Speaking on ITV’s Lorraine on Tuesday 24 January, Dr Rangan Chatterjee said the early signs of burnout were “really very important”. “Firstly, disconnecting from the people around you, this is really very important. “You feel so bad about yourself… you don’t want to talk to co-workers or your partner or your kids.”
Dr. Chatterjee described this symptom as “very toxic” because “you will never heal burnout on your own.” He said, “You need people around you.”
“The second is emotional exhaustion,” Dr. Chatterjee continued. “We are starting to be very cynical about our work. [and] about the things in our lives.”
He gave an example: when a partner asks for a cup of tea, if this simple request “irritates” you, you may be experiencing emotional burnout.
Another sign of burnout is a lack of creativity, he told broadcaster Lorraine Kelly.
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“I post signs that might surprise people a little…that they don’t know about,” he said.
Dr. Chatterjee added that the inability to “enjoy things that used to give you pleasure” could be another warning sign.
Like procrastination, when you know you should be doing something productive, but instead “feel a little frozen.”
Lack of self-care is also a sign of burnout, which can manifest itself when you don’t go to bed on time, eat the wrong food, or take a shower.
Then there’s physical exhaustion, which can be a sign of burnout that you need to “pay attention to”.
“If it gets really bad, you will need to be removed from work,” Dr. Chatterjee said.
But knowing about the signs of burnout, the doctor assures you that you can make small changes that will help you bounce back.
“Do something you enjoy every day,” Dr. Chatterjee recommended, adding that engaging in joyful activities makes us “more resilient to stress.”
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Activities can range from five minutes of dancing to watching a comedian on YouTube – anything that “time stands still”.
Sharing his little joys, Dr. Chatterjee revealed that he loves to sing, play the guitar and play pool with his children.
Other fun activities may include putting together a puzzle or jigsaw puzzle and/or drawing.
Dr. Chatterjee also advised fighting burnout by getting enough restorative sleep.
According to him, “Even 15 minutes of extra sleep makes a difference.”
Dr. Chatterjee likened humans to rubber bands in the sense that we can bounce back from the daily stresses.
However, if burnout appears, you don’t snap if you don’t take the necessary steps to recover.
Get more tips from Dr. Rangan Chatterjee by listening to his weekly Feel Better Live More podcast.