Tell Tale Signs you’re heading for Burn out:
Let’s use your imagination for a moment. Let’s imagine that you have a machine in your kitchen, a most marvellous solid gold machine which every week churns out the equivalent of your wage. I’m guessing that you’d take care of it, perhaps polish it and make sure it was well oiled and dust free to make sure it continued working.
Your inner wisdom would tell you that a machine of that calibre is worth investing your time in, after all, you wouldn’t want it to reach burn out would?
Interestingly, week in and week out I am working with professionals who are ‘burnt out’ shells of their former selves, people who would love nothing more than to just relax or spend time with their families or partners, and yet they are frazzled. Odd then that just like our imaginary machine in the kitchen, these people are bringing a wage into the house hold but they are not looking after their own needs at all. Burn out is a very serious issue; in effect it means that there is nothing left to give.
How often do you check in with how you’re feeling or your stress levels? How often do you make adjustments to ensure you have an adequate work life balance? Or do you wait until your energy has flat lined and there’s nothing left to give?
- Your brain seems to be constantly on a future time setting, running three thoughts ahead of where you actually are right now, in the moment. This is a highly stressful state to be in as you don’t get chance to feel ‘grounded’ or connected with the present.
- Your sleep patterns are interrupted – even though you may feel ‘dog tired’ you get into bed and end up worrying about the day that has just happened or a future time where you have ‘things to do’. Worse, you may fall asleep only to wake up a short time later and struggle to get back to a quality of sleep. When my clients tell me this is happening, I know that their unconscious mind is waving a red flag and ready for burn out.
- There just seems to be no time for you: you work all day and into the night – there just doesn’t seem to be enough hours to fit everything and everyone into your life. You don’t take rest time and you are pushing aside medical/ dental appointments related to self care because there’s always something else that needs to be done and your promise to yourself regarding exercise seems ever distant. You are putting yourself at major risk of burn out.
As I often say to my clients, you don’t phone the fire brigade after your house had burned down! If we are professionals at work then we should also be professional about our own self care once we are out of the work environment. This means putting that extra walk into the week, having a night off work at least once a week, taking a full weekend to rest and spend with family; investment in self is just that, an investment. We are not being professional if we let our health slip away because we put ourselves last.
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