One of the first signs that i am overworked and stressed is being constantly tired. Being able to drink 3 large cups of coffee in one go and still feeling exhausted.
Also memory loss. I would say i have rather good memory, but when i am very stressed i can begin to forget ALOT of things. I can leave keys and cards everywhere, forget about important dates and just simple things i forget completely. Infact i have very little memory from the years that i was depressed and struggled with my eating disorder.. some of it may be repressed memeories as it was very traumatic, but i was in a blur and i wasn’t giving my mind enough energy so i don’t have alot of memory. Only when i look back on certain pictures or previous posts that it can respark a memory i had forgotten… i kind of see this as a good thing though, there is alot from those years that i DON’T want to remember.
Sleep problems – meaning both finding it hard to sleep and then sleeping in until 10 or 11am. When i am feeling relaxed and not suffering from stress or anxiety then i naturally go to sleep around 11pm and wake up at 6 or 7am without an alarm and i feel energized. But when i am not feeling healthy, then i can be awake until 2-4am and either wake up at 7am or wake up at 11am. And somedays i’ll end up sleeping 12-14 hours straight and still feel like i have been run over by a bus.
The simplest of things can feel like too much. When i am very stressed or anxious i almost want to cry because i have obligatory lextures or seminars and i just can’t find the energy to go to school or leave the house.
I don’t workout or go to the gym. When i am stressed, anxious or overwhelmed i can’t find the energy or motivation to go to the gym, so either i just don’t workout or i go out for a short walk to get fresh air. The gym is a form of therapy and anxiety relief, but when i am stressed or very anxious it takes far too much time and energy to get myself to the gym and working out… not to mention that my normal weights feel soo heavy and a 30 minute walk can make me want to lie on the ground and refuse to ever get up. Might sound extreme, but it is my bodies way of signalling just how tired and burned out i am… that just the bare physical movement takes so much energy. My whole body feels heavy and like my brain is in a fog.
Which brings me to the next sign/symptom… brain fog. I can’t think clearly and i can end up saying weird things because i can’t seem to formulate myself… not to mention trying to write essays or formulate myself properly in text can be extremely hard. Which is one of the reasons i don’t blog when i am very stressed, anxious or feeling overwhelmed because i just can’t think straight. I don’t feel inspired to write, have no creativity and when i do try to write it can take me 2-3 hours to try to write a post because i can’t seem to formulate myself in text.
Also irritability and moodswings. The smallest of things can irritate me and i just get this inner angriness and feel irritable at everything. I am a very calm person and it takes alot to irritate me, usually i don’t care… but when i am already feeling stressed and overworked the smallest of things can be too much.
Distancing myself, this has alot to do with the lack of energy i feel. I don’t have the energy to meet people or socialize, i don’t have the energy to go to school and don’t have the energy to reåly to messages. Infact, online conversations can give me even more anxiety when i am already feeling overwhelmed… just the thought of having to reply to people and try to hold a conversation is one of the reasons i don’t reply, because i don’t want the person to answer – so it is easier to just not reply.
I remember when i was very depressed, this was just my normal state… always tired, sleeping problems, memory problems, couldn’t think clearly, brain fog, my body felt so heavy and tired and i could barely do half of my normal workout or normal weights because i felt so tired physically and mentally.
These symptoms and signs are NOT normal. Brain fog, memoryloss, extreme tiredness mentally and physically, sleeping problems…. they are signs that something isn’t right. They can of course be signs of other problems which can be physical, such as certain food allergies can give these types of symptoms and other issues. So if you are suffering from some of these symptoms, do seek help and talk to someone.
For me, the only thing i need to do is rest. To destress and then i begin to feel more like myself again, but it can take weeks to fully recover mentally. Burnout and stress don’t just happen overnight, it is a process that happens over a longer period of time and the signs start slowly appearing and you don’t really register them until it’s too late.
Take time to rest mentally and physically each week. (post about importance of mental rest days HERE)