How do you Know You're in Burnout?
Updated: Sep 4, 2019
If you've read My Story you'll know that I ‘burnt out’ in 2015 and experienced mental health challenges around that. Being the pragmatic, results oriented person I am, I wanted to talk more about that and help you to recognise the signs of burnout and how to manage it.
Burnout can happen at any age and I’ve seen it across the board - students, Mum’s, Dad’s and many people in the traditional corporate work place. We live in a society that is always striving for more; the next thing; the next step; perfection. Rarely are we recognising effort and rarely are we living in the moment and appreciating the here and now.
Our minds are constantly focused on ‘what do I need to do next?’ The question is also being constantly asked of you, ‘what do you need to do next?’ With an implicit message of ‘and how are you going to excel at doing that next step?’ It’s constant pressure and expectation of ourselves and others to be ‘perfect’ and perform at superhuman capacity 100% of the time. However, we are human and we are not built for that kind of sustained performance. My goodness though, I have seen many of you performing at superhuman capacity for a prolonged period! Right up until you breakdown. Closely followed by a period of beating yourself up because you couldn’t maintain your superhuman lifestyle and see it as failure or weakness. Just for the record, it is only because of your strength and ability to excel that you have been able to do what you’ve been doing for as long as you have.
If any of this is sounding familiar, you are not alone and it’s where I was 3 years ago, so I have some idea of how you might be feeling. (Check out my videos on YouTube where I tell the story, which you might find helpful.)
What are the signs that you’re heading towards a burnout & what can you do about it?
It’s different for everyone, but here are some common themes:
- Struggling to concentrate
- Exhausted & waking up at 4am
- Feeling low, depressed, stressed, unhappy, confused, paranoid, like you can’t cope
- Sweating, especially at night
- Short tempered and easily irritated
- Constantly fantasising about running away, being somewhere else
- Anxiety and panic attacks
I know there’s not an easy fix here, but undoubtedly something needs to change. A key change is to slow down. Find ways to be in the moment and appreciate each day as it comes – stop worrying about tomorrow and be where you are today. Be kind to yourself and treat yourself as you would your best friend. You are important, remember that.
Reach out for support and talk about how you’re feeling with family & friends – they care about you and will want to help.
Take some time out to rest, even if it’s only half an hour, every day. Jot down what’s going through your mind. Jot down what makes you happy & make that your focus.
If you’d like some specific support on anxiety and panic attacks, please head over to my blog post along with links for additional help & support.
Ps. You can get regular support on my social media pages (Facebook, Linkedin, Instagram, Twitter) with a mix of videos, memes and posts on positive thinking, wellbeing, getting unstuck and more.
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