A theme I've really started to notice in conversations I'm having is that people don't seem to realise the symptoms of burnout. They can identify they feel a certain type of way but they haven't been able to put two and two (or quite frankly anything!) together and comprehend that what they've been experiencing is in fact burnout symptoms.
Why is the topic of burnout so popular now?
Since the pandemic, we've all been living with chronic stress. It's not always constant meltdowns about big life-changing things (but we've had those too...).
It's the drip feed of 'stuff' that's been requiring us to constantly pay attention and keep running on the treadmill of life without a break. The never-ending multitasking seems to have become the norm. And we're worn out. Maybe you're feeling burnout from work or emotional exhaustion or a mix of the two.
What are the burnout symptoms?
One of my most popular posts on Instagram to date was a list of burnout symptoms with a recap of my burnout story. Head on over to @SophieAliceCo and check our my 'about me' highlight for all the main info.
Let's look at the most common burnout symptoms. It's important to say that these are not the 'only' symptoms, and you don't have to have all of them to be experiencing burnout.
Lack of Motivation
Feeling checked out
Constant thoughts about work
Inability to relax
Procrastination and decision fatigue
I'm sure every one of us has experienced at least one, some, or even all of these at some point, but it is the combination and cumulative effect of experiencing these simultaneously that characterises burnout.
How to recognise burnout symptoms?
Thankfully, burnout is something that can be recovered from, but the ideal scenario is to avoid burnout in the first place as it can have long-lasting mental and physical effects.
A great habit to get into is setting aside small amounts of time each week to check in with yourself. This could be a guided meditation body scan, a five minute daily journal practice, or simply some alone time to reflect.
By creating this space for yourself you can listen to the signals your body is giving you. I created my 90 day planner to help me focus on my needs a week at a time for 3 months and this was a real gamechanger for me.
Without paying regular attention, it's easy to become emotionally overwhelmed and not be able to pinpoint why. It's so easy to feel like the week has swallowed you up with a string of commitments and responsibilities and before you know it you are irritable and fed up but feel unable to do anything about it.
What to do if you have these burnout symptoms?
If any of these burnout symptoms above resonate with you then it's important to know that you are not alone. So many people I speak to can check off a fair few of these symptoms of burnout.
It's also important to understand that you don't have to feel this way, there are things you can do to get your life and well-being into better balance.
Set boundaries - you can't do everything.
Take a break - You'll need more than a day's rest to figure out a better way forward but give yourself an 'emergency' rest day or take some annual leave to relieve some pressure instantly. Mute notifications on your phone and stay off your emails and allow your body and mind to just be. It'll feel difficult but your body needs the break.
Talk to your GP. If you feel at all worried about your physical or mental health then do speak to your GP and explain that you think you are experiencing burnout.
Get support to implement necessary changes - Whether this is from friends, family, or from a coach like me, burnout can only be avoided if you can break the cycle of what is keeping you in this toxic state.
For more information about how I can support you with setting boundaries and banishing burnout then book in for a free exploratory call.
Check out my planners on Etsy to help you with prioritising what matters to you and supporting your health and wellbeing.