Do you sometimes feel overworked? Maybe you’re taking on more than you can handle, or perhaps your boss is expecting too much. Whatever the culprit, it’s imperative that you take a break before your stamina and speed plummet.
The problem is, however, most people don’t realize how badly they need a break until it’s too late.
“When you work double-digit hours and Sundays are no longer a day of rest, feeling overworked can become the new normal,” says Inc. columnist Jeff Haden in a recent LinkedIn post. “You’ll eventually hit a wall, and when that happens it can take days and even weeks to recover the enthusiasm, creativity, and motivation you’ve lost.”
Haden asked professional mountain-biker Jeremiah Bishop for some simple signs that you’re nearing burnout. Here are three that tell you it's time to take a break:
An increase in your resting heart rate. Bishop suggests you take your pulse every day before getting out of bed. There are plenty of free apps that will measure your heart rate and keep a log of the results.
He says your heart rate will stay within a range of a few beats per minute most of the time. But when you’re overworked and stressed, "your system will send more oxygen to your body and brain by increasing your heart rate."
If your heart rate is up in the morning, get some extra sleep, take a brief break from work, or do whatever else you can to reduce your stress level. (If it's alarmingly high, call a doctor.)
You feel stressed and irritated for no apparent reason. Sometimes you feel irritable and short-tempered, but can’t put your finger on a specific reason why. “Chronic stress and fatigue may have triggered a physiological response and sent more cortisol and less dopamine to your brain,” Haden writes. Willing yourself to be in a better mood, he says, won’t overcome the impact of chemistry. In extreme cases, the only cure is a break.
You inexplicably lose or gain weight. If you get on the scale in the morning and again at night, you’ll almost always notice a difference in your weight. But should you lose or gain more than 1% of your body weight from one morning to the next, there’s a good chance something is off.
Bishop explains what when you're stressed or overworked, you may fail to notice how much or how little food and water you're consuming. If you experience sudden weight gain or weight loss, this could be the reason. Take a break and visit your doctor if the problem persists.
Read the full LinkedIn post here.
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