The last few days we’ve discussed spiritual burnout and mental spiritual burnout. Today I want to tackle physical burnout. We identify most with the signs and symptoms of physical burnout because they are hard to ignore. Some of those symptoms are lack of sleep, chronic fatigue, easily susceptible to illnesses due to low immune system, weight gain or loss, elevated cortisol levels. Some people may even experience chest pain, muscle aches, shortness of breath, dizziness and headaches. If you are experiencing these symptoms it could be the sign of a serious medical condition and I would advise you to seek medical attention. Prolonged periods of stress can have detrimental effects on your body.
Elevated cortisol levels can lead to the body being in a flight or fight syndrome. Cortisol is the hormone that regulates parasympathetic and sympathetic nervous system or fight or flight. These cascade of hormones controls the body’s response to stress. It can elevate blood pressure, blood sugar levels, and even cause the body to store fat. Prolonged elevated cortisol levels lead to weight gain and stubborn body fat. People also have a tendency to gain weight because they eat more when they are stressed. I know for a fact that I am a stress eater. When you are burnout and always feel pressed for time, you lack the energy or time to cook meals. The first thing you do is go through a drive thru. That food is higher in fat, sugar and sodium which also leads to weight gain. See a pattern here. Stress can cause you to eat more of the wrong foods due to convenience and you have hormones causing you to store fat. However, there are those who do the opposite. When they get stressed their stomach becomes upset or painful which causes them to avoid eating. If they are constantly stressed they eat very little or go for extended periods of time without eating. This could cause weight loss, but not in a good way. Instead of losing fat, the body holds on to fat and muscle is wasted. These people are usually thin but flabby or lack muscle tone and strength.
Prolonged extreme stress is not good for your body. Self care is so important. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms it is important to see your doctor. This way you can rule out any underlying physical condition that can lead to chronic illness and get it treated quickly if needed. Next I will talk about how to combat burnout and prevent it. I have a lot of great tips to share that will really help get you on track. Stay tuned!