What is Burnout?
- Do you feel exhausted most of the time?
- Are you losing your passion for work and life?
- Are you finding yourself overwhelmed by even the simplest of tasks?
- Do you struggle to pull yourself together when you wake in the morning?
- Do you often feel tearful and unable to cope?
Yes? Then you may be on the verge of burnout, or sadly, even there.
Burnout is a state of emotional, physical and mental exhaustion which leaves you feeling at rock bottom, alone and unable to cope.
Burnout is utterly miserable because it’s much more than just feeling tired all the time. You feel hopeless, empty and isolated to the extent that you can lose all interest in life – you just don’t have the energy for it.
Your performance is seriously impeded because you struggle to function. It’s become a permanent mental and physical state with major consequences for your health and vitality.
Why Does Burnout Happen?
Why does it happen? Well, it’s important to say that it can happen to the best of us. Especially the ones that are driven to succeed. People who go the extra mile. Who throw everything they have at life and career. It can certainly affect those people who want it all.
Being so driven leaves you stuck in ‘always doing’ mode leaving no time for recovery and rebalance. It comes from over activating the adrenal glands, part of our hormone system that produce a variety of hormones to activate the ‘fight or flight response’. Burnout comes from being stuck in stress-mode.
Digital technology means we’re now accessible 24/7, blurring the boundaries between work and personal life (say goodbye to work-life balance). At the same time, we want it all – a great job, lovely home, fit body, fulfilling hobbies, happy family – and so we drive ourselves constantly to achieve ever more. I call it ‘twenty-first century living’.
Although you may feel that your only choice is to go with it, if you don’t take better care of yourself, all this pressure increases your susceptibility to burnout.
How to Prevent Burnout
The good news is that you can do something to prevent it. Consider my Burnout Clinic – where I check the health of your stress glands and recommend diet and lifestyle changes to improve your health or read my new book, “How to Prevent Burnout”.
Top 10 Tips to Prevent Burnout
- Be mindful of your physical, mental and emotional being. Listen to what your body is telling you and take regular health checks.
- Identify the source of your stress and address it as a priority. If that’s difficult, keep a stress diary and learn what your triggers are.
- Eat well and regularly. Eat foods that build your strength and resilience such as good quality protein, wholegrains and vegetables, and keep well hydrated with water.
- Exercise regularly. It rebalances the effects of high levels of stress hormones and makes you feel happier and more positive.
- Take regular breaks from intense work. Our body clock works in cycles and regularly seeks recovery time. Take a ten-minute break every hour.
- Manage digital technology. Social media, emails, computers, phones sap your time and impact your sleeping patterns. Take back control.
- Do everything you can to get a good night’s sleep. Just one broken night triggers the stress response.
- Learn to say no. You don’t have to say yes to anything you do not have the capacity to fulfil. Prioritise your life. What is important now and what can you put aside for another time?
- Have fun and laugh. It’s the best medicine. This means spending time with family and friends.
- If you need it, get help. Things can’t always be solved alone. It is nothing to be ashamed of. You are in this situation because of how hard you work.