Wed. Sep 27th, 2023

You got into real estate partly so you could have a more flexible schedule and gain control of your life, and life is good. You’ve got a solid group of clients, a few listings, business is now finding you, and you’re making money like you never have before.

So, why do things sometimes seem so out of control? While you look forward to helping your clients every day, you’ve begun to feel like you’re just keeping your head above water.

Research shows that you may be suffering from burnout and not even realize it. It’s important to be able to identify the signs and how to prevent it because failing to address it can be detrimental to your health.

On a recent episode of The Walkthrough™, we looked at burnout in real estate through the eyes of Dr. Saundra Dalton-Smith, a physician and work-life integration researcher, to help us understand the symptoms of burnout and how to recharge ourselves. Dr. Dalton-Smith is the author of Recover Your Life, Renew Your Energy, Restore Your Sanity and the founder of Restorasis. It’s a professional development agency dedicated to restoring well-being in the workplace. She helps high-achievers like you deal with their work-rest imbalance and find actionable answers so you can have a thriving lifestyle.

Dr. Dalton-Smith’s research has determined that we need seven types of rest, and if you aren’t getting enough rest in all of these areas, you will get burned out and the outcome will surface in several areas of your life, including your productivity. She created a “rest quiz” to determine the areas you are lacking.

The Signs and Symptoms of Burnout & How to Address Them

1. You’re sick more than usual

If you find that you’re often under the weather and feeling run down, this could be a sign that you have a physical rest deficit. It could also manifest as tension, neck pain, or swelling in your feet or legs.

Experiencing these symptoms? You are most likely in need of physical rest. Dr. Dalton-Smith says there are two types:

  • Passive physical rest, which includes sleeping and napping. This is where you physically do nothing. You’re allowing your body to recover by a lack of movement and activity.
  • Active physical rest, which helps improve circulation and relieve tension. This includes things like yoga, pilates, massage therapy, stretching, or even leisurely walks. These things even promote better quality sleep as well.

2. Difficulty concentrating

If you find that you have brain fog, you could have a mental rest deficit. In her book, Dr. Dalton-Smith says this can show up while completing everyday tasks. One example, which she calls “‘early dementia’ without actually having dementia,” is walking upstairs to grab a few items, and suddenly, not being able to remember what you came for.

She recommends taking short breaks throughout the day during work hours and setting reminders to stop and slow down long enough to calm your mind. At nighttime, she suggests keeping a notepad at your bedside to write down those thoughts that may be keeping you awake.

3. Difficulty brainstorming

Have you noticed that when trying to write or think of new ideas, you find that you’re “drawing a blank”? When this happens, you may be experiencing a creative rest deficit.

It’s time to take in some beauty to recharge your creative genius. Whether it’s a walk in the park enjoying nature, going to a museum, or looking at beautiful pictures or videos, seeing some type of beauty that feeds your soul will help to replenish your creative mind. Another thing you can do is to keep pictures of things that make you happy at your workplace so no matter where you are, you can always fix your eyes on something that brings you joy.

Frustrated business woman sitting with head in hands in front of computer at office desk

4. Easily irritated

If you have little to no tolerance for the slightest noise–like a baby crying, a horn beeping, or even conversations going on around you–and hearing loud music makes you feel like you want to jump out of your skin, you may be experiencing a sensory rest deficit.

To remedy this, simply take a few minutes to close your eyes in the middle of the day. Instead of listening to the radio in your car, ride in silence. And turn off your devices altogether at the end of each day. Creating intentional times of sensory deprivation will begin to undo the damage of living in an overstimulating world.

5. You feel misunderstood and unappreciated

We all sometimes feel this way, but if you also feel like you’re being used and abused by others, you may be experiencing an emotional rest deficit. It’s a common experience for those who are known to be “people pleasers” and the ones to whom everyone looks for help.

The only way to recharge emotionally is to try to be more authentic when asked to do something you don’t really want to do. Don’t be afraid to say “no” more often. And when someone asks how you are feeling, answer truthfully. It’s okay to admit that you’re tired or even a little stressed out.

6. You feel drained

If you feel that you have “nothing more to give” and you prefer not to be around anyone, you, most likely, have a social rest deficit. This usually goes hand-in-hand with emotional rest.

In her book, Dr. Dalton-Smith suggests becoming more intentional about surrounding yourself with people who want nothing from you, but rather, those who enrich your life in some way. Instead of socializing with those who deplete your energy, associate with positive and uplifting people that affirm you.

7. You feel disconnected

When you feel alone and not connected to a particular group, you are probably experiencing a spiritual rest deficit. The signs of a spiritual rest deficit really depend on your own spiritual beliefs.

Being able to connect beyond the physical and mental, through God or a higher power, will help to alleviate the feeling of disconnectedness. Engaging in prayer or meditation on a regular basis will help to create a deeper sense of acceptance and purpose in your life.

If you can relate to these signs or even just one, it’s important to address them right away in order to begin to implement change. And like real estate, you won’t see instantaneous success, but by making a commitment to put certain things into practice, you will eventually be able to reap the long-term rewards.

After all, Dr. Dalton-Smith says that “rest is the safest, most underused, chemical-free, and effective alternative therapy available to us.” And it happens to be free.

Listen to this episode of The Walkthrough™ below:

Header Image Source: (Dan Gomer / Unsplash)

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