Did you know that not only is isolation a sign of burnout, it can actually lead to burnout?
When you are stressed and overwhelmed, you simply don’t have the energy to interact with your family, friends, and coworkers. They feel like a burden – one more darn thing to have to deal with.
So you isolate yourself, leaving you feeling lonely, misunderstood, and unappreciated. Which further intensifies your stress and feelings of overwhelm, and can eventually result in full-blown burnout.
In its early stages, you may brush off isolation as a temporary resistance to socializing. You believe it’s just a matter of not wanting to join your friends for lunch, or you close your door occasionally to keep others out.
You may convince yourself you need a little bit of alone time. But that little bit of alone time stretches into weeks when you decline invitations, shut yourself in your room at home for hours, or even resent people who try to connect with you.
In the latter stages of isolation, you may become visibly angry when someone speaks to you, or at work you may come in early or leave late to avoid interactions. By that point it’s possible you’re well on your way to burnout.
Ultimately you might feel ashamed of your situation, and are convinced you have no one to talk to about the conflicts and stresses that you’re facing.
If you’ve ever experienced symptoms of burnout, I know you’re with me on this one:
You think you should have your life together – because you usually do. Which is why shame is one of the especially sinister aspects of burnout.
When you are burned out you’re not happy, you’re exhausted, which makes it difficult to appreciate your life. So you tell yourself you should be grateful for everything you have, and that only makes you feel worse. And your concern that outsiders might feel you have the perfect life increases feelings of shame and contributes to you not asking for support.
Shame thrives in secrecy and isolation. Respected author and researcher Brene Brown is an expert on shame; as she says, “As a shame researcher, I know that the very best thing to do in the midst of a shame attack is totally counterintuitive: Practice courage and reach out!”
Burnout is isolating, and makes you feel weak. You want to power through and just get over it, but that approach doesn’t work. I’ve been there, and I know it’s a journey of taking one step after the other. One important step is to re-engage with others as part of overcoming isolation and burnout.
So let’s take a look at some tips that will help you deal with burnout-related isolation.
Isolation can feel like a heavy weight on your entire body. Whenever this feeling starts to overtake you, move your body. Whether you go for a walk, browse your favorite store, or even walk up a flight of stairs at work, getting yourself moving will offer some relief from feeling weighed down by isolation.
Exercise will also trigger your body to produce the feel-good chemicals called endorphins. Endorphins are a natural anti-depressant that can support you to feel happier, making you less likely to want to isolate yourself.
#2 Find Like-Minded People
Nowadays, whether you’re a knitter, hiker, or ballroom dancer, you have many ways to find out where they get together, so you can meet people who share your interests. Try searching for groups on Meetup, Facebook, or Instagram. If meeting people in person seems like too big a step at first, check out the communities on Pinterest to connect online with people you have something in common with.
#3 Reach Out To People You Trust
Although it can be a huge challenge to talk about things that you are struggling with, sharing them with people you trust can be an effective way to get back to your happy self. You may even be surprised to discover how many others have gone through the same thing as you. You could even end up helping someone you didn’t know was struggling, and who was afraid to reach out.
#4 Sign up for my free From Burnout to Balance 7-Day Self-Love Challenge
Re-discover your love and appreciation – for yourself. The From Burnout to Balance 7-Day Self-Love Challenge is a powerful next step that will give you the opportunity to engage with others and get support in a safe environment. During these 7 days, we’ll look at what’s really going on beneath the signs of burnout. I’ll give you simple strategies for how to turn things around so you can get on the path towards balance and start enjoying your life again.
If you’re ready to break out of the burnout cycle and desire to be…
Though isolating yourself may seem like a logical option when you feel stressed and overwhelmed, over time it robs you of your energy and enthusiasm for life – and it can lead you to full-blown burnout, a serious threat to your health and well-being.
I want better for you, and I know you want more for yourself than to slog through every day feeling exhausted and dispirited. Don’t let yourself stay isolated. I know it can be hard to take the first step to break free, so I offer complimentary tips, advice, and support in several ways; one of them is sending them to you by email. Sign up for my list here so you won’t miss out.
I know you can turn this around… and I’m here to help.