Burnout vs Fatigue & How to Manage Them

Burnout vs Fatigue. We’ve all been there before. And amidst the enormous amount of work it took to get to this stage, you’re probably wondering – “will I ever feel normal again?”

The answer – that you’ll be happy to hear – is yes. You absolutely will feel like your normal self again… eventually. For now, let’s talk about the difference between Fatigue vs Burnout, what it takes to get us there and how we can manage it a little bit better, next time we feel it coming on again.

There are 3 types of fatigue we need to watch out for, aside from chronic illness fatigue and pain fatigue. They are:

  • Social fatigue – This is the way you might feel after speaking to a person (or many people) for a long period of time. Fatigue can occur after speaking in person, but also after responding to text messages and comments on social media – even video calls all have the ability to induce social fatigue. 

  • Mental fatigue – Comes from expending a lot of mental energy, which, as a business owner, you’ll be doing every day, most times unknowingly. This for you has probably become second nature. 

  • Physical fatigue – This kind of fatigue generally follows a physical activity such as exercise. Physical fatigue can also be exacerbated when suffering with one of the above, making you feel 10x worse than you already do.

So, we’ve covered what kind of fatigue you might be feeling and have identified what might have caused it. So how can we move past it, and eventually prevent it from happening again? Both these things may seem impossible right now, but we promise, it’s less challenging to resolve than you may think.

Here are a few simple but extremely effective tips for getting your energy back after feeling fatigued:

  • Rule out any underlying health conditions that may be causing fatigue. While working as hard as you do, it’s easy to forget to get yourself to the doctor for a check up. Now is the perfect opportunity to make sure there are no nasty developments taking place in your body. They may be causing you to feel the way you do!
  • Get moving. A simple yet incredibly effective way of jump starting the healing process after suffering with fatigue. Try and re-work your daily habits to incorporate some kind of movement, whether you head to the gym, or go on a 20 minute power walk along the promenade. You KNOW your body is crying out for movement – so give it some! 

  • Drink a whole lot of water. It may seem insignificant, but being dehydrated is one of the most intense energy zappers out there, and most of us don’t know we’re dehydrated until its too late. Boosting your water intake gives your brain a chance to boost its performance, with the help of a little hydration. 

  • EAT. MORE. OFTEN. Eating smaller quantities of wholesome foods more regularly helps your body balance it’s blood sugar levels. Keeping you at peak energy throughout the day. 

  • Get to bed early – and listen to your body clock! Late nights and early morning are a surefire way of killing off our passion and energy, really fast. Make sure that you’re switching off early, and getting to bed at a suitable time. This will help with your internal body clock as well! Instead of getting a spurt of energy at 2am, you might start getting them in the morning, when you need it most!

Preventing fatigue for the future

Preventing fatigue is a whole lot more effective than having to fix the fatigue you already have. So going forward, how can you prevent the effects of fatigue again? Simply put, it’s all about becoming aware and being conscious of what your body, mind and soul are trying to tell you. Is that meeting REALLY necessary, or is it just half an hour of energy zapping? Do I HAVE to stay up until 1am finishing this press release, or can I finish it first thing in the morning?

Let’s talk a bit about burnout

Burnout, like fatigue, is usually brought on by a number of things. All of these combined, create one helluva traumatising experience for us. But burnout, unlike fatigue, is more centred around emotional distress, as well as physical and mental. The Symptoms of burnout include: 

  • Lack of clarity and control in your job

  • Unclear job expectations that make you feel uncomfortable and unsure of your role. 

  • Dysfunctional workplace dynamics. From bullies to micromanaging bosses, your environment has a direct impact on your mental wellbeing. 

  • Extremes of activity. When a job is monotonous or chaotic, you need constant energy to remain focused — which can lead to fatigue and job burnout.

  • Lack of social support. If you feel isolated at work and in your personal life, you might feel more stressed.

  • Work-life imbalance. If your work takes up so much of your time and effort that you don’t have the energy to spend time with your family and friends, you might burn out quickly.

The solution to burnout

Isn’t quite as black and white unfortunately. There are many different factors that may be contributing to your burnout, some of which you may not even be  aware of, yet. 

Our advice if you’re feeling burnt out? Is to take some time off, and gather some space from the situation. In your space and time off, try and identify the things that are contributing to your burnout. Once you’re aware of what they are, you can make decisions based on what is best for YOU. You may have been nervous to confront your boss about the lack of support in your workplace. After a short time away, you might find you have the energy to address and try and resolve the situation when you return. Resulting in a better support system for you at work, but also empowering you to take control of a situation you couldn’t have before. 

A lot of preventing fatigue and burnout, is about creating boundaries, FOR YOURSELF. Because no one else can do it for you! 

For more insights into stress and fatigue VS burnout, check out this super helpful article by HelpGuide.Org – Stress & Burnout Prevention & Recovery