By Dr. Bernice Patterson, PhD
As women, we can easily find ourselves pouring out and into other people yet neglect to be on the receiving end of this type of care. Constantly pouring out without refilling can lead to a condition known as burnout. Burnout can be understood as a state of chronic stress that can lead to issues such as physical and emotional exhaustion, cynicism and detachment, and feelings of ineffectiveness and lack of accomplishment.
Here are a few general areas to assess and take stock of to see if you may be falling victim to burnout.
Physical Symptoms– Burnout out can manifest itself as chronic fatigue, unexplained illness, and or aches and pains. Even when our minds do not take the time to consider the stress that we are under, our bodies will begin to show the wear and tear of our choices. This may look like headaches, stomach aches, nausea, a general sense of malaise, and or low energy.
Emotional Symptoms– Unexplained anxiety, depression, and or anger can be telltale signs that chronic stress is creeping into your life. It is difficult to be emotionally present and feel on top of your game if you find yourself struggling with feelings of constant worry, racing thoughts, tearful, feelings of hopelessness/helplessness, irritation, moodiness, and or anger. Taking your emotional temperature can help you identify if there are major or minor changes that you need to make in your life.
Feeling Like a Failure– Women can commonly be their worst critics. Although taking an honest look at your work and progress is healthy, burnout may be negatively coloring your view of self. If you struggle to see any of the good or progress that you are making, burnout may be clouding your view of self.
At the end of the day, you matter. Take the time to examine if you are on the road to burnout and what you are willing to do to change course.
Dr. Bernice Patterson is a passionate and talented psychologist, speaker, consultant, preacher, published author, and trainer. She is the founder and CEO of Infinity Consultation Group where she provides interactive training on issues of Cultural Diversity and Inclusion, Self-Care and Burnout Prevention, and Mental Health and Spirituality. Her life’s work is to give voice to the mental and emotional struggles that people commonly face and guide them towards a place of healing and empowerment. She is a firm believer that you can have Jesus and a therapist, too. Dr. Patterson is a proud wife and mother of two amazing little boys. www.infinityconsultationgroup.com
Want to share your expertise in an article? Email us @Thecwmagazine@yahoo.com