Burnout: Don’t miss these 5 unmistakable signs

Step one: Check to see if you’re reading a blog about burning out. No? Don’t worry about it. Yes? Read on. This is for you.

Look – COVID still looms. The marathon of uncertainty continues. We’re all simply doing our best to get by. It is tiring! So, in honour of this I invite you to check in with yourself . Ask yourself: How am I right now?! Am I coping with this? Where’s my head at? How am I feeling (don’t ask too much else you’ll be putting me out of a job but you get the message). I have certainly been showing some of the tell-tale signs of burnout so I thought I would offer you the same chance for you to check in via this blog (don’t say I don’t spoil you).


1.)    Unhelpful coping strategies

I find when people are burnt out, “me time” is focused more on numbing or placating our experiences of the day – usually in all the wrong ways (see ‘wine’). This isn’t bad in moderation as it does move our minds out of ‘do’ mood to ‘relax’ mode rather elegantly (not bad for £5 per bottle – don’t judge), but over long periods, this often comes at a far greater cost.

2.)    Irritability with those closest to us

I’m guilty of this – I often feel a lot of shame with this one. Unfortunately, it’s something I take out on the ones closest to me: I can be short with people, unforgiving of their mistakes, and miserly with my empathy. Not a good look and certainly something my loved ones deserve better than.

People handle this in different ways. Some people choose to withdraw as an attempt to protect their inner circle from their wrath. Some people simply let it out. It’s probably fairly easy to see from this 3rd person perspective that neither of these are beneficial to anyone involved. My advice? Leave the ego at the door and accept that our behaviour isn’t good enough and that there is an issue here which needs addressing. Well done, you just grew a little taller.

3.)    Mental Fog

I don’t know about you, but I always find my vocabulary is the first to go. Client after client I’m struggling to remember basic words/ terms for things. I also can’t plan things as well as I used to (something I pride myself on usually!). My ability to organise is out the window quicker than I can sit on the sofa and watch crap T.V.. I may even sleep more than usual but my brain just never feels refreshed. Diagnosis? I Have been doing too much for too long.

4.) Everything feels like a chore

And I mean EVERYTHING. Walking a dog – misery. Calling your friends – effort. The taste of food – meh. Living is purely survival and you’ve been left with none of the poetry.

It’s not our fault. Adulthood is all giving! Work takes, kids take, chores take and even relationships can take. Remember that old adage, ‘you cannot pour from an empty cup?’. Well now it’s finally starting to make more sense than ever.

5.) Planning your get-a-way

I mean I’d never actually do it – but a spontaneous flight to the other side of the world? Sometimes that doesn’t sound so bad. I know I’d never do it! But yes, sometimes I feel like running. 100% of the time (so far) I have settled for Netflix and a duvet, but I can’t deny the thoughts are sometimes there.

So if you find yourself fantasizing over getting that flat alone, what life would be like ‘if’…, or skimming your old memories trying to find out where things went wrong – take this as a red flag.

Final thoughts…

Burnout is tiresome for both yourself and for those around you. Unfortunately, this has become normalised in our society. In fact, I see more and more people wearing their burnout like some ridiculous accolade to their work ethic.  I hope this trend has a shelf life but in the mean time….

Ready to start beating burnout?

Contact me today for your free consultation to discuss how I can support you and your team. Need a bit more time? Subscribe to my monthly newsletter at the bottom of this page for tools and techniques towards better mental health. Don’t miss out! I look forward to hearing from you soon.

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