Why do we continue to allow our success to come at the cost of our health?
Every day I work with ambitious, inspiring and intelligent women and we all have one behaviour in common—we don’t know when to stop (or perhaps it’s more we know and we keep going).
Just that bit more, another day, week, month, for some; years, then.. everything comes crashing down
Your life as you knew it, no longer exists, because you’ve got nothing left to give.
You’ve been barelling into burnout and ignored all the warning signs.
Yes every single one (and there were hundreds). Fatigue, exhaustion, irritability, intolerance, ailment after ailment, lingering coughs, lingering colds, sleepless nights, anxiety running at 1000%, foggy brain, forgetfulness, drowning the day in a glass or three of wine and backing up with four coffees before midday the following day just-to-keep-going. Then performing poorly at the office (or in your business) because even the simple tasks are now taking a long time, getting frustrated because you have no patience or tolerance and your self care has slipped, and that’s just the beginning.
I know this because I’ve been there. So, there’s no judgement here, I assure you.
The 3 Stages of Signs that Burnout Maybe Creeping into Your Life:
If you observe the slightest sign, please take action.
Stage 1: What are You Saying to Yourself?
If you are you believing or repeating these common myths about burnout, it’s time to seek support.
- “If I find a new job, I won’t feel stressed/burned out anymore”
- “It will go away”
- “It’s my boss, my employer, my co-workers that are causing my burnout feelings and symptoms”
- “My employer should help me with my stress and burnout”
- “I’ll just take something to fix/treat this”
- “If I ‘slack off’ and relax, I won’t reach my goals”
- “I can only get what I want by working long hours”
- “Hard work is the only way to achieve my goals”
Stage 2: What are You Thinking and Feeling?
Are you having these common thoughts, feelings?
- “I just feel so tired all the time”
- “I’m exhausted”
- “I just need a holiday”
- “I just need a new job”
- “I can’t take it anymore”
- “I can’t be bothered” / “Why bother?”
- “I’m at the end of my rope”
- “I’ve had enough”
- “I’m burning the candle at both ends”
- “I can’t do this job anymore”
- “It’s hopeless”
- “I don’t know what to do”
- “I’m burned out”
- “I’m worn out”
- “I just don’t care anymore”
- “I’m over It”
- “I can’t do this anymore”
- “I’m done”
Stage 3: What are You Doing?
Many burnout sufferers find maladaptive ways people cope with burnout, these are some that are common.
- Increased alcohol consumption
- Beginning or increased vaping or cigarette smoking
- Over-indulging in sugary foods and beverages
- Over-indulging in salty foods
- Increased anger or rage (eg. Road rage)
- Increase watching of violent movies
- Increased watching of pornography
- Physically lashing out on others (or imagining it)
Denial can lead to devastating consequences for your health if burnout isn’t taken seriously and acted upon as soon as possible.
Along with physical and mental symptoms of burnout comes all-important self-talk and self-expression in general, as the words we think or repeat are windows to our deeper thoughts, feelings, beliefs and values. The tricky part with burnout is that it affects everyone differently.
You can have two people doing the exact same job at the exact same company, doing the same amount of hours; and one person could become burned out, while the other person sings their way into and out of the office each day.
But before your flame is extinguished, it’s best to get to the root cause of the problem so you can treat and prevent burnout from re-occuring. When you know the signs that burnout is creeping into your life you can take action to stop the cycle.
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