Are you routinely running on reserves and forcing yourself to accept that constantly feeling tired is all part and parcel of living a busy life?
When the signs and symptoms of stress go beyond inconvenient headaches, disturbed sleep or difficulty concentrating and result in prolonged complaints, it is time to commit to making change.
What are some signs/symptoms of burnout?
Physical: memory problems, headaches, sore back, difficulty sleeping, tiredness, dizziness, diarrhea, hair loss, low libido, excessive sweating, indigestion problems, psoriasis, eczema flare ups, salt cravings, disturbed sleep, slow cold and flu recovery, cold hands and feet, irregular heartbeat, panic attacks, physical exhaustion, ovarian cysts, abnormally high/low blood pressure, low stamina, craving sweet foods, loss/partial loss of sight, carpal tunnel syndrome, RSI (repetitive strain injury), irritable bowel syndrome, allergies and respiratory problems.
Emotional and cognitive: depression, anxiety disorders, panic attacks, labyrinthitis (extreme dizziness), low libido, mental exhaustion, insomnia, persistent restlessness, feelings of overwhelm, moodiness, loneliness, the inability to relax, recurrent dreams, difficulty concentrating, reduced judgment and constant worrying.
These symptoms negatively affect our general behaviour and health choices. When we are chronically stressed we can become more irritable and sensitive to criticism, feel more tearful, lose our sense of humor, experience a lack of empathy and develop nervous tendencies.
We are more likely to make poor dietary choices, eat too much or too little, and become dependent on caffeine and other stimulants, in addition to seeking alcohol, cigarettes or other drugs to help us relax.
When we are overstretched and don’t allow enough time to look after ourselves, our home and work environments can become very cluttered due to lack or organisation and this then in turn further drains our energy.
Lack of self-care also results in increased accidents and the breakdown of appliances, cars, and relationships due to neglect/ lack of maintenance.
When we fail to explore these symptoms and identify the corresponding root cause beliefs and suppressed emotions, our conditions can worsen resulting in the extreme dysregulation of adrenaline and cortisol in the bloodstream and diagnosis of autoimmune disorders and associated illnesses including MS, ME, chronic fatigue, lupus, post viral fatigue syndrome, hypothyroidism, fibromyalgia, rheumatoid arthritis, asthma, cardiovascular disease, diabetes and even cancer.
Top 3 ways to prevent burnout:
1. Learn to self-regulate – your body gives you early warning signs before reaching total burnout. Pay attention when you notice you are experiencing any of the emotional, cognitive, physical, behavioural or environmental symptoms outlined above and prioritise bringing the balance back into your life. By responding to mild physical symptoms, rather than overriding them, you avoid more serious medical conditions.
2. Turn your experience of burnout into an opportunity for phenomenal personal learning and transformational change. Find a coach or therapist with a holistic and future focused approach, to help you uncover root cause beliefs held since childhood that have impacted on your day-to-day thoughts and beliefs and set the direction of your life. Doing this will increase your self-awareness and give you the power to let go of anything no longer serving you, so that you can choose a healthier mindset and way forward.
3. Recharge your energy by releasing as many non-essential commitments as possible and spending more time in nature. Take a week off (minimum to reset). Make a decision to take regular breaks when you return to work, eat a healthy lunch daily, switch off technology 1 hour before bed and get more sleep. Set an intention to learn how to say no and put stronger boundaries back in your life (again a coach or therapist should be able to help you with these things).
Need more help? Check out my book Burnout to Brilliance: Strategies for Sustainable Success or click here to view my calendar and book a complimentary consultation.