What is stress? What is burnout?

When one of my clients, 'Sarah', first started as a therapist, she loved her job. She was filled with optimism and inspiration. She was excited about the difference she could make with her clients. 

Four years later, Sarah hardly recognizes herself. She dreads work, is more irritable, calls in sick more than she should, and feels bone-tired daily. 

When you're feeling depleted by your work or drained by being a parent (or both!), it can be hard to feel good or enjoy your life. You may not feel like yourself anymore.

You might feel so drained right now you can't enjoy your family as much as you want to.  Tending to others' needs all day without a break or time to yourself can burn anyone out. 

You may be putting enormous pressure on yourself to excel and feel like you have nothing left to give. 

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 What are the symptoms of burnout?

Burnout results from experiencing chronic stress. The demands being placed on you go beyond the resources you have  to deal with your stressors.

Left unchecked, burnout can ruin your health, well-being, relationships and job performance. In order to catch burnout and treat it early, it’s key to know what to look out for.

One sign of burnout is when you feel tired - emotionally, mentally or physically - all of the time. Even a good night's sleep doesn't make it go away. 

Another sign is when you lose enthusiasm and motivation. It may be harder to drag yourself into work every day.

Stress can influence your outlook. You may notice you're becoming more cynical or pessimistic than you ever used to be. You may be wondering, "What the point?" and feel disillusioned with everything. 

Chronic tress can build and burnout doesn't happen overnight. It happens gradually over time, which can make it even harder to recognize. 

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Stress Reduction

You can recover and heal from stress and burnout. You can enjoy your life again.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy can be highly effective for identifying sources of stress, transforming stress-producing thoughts, and practicing specific tools to help you feel balanced and restored. 

 You'll learn how to identity the thought processes that are fueling your stress. What messages are you telling yourself in this situation that are making you feel stressed?

Once these thoughts are identified, we'll work collaboratively to untwist these patterns of thinking, drawing from over 50 evidence-based methods to reduce stress and boost well-being. 

Mindfulness-Based Therapy for Stress Reduction

If you're dealing with chronic stress, you're most likely not spending much time in the moment. When your mind is disrupted by high levels of stress, it's hard to focus on what you're doing.

Stress can leave you disconnected, scattered, and distracted. 

Mindfulness brings awareness of the present moment and a sense of grounding.  It brings acceptance and contentment. This state of calm focus is relaxing.  When the mind is relaxed,  it doesn't get stressed. 

Stress and relaxation are opposite states, you won't experience one if you are feeling the other.  By turning off stress-inducing thoughts and engaging in present moment awareness, you can begin to calm your stressed-out mind and learn to experience feeling relaxed.

You can learn and practice techniques to be more peaceful, grounded, and balanced. Mindfulness is a great way to start.