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Burnout! Coping with overwhelm and anxiety.

Updated: Feb 14

Are you burnt out? Have you ever been burnt out?

I have and it's bloody horrible!

Running from a to b, thinking it's all covered, exhausted, not enjoying life, being bad tempered with family, having a drink in the evenings to 'rest'. I was trying to remember when this tendency to be busy all the time crept in. And it was pretty early on. I remember one of my first jobs after uni, in HR in a French corporate based in London. I had a peer in the office who was super-competitive so worked all hours to impress the bosses, and I suddenly felt like I had to work like that or I would, in the eyes of my employers, sink without a trace. So I started to work longer hours, and show a dedication and loyalty to the firm I didn't really feel.

Drowning hand reaching out above sea.
Are you overwhelmed, feel like you're drowning?

Not long after I left to travel the world, but the work habit got ingrained and I soon felt a dash of panic in the office, like the politics and always being busy had rubbed off on me. I was an anxious office worker, and found it difficult to concentrate on one thing within the office environment: so much going on, so many people, so many distractions, so many meetings, so many plates to spin. It wasn't a place where I could thrive but I did it anyway.

When motherhood came along, like many women, I took being busy to the next level, running around like an absolute wild woman being a super mum to two girls born 14 months apart. My husband was in London til late and when he wasn't he was working overseas. I always wanted to earn my own money so by this time I was running my own business and managing to juggle the kids, domestic stuff and work - just about. After a period of time, it was starting to catch up with me. I'd have an impulse to run away. Not because I didn't love my family or my life in general but I just didn't get a break. I wanted to be gone, leave a note that said, 'Just give me three days, don't try to find me, promise I'll be back in three.' but I never did. Ploughed on. Fast forward a few years and I was still running my own business, still shuttling my kids around, one child now in elite sport so driving 2,000 miles a month to make that happen and I really wasn't enjoying it. My treats were a glass of wine at the end of a busy day - that's how I got a break from my life. I was menopausal, sleeping badly, mind racing, wondering what had happened to me. Where was I?

I couldn't get off the hamster wheel, my anxiety was running sky high. I recognised I needed to change and that's when I found life coaching. And now I'm offering you the opportunity to get off the hamster wheel too, reconnect with yourself, build boundaries and find out what it is that you really want going forward. For this I would really recommend integrated life coaching and solution focused hypnotherapy. Life coaching to really connect with yourself again, and build a new mindset and better habits and Solution focused therapy and hypnotherapy to help calm the nervous system and focus forward.

So what is burn out?

Burnout is a state of chronic physical, emotional, and mental exhaustion that is typically caused by prolonged periods of stress and overwhelming work or personal demands. Burnout can affect various aspects of a person's life, including job performance, relationships, and overall well-being.

Common signs include:

Physical exhaustion: Feeling tired and drained, even after a full night's sleep, and experiencing a lack of energy to perform daily tasks.

Emotional exhaustion: Feeling emotionally depleted, detached, and experiencing a sense of hopelessness or cynicism.

Reduced productivity: Struggling to stay focused, experiencing a decline in work performance, and finding it challenging to complete tasks.

Cynicism and detachment: Developing a negative or cynical attitude toward work, relationships, or life in general, and withdrawing from social interactions.

Decreased motivation: Feeling a lack of enthusiasm or interest in activities that were once enjoyable.

Impaired concentration and memory: Difficulty concentrating, making decisions, and experiencing memory lapses.

Physical symptoms: Headaches, stomachaches, and other physical complaints that are not linked to any specific medical condition.

Woman lying exhausted on bed

Increased irritability: Becoming more easily frustrated or impatient with others.

Isolation: Withdrawing from social interactions and avoiding contact with colleagues, friends, or family.

Burnout is more than just feeling stressed or having a bad day. It is a chronic condition that can have serious consequences for a person's mental and physical health.

So how can you deal with burnout?

Recognise the signs: Be aware of the early signs of burnout, such as exhaustion, lack of motivation, and increased irritability. Identifying these signs early on can help you take preventive action.

Take breaks: Give yourself permission to take regular breaks throughout the day. Short breaks can help you recharge and regain focus, preventing burnout.

Set boundaries: Learn to say no when you're overwhelmed with tasks or responsibilities. Setting boundaries is essential to avoid overcommitting yourself.

Prioritise self-care: Engage in activities that promote relaxation and reduce stress, such as exercise, meditation, spending time with loved ones, or pursuing hobbies.

Get enough sleep: Aim for 7-9 hours of quality sleep each night. A well-rested mind and body are better equipped to handle stress.

Helping hand for anxiety and overwhelm
Help is out there

Delegate and ask for help: Don't hesitate to delegate tasks or ask for assistance when needed. You don't have to do everything on your own.

Organise and plan: Create a to-do list or use productivity tools to stay organised and manage your tasks effectively. Prioritising and planning can help reduce feelings of overwhelm.

Limit technology use: Take breaks from screens, especially social media, as excessive digital exposure can contribute to burnout.

Engage in physical activity: Regular exercise can release endorphins, which are natural mood boosters that can combat stress and burnout.

Practice mindfulness: Mindfulness techniques, such as deep breathing exercises or meditation, can help you stay present, reduce stress, and increase resilience.

Talk to someone: Share your feelings with a friend, family member, or professional. Talking about what you're going through can provide support and help you gain new perspectives.

Seek professional help: If feelings of burnout persist and significantly impact your life, consider speaking with a therapist or life coach.

Reevaluate your goals: Take a step back and assess whether your current goals and commitments align with your values and long-term aspirations. Adjusting your goals can alleviate some pressure and improve your overall well-being.

Find joy in small moments: Focus on positive experiences and find joy in small everyday things. Practicing gratitude can help shift your perspective and combat feelings of burnout.

If you feel you are suffering from burnout, please do give me a call, I am here to help you. Give yourself a break, invest in yourself, change your life. Give me call. Ros


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