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Are you headed for Burnout?

Common misconceptions

It’s no surprise, a lot of us are exhausted. I hear people say all the time, there is just not enough hours in the day. I can relate. As a mum, a business owner and a type A personality with high standards, I have previously experienced burnout, but thanks to growing my awareness and doing the inner work, I was able to heal. The truth is, many of you may already be experiencing burnout. It’s up to you to reverse it.

What is burnout?

Burnout is a global issue and is a state of emotional, physical, and mental exhaustion caused by excessive and prolonged stress. Although statistics on the prevalence of burnout specifically are hard to come by, it is recognised that burnout is affecting more and more people, according to the HSE, in the UK over 595,000 people suffered from workplace stress in 2018.

The most common burnout symptoms include:

  • Exhaustion.
  • Lack of energy.
  • Constant fatigue.
  • Sleep disorders.
  • Reduced performance.
  • Concentration and memory problems.
  • Inability to make decisions.
  • Reduced initiative and imagination.
  • Headaches, Pain and physical conditions.

It occurs when you feel overwhelmed, emotionally drained, and unable to meet constant demands. The problem is that, to be successful in todays society, we can almost thrive on being busy- being stressed- being anxious- just to keep up and get things done can sometimes be what drives us to high performance, so how do we know then when enough is enough?

While you don’t have to have all of the above symptoms to know you are heading for burnout, there are some common misconceptions.   

Misconceptions

  1. It happens suddenly and I know where the line is.

Burnout is our body’s response to constant stressors over the course of a long period of time and there are loads of misconceptions about burnout, including that it happens suddenly. The truth is that we all think we are good at balancing our responsibilities, demands and stresses and that we are in control, we know when to take a step back. Sure, we know that we are busy and pile on the “to do” tasks to our list, constantly juggling.

A lot of overachievers and high performers will recognise this all too well. So, it’s safe to say that the early signs of burnout are there. They are just ignored until it becomes impossible NOT to make a significant changes due to our health and wellbeing suffering.

  • Burnout only happens to highflyers.

Burnout can happen to anyone in any walk of life, whether at work or out of work, from students, to young parents to professionals alike. It can be hard for people to recognise as the symptoms are so varied and no-one just goes to work as their profession- we all take all aspects of us wherever we go. So, it can he hard to separate what is going on in or out of work as burnout can have such an impact on our lives and leave us wondering what is happening.

  • We just need to take a holiday.

It is not as easy as that, burnout is a result of a complex system of repetitive behaviours, stressors, perceptions and thought processes. Taking on too many responsibilities and not prioritising health and wellbeing, even when we feel exhausted doesn’t help- a holiday can be unlikely to solve these repeating patterns and thought patterns that dictate how we live our life and the choices we make.

It can be a long road back to a healthy, balanced life. The earlier we start getting clear on what really matters, the better. Often, in order to recover from burnout, we have to challenge core beliefs and thought patterns that we have had all their lives – our values and beliefs about ourself and the concepts of success and failure, of what wellbeing means to us and how to practice self-care.

  • It’s just in your head.

It’s not. Burnout is mainly associated with many serious issues including depression, anxiety, PTSD, complete lack of motivation, emotional exhaustion, emotional turmoil and despair. It’s usually accompanied with hormone and chemincal imbalances in the body, such as high sugar levels, stress hormones cortisol and adrenaline which can cause many real, physical symptoms.

How can I recover?

Moving forward, it’s essential to take a pause. Look at where you are. Right now. And make some changes to create a more balanced, happier and more fulfilling life- so that you don’t just end up burning yourself out all over again.

Take my free quiz to see if you are heading for burnout here- https://www.tryinteract.com/share/quiz/5df8e44533e48d0014e7d8a4

Note: I’m not a medical professional, and this post is based on personal experience and is not meant to be a substitute for professional care. As always, do your research and speak to a GP if required, before making any major changes to your diet or lifestyle.
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