In today’s fast-paced and demanding world, it’s not uncommon for people to experience stress, anxiety, and other negative emotions on a regular basis. In some cases, these feelings can result in a prolonged period of unhappiness or stress commonly known as “burnout.” However, in other cases, these negative emotions may be short-lived phases of depression. So how can you tell the difference? Read on to learn more about the differences between burnout and depression in any area of your life and how you can take action if you are experiencing either one of these conditions.
What is Burnout?
Burnout refers to a state of prolonged unhappiness or stress caused by prolonged periods of stressful or difficult situations. This can be related to long hours of work, high levels of responsibilities, being a caretaker, toxic relationships, low self-esteem, and other factors related to your job or daily routine, but not to an extended period of depression. Symptoms of burnout can include feelings of exhaustion, a lack of motivation, frequent feelings of annoyance, and a lack of enjoyment in your work or life. Burnout is often caused by a combination of both internal and external factors. Internal factors include a lack of skills, feelings of self-doubt, a lack of self-esteem, and high expectations. External factors could include the pressure to meet productivity expectations, a lack of support, or other environmental factors.
What is Depression?
Depression is a mood disorder characterized by a prolonged period of low mood or unhappiness. This can include feelings of sadness, hopelessness, disappointment, and a lack of motivation or interest in activities you normally enjoy. Depression is a serious medical condition that impacts nearly 15% of the global population at some point in their lifetime. As with burnout, there are various factors that can contribute to depression. These can include biological, psychological, and social factors, such as a chronic illness, a history of trauma or abuse, a stressful life event, or other environmental factors, such as a lack of support from loved ones or friends. While burnout can be a passing phase, depression can be considered a more serious mental health condition that impacts a person’s quality of life. If you are experiencing depression, you may feel like you’re under a dark cloud that you can’t get out of and may have thoughts of ending your life. If you or someone you know is exhibiting warning signs of depression, it’s important to seek help.
How to Tell if You’re Experiencing Depression or Burnout?
In most cases, it can be difficult to distinguish between depression and burnout. While burnout is mostly a more short-lived situation (unless the situation causing it does not change), depression is a more serious mood disorder that usually requires some form of treatment or attention. While there is not a specific time frame for when burnout ends and depression begins, there are key differences in the symptoms of each condition. If you are experiencing symptoms of depression, it will likely last longer than just a few days. If you are experiencing burnout, it will usually end once the source of frustration is removed. If you are experiencing symptoms of depression, it’s important to seek help. You can visit your physician or mental health therapist, both of whom may be able to provide you with resources or recommend treatment options. If you are experiencing burnout, there are a few things you can do to relieve some of the symptoms. Try practicing self-care, such as getting enough sleep and eating a healthy diet, scheduling time for yourself to reduce stress, and getting support from loved ones and friends.
3 Ways to Combat Burnout and Depression
There are a few ways you can combat burnout. These include practicing self-care, getting support, and finding ways to reduce stress.
Practice Self-Care - As mentioned above, one of the best ways to combat burnout and Depression is by practicing self-care. This can include getting enough sleep, eating a healthy diet, scheduling time for yourself, and finding ways to reduce stress in your life. Try meditating, spending time outside, or making time for hobbies you enjoy.
Get Support - Another way is to get support from your colleagues, friends, and family. If you’re experiencing feelings of burnout or depression, reach out to your co-workers, supervisor, partner, friends, or coach and let them know what you’re going through. You can also try joining a support group or finding a life coach who specializes in burnout. **Life coaches cannot treat depression. You must be evaluated by a licensed physician or therapist/counselor to be diagnosed and treated.
Find Ways to Reduce Stress - You can also combat burnout and depression by finding ways to reduce stress in your life. Take time away from work or daily activities to clear your head, get outside and spend time in nature, take a social media break, or do something you enjoy.
At work or at home, it is important to stay healthy and positive. This involves finding healthy ways to manage your stress and finding support. Depression and burnout are both common in relation to work and family issues and can be managed with the right support and resources. Nevertheless, if you are experiencing these conditions, it is vital that you seek help. Depression and burnout can negatively impact your life and the lives of those around you. If you are feeling depressed or experiencing burnout, make an effort to seek help, and don’t be afraid to let others know what you’re going through. If you are experiencing burnout and don't know where to turn to resolve it, reach out for a call. I would be happy to discuss your situation and see if coaching would be a good fit for you. I have tools that you can learn and take with you to apply in the future if burnout creeps back up on you. Schedule your call today or send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.