Recognising Burnout

I have decided to write about burnout as I have suffered from it for a long time without realising that I had learnt to live and function while I was suffering from it. This affected my health and other aspects of my life. As a result, I learnt how important it is to recognise burnout at an early stage.

Burnout is a state of physical and emotional exhaustion. It occurs when we experience long-term stress in our job or our personal life. While it isn’t a medically recognised condition, it is very important to learn how to recognise burnout. Recognising the signs of burnout is an essential skill for women to have today. Unfortunately, many women, including myself, ignore the warning signs of burnout until it’s too late. As a result, they can suffer in their personal and professional lives without knowing why.


8 Common Signs of Burnout

Burnout can take many forms. You might already be experiencing burnout without even knowing it. Take a few minutes to recognize some of the most common signs of burnout.

  • Your work is dragging on longer than it should
  • You feel irritable throughout the day
  • You lose focus during your tasks
  • It takes longer to start a task than it should
  • You’re growing cynical about your work
  • Your sleep is disrupted
  • You feel stomach pains, headaches, or other pains that don’t seem to have a cause
  • You’re using substances such as alcohol (or worse) to avoid your feelings or to deal with stress

Burnout has numerous causes that can vary from one woman to the next. Something what can cause burnout in one person might not affect someone else. That makes it essential to understand the countless potential causes of burnout if you’re working with feelings of it.


Common Causes of Burnout Below 

  • Lack of Sleep
  • Lack Life Balance
  • Living Life without Clear Purpose
  • Unclear Expectations in Your Tasks
  • A Lack of Professional or Social Support
  • Dysfunction Relationships in Your Professional or Personal Life

You may face other potential stresses that could cause burnout that isn’t listed above.  Look at your life and what your day-to-day activities involve. It may help you to write down what you do during a typical day to gain a better understanding of how busy you are. You may get a better sense of the pressure that your responsibilities place on you. Here we talk about life balance and how important it is to prioritise sleeping, resting, and exercising to lead and run the life you want.


Burnout cause: Lack of sleep

I would like to expand more about number one cause of burnout “Lack of Sleep” as I have noticed through working with my clients for the last 5 years, it is the common cause between all of them who have suffered burnout.

Women today lead busy lives and find it hard to balance the demands of their families, careers, and social lives. Even women out of the workforce can feel the effects of burnout as all our lives are getting busier. To “do it all,” you might skip a few hours of sleep to get more done during the day.

Unfortunately, this bad habit can do far more harm than good. Studies show that adults need 7 to 8 hours of sleep to perform at their best. A lack of sleep can pile up and leave you less effective at work and exhausted by the end of the week. Sleep deprivation can lead to serious health problems and is a major underlying cause of burnout.

Sleep deprivation can have serious effects on your health and may lead to the following ailments:

  • Depression
  • Irritability
  • Lack of focus
  • Social isolation
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Lack of resiliency
  • Low productivity
  • Stomach pains, headaches, or other pains without a cause


The Consequences of Burnout

Burnout can impact all aspects of your life. If left untreated, you could soon experience other problems across your career, relationships, and personal projects. Some of the most common consequences of burnout include the following:

  • Financial troubles
  • Weight gain or lost
  • Irritability or fatigue
  • Strained relationships
  • New health issues, like type 2 diabetes
  • Make decision that don’t align with you
  • Lost opportunities in your personal or professional life


3 Tips to Avoiding Burnout

If you recognise signs of burnout, taking steps to overcome it is essential. Here are a few tips to get out of and return to living your best life.


1.    Get Enough Sleep!

As mentioned above, 7-8 hours of sleep is needed for adults to function at optimal levels. If you have a problem with sleeping, I would suggest using data to help you to understand your sleeping patterns. Using my Fitbit helped me realise that whilst I was in bed for 8 hours my actual sleeping was only 5 hours. That was a sign that there was other issues not letting me sleep more that 5 hours.

Sleep provides your body to heal itself and remove toxins that build up during the day. During sleep, cerebrospinal fluid washes through the brain, replacing blood flow. This fluid removes neurotoxins that scientists believe are linked to neurodegenerative disorders and can’t happen when you’re awake.

If you’ve ever had a lack of sleep and repetitive thoughts the next day, it could be because your brain didn’t get a chance to reset from the information it took in the previous day. If your brain doesn’t get to sleep, it will have trouble forming new memories. You’ll also be less effective in your daily life. It’s nearly impossible to overstate how important it is to get enough sleep to avoid burnout.

2.    Take a Break Regularly!

Scheduling time for a regular break for a few days 3-5 times per year is essential for your well-being. By taking a break from your daily activities, you give yourself space for mindfulness. You can re-evaluate your challenges from a different, calmer perspective and come to realisations you may have missed before.

Take a walk, get an exercise session in, or spend time doing something you love, especially if you’ve had a daily busy schedule.


3.    Reach Out for Professional Support!

Get professional help from a therapist or coach, or both, to help you manage any feelings or behaviours that indicate burnout. A certified coach has the training and experience to help you prioritise your problems and understand your thoughts and feelings.


How to Overcome Burnout in Your Life

No one wants to experience burnout, but you can overcome it if you recognize the signs. Taking early steps can help you avoid the harmful effects of burnout. Acknowledging that you may be under added pressure and need a break isn’t a sign of weakness. It takes a lot of courage from woman to know when she’s approaching her limits and needs to step back.

Managing burnout can be tricky, as it’s not yet a medically recognized condition. You will have to be the one to decide if you’re feeling like you’re experiencing burnout, as it feels different for everybody. Becoming more mindful of your thoughts and feelings can help with recognising early stages of burnout.


If you want to take steps towards preventing burnout or helping to recover from burnout, contact me to find out more about how I can help you. I specialise in helping busy women facing burnout take steps to improve their quality of life. I can help you avoid burnout or overcome it if it’s taken a toll on your life.