… are based on a network of reliable sensors. It detects seismic waves, evaluates them and automatically activates a warning signal. There is also an early warning system for stress. We can react to it. But this only works if we are mindful. There are three categories: physical symptoms, our own behavior and the reaction of the environment.
… big black hole. This is how it feels for many who are on their way to or already in burnout. But what are the phases on the way to a burnout? Roughly, five phases can be described:
Phase 1: Success. Success is something positive. Why can this lead to a state of burnout? Success fires our will to achieve. „I can do this,“ and much more. Vacation? Relaxation? Free time? I really don’t have time for that right now! I don’t need anything like that.“ Phase 2: Exhaustion. The stress makes itself felt for the first time. Phases of deep exhaustion occur, which can also be long-lasting. At home, it’s then, „Leave me alone, I just want to sleep.“ Phase 3: The fight. You come down harder on yourself. „It’s got to work! It worked before.“ You watch out for healthy food, exercise more and fight against what is seen as your own weakness. „Close your eyes and get through it.“ Phase 4: The overshoot. The last energy reserves are mobilized. Working late into the night on weekends and at home. „This absolutely has to be finished now.“ The fear of failure rises continuously. Self-esteem plummets. Exhaustion permeates all areas of life. Phase 5: The collapse. Psychological collapse. „I’m not going on anymore. I can’t do it anymore“ Consequences: Withdrawal, hopelessness, apathy, depression.
What helps? How do you get out of it, or not get into it in the first place? In phase 1 and 2 it helps to pause, to stop the stress wheel, to get out. Take your time. Allow that you don’t do something, that mistakes happen, that you don’t have to/can’t have everything under control. If it gets harder, from phase 3 on, then you should get support. At the university, there is also a colleague at the Central Student Advisory Service who is very familiar with the topic of stress. Just get in touch with her.
… an endless list. Stress is encountered by everyone, everywhere. No one can talk themselves out of it. Stress is divided into „positive“ and „negative“ stress. Positive stress can be stimulating over a certain period of time. As a rule, however, stress has a negative connotation. Here you can see which factors can play a role in a stress list:
Always being available.
Wanting to do several things at the same time.
Everything is equally important.
Having a lot of private appointments.
Rarely taking time for breaks.
Always having high demands on yourself, even in your free time.
Taking problems from work home .
Getting angry about things over which you have no control.
Finding it very difficult to say no.
Often being pressed for time already in the morning.
Spending the whole day in a hurry and the pressure of, „I hope I get everything done.“
Finding it hard to accept things as they are.
Seeing negative things rather than positive things.
Often feeling responsible for things that are not one’s fault.
And now, hand on heart: How many points do you find yourself in? Even if you find an example for every point on the list, that’s no reason to panic. Being aware of the stress factors is the first step towards being able to change them. The important thing is: Don’t just carry on as before. There is always something that can be changed and sometimes even small changes have a big effect.
… with composure. Sounds almost like a Disney song. And yet it has so much importance. A balanced life is the basis for serenity. A fulfilled life is supported by many pillars. Those include career and professional success, material security, meaningful activity, physical and mental health, and a supportive social environment. Many people focus on the first two pillars, career, professional success, and material security. They neglect the other three pillars. With so much work, there is no time for family and friends, and health is also on the decline. And suddenly they realize: Something crucial is missing!
In the following blog entries, I want to write about the things that you can change.