It’s a morning like all the others.
The alarm shrieks, splitting your skull in two.
You fumble for the snooze button. Seemingly seconds later the alarm blares again. You drag yourself out of bed.
In the kitchen you down the first cup of what will become an entire pot of coffee.
While you’re slumped over your cup, your friend’s words float into your consciousness. “You used to be so funny, but you never laugh anymore.
“I’m worried about you. I read an article about signs of burnout, and you’ve got almost all of them.”
You know she’s right.
What Is Burnout?
Burnout is what happens when you go flat out under constant stress for a long time, succumbing to pressure to do more…more…more.
You push yourself past your limits, not just once in awhile but all the time.
You convince yourself you’re fine. This is just temporary.
You’re burned out.
You May Be Heading Toward Burnout Without Even Knowing It
A few years ago, I hosted my first ever tele-summit to help women get free from fibromyalgia. I had already healed myself from fibromyalgia and wanted to help others do the same.
Despite having a wonderful team to support me, I kept myself insanely busy.
A few weeks before the start date of my tele-summit, I began to feel both mentally and physically fatigued. However, I still had a lot to get done, so instead of listening to my body and adjusting my tele-summit schedule or getting more support, I pushed myself even harder.
I stopped working out. I was no longer eating healthy food. The stress impacted my sleep, too. And to top it all off, I let go of my spiritual practice.
Although exhausted, I delivered on the tele-summit and all of my commitments to my speakers and participants, convinced I made it through on sheer adrenaline.
After the tele-summit, I was completely drained – physically, mentally, and emotionally. Unable to function anymore, I succumbed to the burnout symptoms that had been hounding me.
I spent days in bed curled up in my pajamas. It was agony for a type-A person like me to feel so numb and depleted.
Even after I was able to get up, I split my time between the bed and the couch. I would sleep and watch TV, having no desire to do anything else. I was scared. I wondered… will it always be this way?
But then I took the first step. And after that, I took another step… until I brought myself back from burnout.
Burnout doesn’t happen suddenly. You don’t wake up one morning and bingo! Burnout.
Its nature is more subtle, sneaking up on you over time, which makes it much harder to recognize. However, our bodies and minds give us warnings. When you know what to look for, you can recognize burnout before it’s too late.
16 Signs You’re Headed To Burnout
Whether you have 1 symptom or all 16, it’s your body’s way of telling you to heed the call to change.
Here are the telltale signs you’re headed down the burnout road.
- Feeling fatigued
- Having a hard time sleeping
- Experiencing forgetfulness and impaired concentration and attention
- Experiencing obvious physical symptoms
- Getting sick more often
- Loss of appetite
- Feelings of apathy and hopelessness
- Increased irritability
- Experiencing a loss of enjoyment
- Lack of productivity and poor performance
You’ve Got To Turn Around The Burnout
Each day that you push yourself deeper into burnout, you put yourself at risk of:
- Severe depression
- Escapist behaviors such as excessive drinking
- Hopelessness about your life or work
- Health issues such as chest pain, shortness of breath, sleeplessness, or heart palpitations. (Make sure that you see a physician about these!)
- Panic attacks
Any one of these issues can derail your life. Because chronic burnout often comes with several of these warning signs, you significantly increase your risk of long-term damage to your physical or mental health unless you take action toward burnout recovery.
What Will Help With Burnout
If you recognize you’re burned out, don’t despair.
There are steps you can take to overcome burnout and bring yourself back to wellness. I know, because I’ve been there. Here’s what will help you recover from burnout:
- Put your focus and energy toward moving beyond burnout. Write or sketch your vision of your life once you’ve regained your ease and sense of well-being.
- Make your physical health a top priority. Eat nourishing food. Exercise, even something as simple as going for a walk.
- Re-engage with your preferred spiritual practice.
- Take time each day to check in with yourself. Ask, how am I feeling? What’s good in my life? What do I appreciate?
- Work with a therapist, counselor, or coach.
Life Beyond Burnout
You may feel like you’re too deep into burnout to bring yourself back.
You’re not. You just need to take the first step.
I know what awaits you after you ease yourself back to wellness.
You’ll feel lighter.
You’ll wake up refreshed; with energy and clarity and a renewed sense of purpose about your life.
Your family will celebrate the return of your laughter.
Life will be bursting with promise.
Most of all, you’ll fall in love with yourself.
And burnout will become a distant memory.