Are You On The Road To Burnout?

What is burnout and are you vulnerable to it? Burnout is a state of prolonged chronic stress that leads to physical, mental and emotional exhaustion. Overwhelming fatigue and loss of motivation, feelings of depression and anxiety, as well as feelings of ineffectiveness are also symptoms of burnout. When experiencing burnout, you are no longer able to function effectively on a personal or professional level. Remember that burnout doesn’t just happen one day out of the blue. It happens slowly and although one thinks one can handle everything in life, one gets to a point where we can no longer cope. Our bodies and minds do, however, give us warning signs, and if you know what to look out for, you can recognize it before it is too late.

Signs Of Burnout

  1. Chronic fatigue and exhaustion. In the early stages of burnout, you may have a lack of energy and feel tired most days. In the later stages, you feel physically and emotionally exhausted, drained, and depleted, and you may feel a sense of dread for what lies ahead on any given day. You will feel overwhelmed and as if you cannot pick your head up from your pillow.
  2. Increased illness and lowered immune system. As your body is depleted and exhausted, your immune system becomes weakened, making you more vulnerable to infections, colds, flu, and other immune-related medical problems. Start taking a good multivitamin that can help boost your immune system.
  3. Feeling anxious. In the pre-burnout phase, you may experience mild symptoms of tension, worry, and irritability. As you move closer to burnout, the anxiety may become quite serious that you begin to have panic attacks. This will interfere in your ability to work productively and may cause problems in your personal and professional life.
  4. Feelings of depression. You may feel mildly sad, occasionally hopeless, and you may experience feelings of guilt and worthlessness as a result. You may not even know why you are feeling down. As the burnout grows, you may feel trapped, severely depressed, and think the world would be better off without you. If you are having suicidal thoughts, please contact a medical professional as soon as possible.
  5. Loss of enjoyment in daily activities. At first, a loss of enjoyment may seem very mild, such as not wanting to go to work or being eager to leave, or feeling like driving to the shops is a burden. Without intervention, loss of enjoyment may extend to all areas of your life, including the time you spend with family and friends. At work, you may try to avoid projects and figure out ways to escape work all together.
  6. Isolation. Isolation may seem like mild resistance to socializing (i.e., not wanting to visit friends, finding reasons why you need to be alone). The need to isolate yourself becomes more and more evident as you experience burnout. You may become angry when someone speaks to you, or you may come into work early or leave late to avoid interactions.
  7. Lack of accomplishment and productivity. Chronic stress prevents you from being as productive as you once were, which often results in incomplete projects and an ever-growing to-do list. At times, it seems that as hard as you try, you can’t seem to meet deadlines or effectively manage your work and time.

If you are experiencing some of these symptoms, you need to be aware that you are on a dangerous path. Take some time to honestly assess the amount of stress in your life and find ways to reduce it before it’s too late. Burnout is not like the flu; it doesn’t go away after a few weeks unless you make some changes in your life. My next article will be about practical steps you can take to overcome burnout.

Limitless living!

Nicola Kassier

Master Life Coach, Counsellor and NLP Practitioner at Continuous Growth Life Coaching

Happy Mind, Happy Life

Our mindset plays a major role in how we manage challenges and opportunities, and our thoughts influence what we do, believe and think. Are you a glass half empty or glass half full type of person? When challenges come your way do you throw your hands in the air and walk away, or do you face the challenge head on and ready to overcome it?

There are a few areas in life where our thoughts play a particularly important role. One of these areas is your belief about yourself and your body image. Do you believe in yourself? Or do you constantly put yourself down and tell yourself that you cannot achieve the goals and dreams you have set for your life? In either of these, you are right! If I asked you to think for a moment, what are the 5 words you use most to describe yourself? Would they be negative or positive? We need to be conscious of how we speak about ourselves because what our mind hears, it does.

Did you know that our subconscious mind leads and controls 97% of our life? What we believe, why we believe certain things and how we respond and react in a certain way has everything to do with our subconscious mind. A great analogy is one of driving. When you drive to the shops, you have to put the car into gear by using the clutch and then using the break when necessary. We don’t consciously think “now I need to put my foot on the clutch and then use my hand to change the gear”. These actions are done subconsciously. This is the same with our mind and how we live. I know this may seem scary as one would think that we are then not in control of our lives! The good news is that we are in control of our lives and we can control our mind. By using Neuro-Linguistic Programming, we access the subconscious mind and re-program the way you think about certain beliefs and we assist you in getting rid of beliefs that do not serve you, that dis-empower and hinder your success.

What you are constantly focusing on also plays a big role in your happiness. If you always focus on the negative things in life, you will see the negative in all situations, and ultimately you will become a negative person. The same thing is true for being positive. Are you someone that looks for the negative in every situation? Or do you find the opportunities and possibilities in life? Remember, as you think, so you are and so shall you become. Make an effort to change the way you think about your situation and your life will be a lot more positive! Here’s my challenge to you: everyday write down three things that were positive about your day. It can be something as simple as “today I saw my best friend” or “today it rained”. Find those positives in your day and watch your life change!

Limitless living!