In July something happened to me which caused me to pack away the laptop, turn off my iphone notifications and screen my calls.

I got burn out! Yes me, the person who helps other people to recognise, heal and prevent burn out got burned out!  Now, the bonkers thing about burn out is that when you are in the ‘burning out’ period you fail to recognise what it is.

So here is my gentle reminder of how to recognise burn out, what causes it and what to do about it

How to recognise burnout

  • You feel close to tears at all times – the slightest thing sets you off
  • You get easily angered and are irritable at colleagues and clients
  • You are tired but never seem to get enough sleep no matter how early you go to bed
  • You wonder what the point of ‘it’ all is
  • You start to resent your job
  • You want to be left alone
  • You feel overwhelmed by the smallest tasks, such as cooking tea or doing the shopping
  • When others offer to help, you refuse and become quite martyr like
  • You are constantly tired but never can seem to get enough sleep

So what causes burnout?

  • Not allowing yourself to rest, caught in the trap of thinking you don’t have enough time to do everything
  • Trying to get everything 100% ‘right’ all the time – perfectionism
  • Working towards a goal, dream or vision which may not be as realistic as what you think it is
  • Refusal to delegate or ask for help
  • Feeling guilty about receiving help or support from others
  • Not telling others how you are feeling as you feel silly
  • Deep subconscious belief that you are not ‘good enough’ and have to prove yourself by overworking
  • Putting yourself at the bottom of a very long list of being there for others 

So what can you do if you resonate with the above? 

  • Repeat the mantra,

I am safe, there is plenty of time to do the things I want to do

  • Book some time off now to rest – not to redecorate, not to spring clean but to REST
  • Self nurture – massage, reiki, counselling or simply duvet days allowing yourself to cry
  • Ignore the voice inside screaming ‘you haven’t got time to rest!’

Talk to the voice inside and tell it calmly that you are important enough to rest and resting will benefit you as it will give you more energy to do all the things you want to do in the future

  • Ask others for help – allow yourself to receive
  • When your brain starts thinking about work, inform it ‘The office is closed and you will think about work when you return to work, whenever that is’.
  • Reflect on if your expectations are realistic or are they causing you harm
  • Break your vision down into more realistic smaller goals
  • Reflect on whose approval you are trying to get by completing the following

The approval I really want is from my………….

Then ask yourself if this person is able to give you the approval you seek – Probably not as sadly they probably don’t approve of themselves.

You are important enough to allow yourself some down time so do it now!