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

Do You Know Perfect Lily?

Freedom from anxiety and pressures that we put on ourselves when we strive for perfection.

Have you ever met perfect Lily? Lily has always been the perfect person, never failing at anything and everyone just loves her! You think to yourself “If only I was more like Lily! If only I could do just as well as Lily does at Maths, or I wish I could be more sporty or more musical. Lily is just perfect! She looks amazing, she can eat anything she wants and doesn’t even put on weight! She has had a wonderful upbringing, she has so many friends and even the guys love her!” I am certain that all of us have had similar thoughts like the ones above.

Well to tell you the truth, Lily is not doing as well as you think. All of the pressure of being that skinny girl, the sporty one, the musical one and the one everybody loves, is getting to her. She is no longer coping in life. Anxiety and exhaustion are a constant factor in her life, the fear of failure plagues her, her desperate need for approval and acceptance is all she can think about; and to keep up with the perceptions people have of her, she abuses her body to look thin and perfect.

The thoughts that go through her head daily are “I need to be better, I need to be thinner, I need to be more acceptable, I need to be who everybody thinks I am! The worst of all is that people think I am happy and perfect, when in fact I am suffering from anorexia and the need for love. I would not wish this on anybody! In fact, I think suicide is the only answer.”

It seems now that Lily is not so perfect anymore. Why are you comparing yourself to Lily? “Lily” can be anyone or anything that you think is better than you are. What do they have that you don’t have? What price have they paid to get it and would you pay the same price? You are incomparable because there is no one else in the world like you! How can you begin to compare yourself to someone else who has a totally difference genetic structure, a different perception of the world, different strengths, different weaknesses and difference beliefs? You complete a piece of the puzzle in this world and only you can fill that space! Believe in yourself!

Luckily Lily identified that she needed help and she contacted someone who could help her. The right skills, coping mechanisms and techniques were given to her that she needed in order to cope with the anxiety and fear of failure. Lily has moved from an unhealthy situation into a space of self-love and acceptance. Perhaps you know “a Lily” or you wish to be like “Lily”. Remember that you are victorious and an overcomer.

Contact Us now to book a coaching session, so you can be your own Lily.

Limitless Living!