About three months ago I felt that my workload was getting unmanageable, talked to my boss, had some responsibilities taken away, but only to have more piled on. I pulled myself through every day since then, but in the past month have been waking up drenched in sweat every single night, I come down with a fever and cold constantly, can't concentrate, and even after 14 hours of sleep feel completely exhausted. I finally saw my doctor who prescribed medication and suggested I consider taking time off. I believe this would be viewed negatively/as a weekness in the field of work I'm in, so I'm torn as to what I should do. How have those of you who've dealt with burnout coped? How long did it take you to recover? What steps did you take?
I haven't dealt with this problem myself, but my sister has. She felt so burned our that she took off work one whole year. She is in the medical field. She is in Europe though, I just want to mention that. She then started working part time and eventually went over to full time. She felt so burned out that she had no other choice than to take time off. She is ok now, working full time.
Apparently I have stressed myself out so much I've bought on all these health problems I am having. I basically feel like any day now I'm going to die. It sounds pretty dramatic but I was never someone who got sick and now I don't go a day without something being wrong. I had a miscarriage, my dog died and I lost my job all within a month and then a couple months after that, I started getting costochronditis (chest pain related), stacked on around 10 kilos, I'm always tired, my back is always clicking and hurting, I get headaches and the list just goes on and on. I've had constant chest pain for the last 4 or 5 months and I've given up. The doctor's can't find anything wrong with me (I've had basically every blood test and test there is) and I've given up and I even think I'm always going to be like this now. I personally don't think my doctor's have tried hard enough because there has to be something wrong right? Anyways I am unfit, I don't eat properly and I basically never exercise so I guess I have brought it on myself, but my question is, does anyone else go through this on a daily basis? If so have you gotten over it and what kind of things did you do to get over it? Any help would be most welcome.
I go through this everyday, and don't necessarily have the answer, although for some strange reason, I have felt a little better this past week by not letting it all get to me. Basically, there a few things that have helped me:
1) Seek Help - see a therapist. It truly does help, and grounds you in your thoughts (both rationale and irrational) sometimes.
2) Medication - I am not the best to give this advice, b/c Anxiety meds seem to make me even more anxious, and I never make it through the first week. Xanax has helped me a lot, although I know it is habit forming and short lasting, but it definitely takes the edge off for the short term, which is sometimes all you need.
3) Rationale thinking - what's the worst that can happen? You get fired from your job? I have grappled with this one quite a bit, and here's what it comes down to: Smarter people than you or I have been fired before, and have rebounded big time. Yes, it is a huge blow to your ego, and no, you never want it to happen, but life goes on. Times get tough, you worry about how to pay your bills, but things always seem to work out. My father, who I always viewed as THE business man's business man, I recently found out was not only fired from a job once, but walked away with nothing else from another because of the stress and anxiety. Tells me a few things: We are not alone, everyone experiences something like this at some time in their lives, and most importantly, we can recover. My father is VERY successful; I can only hope to duplicate his success. With that, it makes you understand and not sweat the small stuff so much...of course, this accompanied by a Xanax. :-)
This is all easier said than done, and may not be helpful at all. Feel better!