Can stress be cured

Beware of these early warning signs of burnout

The term “burn-out” comes from English and means “to burn out”. People who suffer from burnout experience a state of severe emotional and physical exhaustion. This is mainly triggered by chronic excessive demands, both at work and in private life. It is estimated that up to 13 million employees in Germany are affected by burnout.

Typical symptoms are persistent exhaustion, declining performance, social withdrawal and a feeling that many affected describe as "inner emptiness". "In order not to get into this state in the first place, it is important to observe yourself regularly," recommends Jacob Drachenberg, trainer for healthy stress management. "How do I feel? Am I stressed, possibly overwhelmed? "

Typical early warning signs of burnout

"When things are difficult for you that you don't normally think about, that's a clear sign," says the trained psychologist. “It can be private and also professional. For example, one is in the supermarket and no longer knows where what is or what exactly is to be bought. Or that on the job a task that is otherwise done in ten minutes takes a whole hour. "

Burn-out is often associated with social withdrawal. "Meetings with friends and family members are no longer a resource from which we draw energy, but a burden," says stress trainer Drachenberg, who also holds workshops in companies. "If actually nice activities suddenly seem exhausting and stressful, then you should pay attention."

After exhausting times, everyone needs an individual phase of recovery in order to recharge their energy stores. “Imagine trying to relax, neither body nor mind actually have anything to do. And yet you cannot switch off. That is the first step in the vicious circle. ”Those who cannot recover have less energy, make more mistakes, have even more stress, and cannot recover. In order not to get into this cycle in the first place, pay attention to the following early warning signs:

  • Difficulty making simple decisions
  • Long pondering without finding a solution
  • Having less time for your own needs, e.g. sports, hobbies
  • Feeling of not being able to switch off anymore
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Conspicuous eating behavior
  • Increased consumption of tobacco and alcohol
  • a headache
  • Back pain
  • Tension
  • Chest tightness

“It is not easy to recognize such early warning signs in yourself. Especially if you are already partially burned out, ”says Drachenberg. The stress expert has developed a method to activate and simplify self-awareness. "With the TrackMyDay system you can observe your behavior and your emotional world for 30 days and can document both using 25 parameters," explains Drachenberg. "When performance and mood decline, it becomes clear."

Anyone who discovers early warning signs in themselves should not hesitate to act. “If a warning light flashes on our car, we immediately send it to the workshop. If, on the other hand, our mental and physical emergency signals light up, we often resort to provisional solutions, for example alcohol, headache pills or energy drinks, ”warns Drachenberg. “But the problems don't go away.” He explains even more about early warning signs in an episode of his podcast.

If you notice that you can no longer cope with your problems on your own, be sure to talk to your doctor about it. If necessary, he can refer you to a psychologist or psychotherapist. You can find an expert in your area here. The telephone counseling also helps with email and chat advice as well as free calls on 0800/1110111 or 0800/1110222.