Signs and Symptoms of Zombification
We have all at some point in our lives started to feel like a zombie going through the motions of life without finding meaning, and feeling utterly exhausted. When we start to feel like a zombie, chances are we are struggling with burnout, or experiencing high levels of stress or distress including anxiety and low mood. Symptoms might include:
- Headaches, stomach-aches and fatigue
- Changes in appetite and sleep
- Feeling helpless, cynical, like a failure or full of self-doubt,
- Feeling unmotivated, detached, and ambivalent towards things we used to enjoy.
These feelings and thoughts are typically linked to changes in behaviour such as reduced performance, withdrawal, isolation, procrastination, and anger outbursts. This is largely an indicator that it might be time to get help with your mental health.
What Causes Zombification
Zombification can be caused by stressful work environments, heavy responsibilities, chronic stress, demands in home life, relocation, physical health concerns and feeling a lack of control over life. These factors lead to symptoms of burnout and poor mental health.
Typically, when we start to feel like a zombie we get stuck in a vicious cycle. The cycle starts with a number of different events, situations and experiences which may trigger zombie like feelings of numbness, low mood, and being overwhelmed. These feelings eventually lead to the following:
- Reduced energy
- Low motivation
- Lack of enjoyment
These then encourage us to engage less, decreasing our activity, neglecting responsibilities, which ultimately causes hopelessness, guilt, and shame which further maintain our zombie like feelings and behaviours.
How to Reverse Zombification
Reversing the zombification process takes effort to change your activity levels and thought processes and regain balance and a sense of control back in your life. You may have to be prepared for this to take a little time whilst you implement and practice the necessary techniques.
It is important that we implement strategies to engage in attitudes and behaviours that foster the following:
- Positive emotions and feelings of joy
- Engagement with what we are doing, become emersed in it
- Establishing rewarding relationships with others
- Commit to and carry out meaningful and purposeful pursuits
- Focus on the achievements that we are making and gaining from our pursuits
- Keep up activities that lead to Vigor (exercise, eat well, socialising with friends, sleep etc)
Exercise and social support are two very important activities in life if we are to buffer ourselves against depression and anxiety. A balance approach to work-life integration is also crucial if we are to stave off fatigue and potential burnout.
So to de-zombify and become an Energy Injector for yourself and others concentrate on implementing the above ideas.
If you get stuck or symptoms of becoming a zombie continue, reach out to your GP to get a mental health plan to talk with a psychologist/counsellor.
Throughout October we will be diving into the topic ‘Despooking Mental Health’. We will be unmasking stigmas, discussing the psychology behind ghosting and encountering energy vampires.