Nowadays more and more people are affected by a burn-out. Some even have to deal with it more than once. In the old days you were overworked, now you have a burn-out. What’s the difference? So how do burn-outs occur, what can you do about it and how can you prevent a burn-out? Below you will find extensive information about this. If you cannot find your answer or if you would like to discuss it further, please contact me.

What is a burn-out?

Burn-out is the psychological term for the feeling of total exhaustion. There is physical (adrenal gland exhaustion) and mental exhaustion. You no longer have energy or motivation for your daily activities. You can recognize a burn-out by these four more or less related effects:

  1. A feeling of extreme fatigue
  2. The feeling that you want to distance yourself from people
  3. The feeling that you’re underperforming, you’re insecure about your abilities
  4. You may get depressed and/or experience emotional moods

Specific symptoms of a burn-out:

  • A lot of worrying and anxiety (paranoia)
  • Insomnia and fatigue
  • Vague physical complaints
  • More and different emotional reactions
  • Postponing and adjusting all kinds of tasks
  • Loss of concentration
  • Different eating habits (too much or too little)
  • Distancing yourself from people close to you and avoiding social contact
  • Increased consumption of alcohol and drugs
  • Reduced libido and sexual activity
  • Insecure about your own performance
  • The feeling that you’ve lost control of everyday life
  • Stress

When the adrenaline producing adrenal glands are completely exhausted, continuation is no longer possible any more. You no longer have any energy at this stage. When the body is completely exhausted, you are physically eliminated and you are obliged to rest. It is impossible to carry on with adrenal exhaustion.

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What is the difference between being overworked and burn-out?

Being overworked is a preliminary stage of burn-out. When you are overworked, there is no physical exhaustion (adrenal gland exhaustion) and there doesn’t have to be depressive symptoms yet. You might even be cheerful at this stage. However, you have been (ab)using your reserve energy for a while now, so the first symptoms are already noticeable It is important that you acknowledge these stress-related complaints and that your precious energy is replenished.

If you continue to ignore all stress signals and ignore this phase, you will be burned out. Ignoring is no longer an option. This is the moment to wake up to prevent complete exhaustion.

What causes a burn-out?

A burn-out is caused by a long period of (considerable) erosion of your reserves during which you do not take or have time to recover. It is caused by a long disturbed relationship between your workload and load capacity. You overburden your body too long and too hard.

How do you recover from a burn-out?

The recovery from a burn-out proceeds in 3 phases:

  • Phase 1: Accept that you have a burn-out and take time to rest.
  • Phase 2: Think about which problems gave you tension and which solutions there are. Mindfulness can help you with this. A mindfulness training, in a group or individually.
  • Phase 3: Execute the solutions you have come up with.