In March 2020, Australia closed its borders and so our love-hate relationship with ‘Lockdown’ began. I remember in the early stages people were happy to be working from home. There seemed to be extra energy in the air. It meant being able to put on a load of washing before the 10am video-conference call, spending more time with family, getting more sleep due to decreased commute times and feeling a little bit ‘naughty’ wearing comfortable clothes rather than the 'corporate outfit' while negotiating a million-dollar deal. Now nine months on, many are keen to get back to their office, sit at their desk and chat to colleagues in the corridor. Sadly many are being told this won't be possible until mid-2021. Others are quite content to be working from home indefinitely.
Whatever your situation, it is more important than ever that we recognise nobody is immune from burnout and that we are vigilant around the signs of burnout for ourselves, family and friends and colleagues.
Many high achievers experience burnout, whether they work for themselves or others. The thing is burnout occurs as a result of reduced self-care and the misinformed belief that you can keep on going, pushing through, 'mind over matter' until you no longer need to.
Unfortunately, everyone needs rest and rejuvenation and if self-care reaches a level where there is insufficient rejuvenation, our resilience becomes depleted and we run the risk of getting sick and experiencing burnout.
While you may have always considered yourself as resilient, based on past experience, this COVID experience is nothing like anything you will have experienced before. And as it continues it will, if it hasn't already, test the most resilient of us. I have noticed over the past few months how my most resilient clients have started to feel the impact of the pressures of remaining vigilant, while living and working from home. As the situation continues we do need to top-up our self-care more frequently and potentially to a deeper level to avoid the impact of the increasing emotional drain of working and living within a relatively small space with a limited variety of human contact.
Burnout can creep up on us, if we aren't careful. It is essentially a state of chronic bad stress that leads to physical and emotional exhaustion, detachment and cynicism and feelings that you aren’t accomplishing anything and that everything you do is ineffective and doesn’t matter.
On our way to burnout, we feel unable to say ‘no’ to anything, even when it is at our own expense. It’s when your client makes unrealistic demands and you feel powerless to negotiate a more reasonable timeframe. It’s missing important events that you would prefer to be attending, were it not for something else you couldn’t get out of. You’re working harder and harder but rarely moving forward. You feel tired, overworked, and frustrated at not accomplishing your goals. In the past this may have been when you might have said to yourself, "I need a holiday".
Below are 8 signs that alone or combined can signal either outright burnout or the potential to experience burnout if self-care strategies are increased or actioned more frequently.
8 Signs of Burnout
If you recognise any or some of these signs in yourself or others, it's time to take action. Particularly if you aren’t enjoying your work or your life and the feelings of discontentment are intruding on your ability to move forward. If you think you are close to or experiencing burnout, it’s a good idea to start right now, today, creating a plan that will work for you to alleviate the signs of burnout. There’s no need to make any rash decisions. Rather take some time out and consider what you need, and from whom and start taking care of you by asking for what you need. After all, you deserve all the good things in life, including security, satisfaction, and joy.
Speak to Martine about your risk of burnout?
Do you want to start taking better care of yourself? Do you want emerge from this situation in a better position than you went in? Are you struggling to make changes in your life that you know will benefit you? Do you smile politely even when you REALLY want to give feedback?
It might be time to talk to a professional. Click here to book in a no obligation 30-minute call to see if what you're struggling with and how I work might be a good match for you to achieve your goals.