Reiki & Burnout

We throw the term around to describe that feeling of not being able to ‘deal,’ and not being able to wait until the next day off or the next vacation, hoping that break will make all the difference. Generally speaking, burnout is considered to be a state of emotional, mental, and physical exhaustion caused by prolonged stress. Recent studies have shown that burnout might actually be depression in disguise. Yahoo’s CEO Marissa Mayer has a theory that burnout is really resentment about something you are giving up for work – whether its missing your kids game or a standing dinner with friends. According to Mayer, empowering yourself to meet those commitments prevents burnout. There might be some truth to that statement but once burnout has set in what do you do?

The big issue with how burnout is described is that some people will go ahead and seek treatment for depression but burnout is considered something that will just go away with a new job or sweet vacation, and that may not be the case.


What are the signs of burnout?

Chronic stress leads to physical and emotional exhaustion, sleep patterns are the first to suffer. When you are deeply exhausted and cannot get a decent nights’ sleep or you suffer from insomnia, say hello to cognitive decline, impaired concentration, and poor performance. Frustration sets in because a) you know this stuff isn’t hard but b) somehow you keep making silly mistakes and c) you still feel you aren’t getting enough done. So to compound the stress issue your productivity and performance take a nosedive.

Physically you may loose your appetite so now your body is running full speed with less nutrition. There may be other physical symptoms: chest pains, headaches, shortness of breath, or fainting not to mention an increased likeliness of catching simple infections like colds or the flu.

Emotionally you may be feeling detached from loved ones and life in general, a sense that you are not moving forward in life and not celebrating your accomplishments. Things you loved to do are now a chore: if you loved shopping for clothes now its just another joyless task, going to brunch with friends sounds exhausting, and nothing looks interesting or fun anymore.

How do I fix this?

PsychologyToday.Com has a test to see if you are burned out.

1. Treat yourself to a relaxing, stress-free weekend. No work-related anything, in fact, no stressors of any kind i.e. if speaking to family members is stressful don’t speak to them either.  For two days sleep in, eat right, relax, take a chill yoga class, read a book, catch up on some good movies, do things you love to do.

Now its Monday morning, are you dreading going back in to work? If so, you are probably burned out.

2. Now, take your two weeks vacation. Two weeks where you do nothing but relax.

Still dreading work? If the answer is yes, then its time to take a tough look at what is going on.

The hard facts are if you don’t find a way to make big changes in your life your body will make those changes for you. The good news is, you are still the awesome person who got to the place you are but now its time to find a way to control your stress levels to a point where they are manageable. Not an easy task but definitely better to be aware and on your journey than suffering and unaware of what is happening inside you.

If you are wondering why I’m speaking up about burnout its because reiki can be a wonderful way to dig deep. Reiki can help you on the journey. Reiki heals physically and emotionally, it doesn’t solve your problems for you, but maybe it draws your attention to needs and wants you haven’t addressed in a long time. Life is too short to not try to make the most out of every day, we deserve happiness and a fulfilling life.