Teacher burnout will sneak up on you if you’re not careful. It’s hard to notice the effects when your attention is devoted completely to a stressful situation. Yet, before long, you’ll begin to feel them. Unfortunately, the damage is often already done, and you can only treat the symptoms. Instead, be on the lookout for teacher burnout symptoms and stop them as soon as they start. To do this, you have to begin with knowing what to look for. They come in several ways.
Among the effects of teacher burnout, the physical symptoms are probably the easiest to spot. Most likely, it’s because you’re going to feel these symptoms more intensely than the others. This is because physical pain comes with physical symptoms.
So, what do the physical teacher burnout symptoms look like? They look like the symptoms of stress. Since teacher burnout is exhaustion due to a high level of stress a teacher is feeling in his or her profession. Thus, to recognize these symptoms, you need to identify the physical symptoms of stress.
Stress can damage the body in many ways. It can affect different major symptoms individually, or it can attack the body as a whole. It’s not uncommon to see this high level of stress affecting multiple organs at the same time. Here are some ways in which teacher burnout affects the body:
- muscle aches- often in the back and shoulder
- upset stomach- heartburn, diarrhea, constipation, nausea, or vomitting
- high blood pressure- stress hormones tighten blood vessels
- stomach ulcers
- high blood sugar- increased glucose levels produced by the liver
- shortness of breath
- risk of heart attack
- quickened pulse
- weakened immune system- make you more susceptible to sickness
As you can see, teacher burnout can cause some major physical issues. It’s important to pay attention to our body and address any issues your having immediately before permanent damage is done to your body.
Mental/ Psychological Teacher Burnout Symptoms
In addition to the physical symptoms, teacher burnout can also cause mental/ psychological symptoms, as well. For instance, it can cause you to feel anxious or nervous. You may wake up fearing going to work because of a bad experience you had recently. Who knows, it may be a string of bad experiences.
Not only that, but the effects of teacher burnout can also include depression. Stress causes disruptions to your normal routines. For example, your body contains a built in chemical system that reacts to stress.
When your body experiences stress, it releases chemicals such as adrenaline and dopamine. These chemicals speed up your heart rate and other functions that help your body perform better. They cause your body to enter a fight-or-flight status.
With sustained stress, the elevated levels of these chemicals keep you in that fight-or-flight status. This disruption can affect your mood. Overtime, this can lead to depression.
As you can see, chronic stress sets up a domino effect in your life. Once you start feeling physical and psychological teacher burnout symptoms, these could, in turn, start to affect your behavior. Stress can cause you to begin behaviors that you normally don’t do.
For example, stress can cause you to start sleepwalking or having nightmares. Or, due to stress, you might change your eating habits. You might either eat more or eat less. Furthermore, if you exercised before, you may begin to decrease your exercise time or frequency. Also, you might suffer from changes in your sleep patterns.
Even more, you might find yourself questioning your decisions and even putting off making decisions. On the other hand, you might find yourself making rash decisions and taking risks that you normally wouldn’t make. This could because of a sense of desperation that accompanies teacher burnout.
It’s safe to say that how you respond to teacher burnout and how it affects your behavior is going to be different from somebody else’s response. It’s important to remember that you are an unique individual, and your response will be just as unique as you are.
If the previous symptoms aren’t enough, teacher burnout can affect you socially, as well. Because you hurt physically or you experience negative emotions, you might feel yourself wanting to withdraw from others. This distancing yourself from others will have adverse reactions to your relationships.
In addition, teacher burnout can cause communication problems. Even though you may not really mean to, you may lash out to those that are close to you. Because you’re already agitated from work, it spills over into your life outside of work. And, this agitation stains your closest relationships.
Only If You Let It
Yet, this doesn’t have to be the way life has to be. Teacher burnout symptoms can damage you physically, emotionally, psychologically, behaviorally, or socially only if you let it. The key to preventing the damage caused by teacher burnout is being aware of these symptoms and paying attention to yourself.
If you see yourself starting to experience any of these symptoms, you need to take action before it’s too late. Too often, teachers don’t do anything about the effects of teacher burnout because they’ve learned to accept them as the status quo. Yet, this doesn’t have to be so. Teacher burnout can be cured. Even more, it can be prevented.
Self-awareness and self-care go a long way into keeping teacher burnout at bay. It’s ironic: the causes of teacher burnout are external, but the solution is internal. Focusing on yourself instead of your situation is how you turn your situation around. You may not be able to control much in your situation, but you can control how you respond to your situation.
If you’d like to find out how you can prevent teacher burnout, subscribe to teachernirvana.com below. If you sign-up, I’ll send you more information on preventing teacher burnout that includes a free guide with 20 free and easy things you can do to prevent teacher burnout.
As always, if you liked what you’ve read or if you have a question, leave me a comment below I’d enjoy some dialogue on teacher burnout I really feel it’s become a problem in our profession, and it’s time something is done about it.
Finally, if you enjoyed this post, be sure to share it with others.