- means “apart.” Disease is to be apart from ease, apart from harmony. Here is where one of the keys out of your burnout cycle lives.
If you can become aware of the dis-ease you experience mentally in the form of anxiety, worry, or negative self-talk, or experience energetically in your nervous system as frustration or feeling flooded, you become empowered to make changes sooner, before becoming completely depleted or physically sick.
So what are your signs that you are sliding into burnout? Not just physically, but also mentally, emotionally, energetically, relationally?
There are at least eight kinds of burnout, only one of which is physical burnout. These other kinds of burnout often show up before the signs of exhaustion and disease appear in your body.
When you can articulate what kind of burnout you are experiencing, versus just saying you are burned-out, exhausted, or overwhelmed, you are more empowered to see the root, and get what you need before you get sick.
Take a read of the eight kinds of burnout and consider which you have recently experienced in the past year, and which you may be experiencing now.
The 8 Kinds of Burnout
1. Mental burnout: My mind cannot process any more; it’s fried.
2. Emotional burnout: These heavy or anxious emotions are exhausting me.
3. Compassion burnout: I cannot hold any more loving space for anyone else; I’m tapped.
4. Relational burnout: I’ve been overgiving to others, my organization, or my community/family, and I am over it.
5. Survival burnout: I’m exhausted from trying to make ends meet and stay afloat.
6. Superwoman burnout: The weight of taking on so much is too much; I can’t hold it all anymore.
7. Passion burnout: I love what I do, but I’ve given too much and pushed too hard.
8. Physical burnout: My body is revolting; I have depleted my life force.
Take a pause here so we can increase your self-awareness of how these types of burnout show up for you.
This will help you be more empowered to see and feel the signs or symptoms before you get to the point of physical burnout. Then try the harmonizing practice to identify which kind of burnout you may currently be experiencing and what you need to reverse the slide into burnout.
Self-Awareness: What Are Your Burnout Signals?
- Which kinds of burnout have I experienced?
- What are the signs or symptoms that I am experiencing these kinds of burnout? When these occur, use the harmonizing practice below to keep you from sliding into burnout.
Harmonizing Practice: Reverse Your Current Burnout Slide
Ask yourself: What do I need to receive to reverse the slide into burnout? Then be an advocate for yourself to receive this space or support to yourself. Be an ally for yourself and get more aware of what is “self induced” and what is “systemically generated.” Make simple but mighty shifts in what you can change from the inside out. Then start focusing on what is no longer working for you within your work situation or relationships.