Most of us don’t recognize the signs of burnout.
For me, it happened over ten years. I experienced years of becoming sick more and more often, missing more and more work. Fatigue and exhaustion increased until I HAD to take a nap, sometimes 2 or 3 in a day. I had a hard time making a decision on just about anything.
At the time, I was working a full-time job, and I was in the public eye. Spread thin, I was serving on too many boards and committees. All the while, I had a feeling inside that something was wrong. But every test the doctor ran on me came back that normal. I was deemed healthy.
Recognizing the Signs of Burnout
The health website Ada offers the following telltale signs of burnout. (Check out their full article on burnout for more detailed lists of signs and symptoms. They also describe the difference between stress symptoms and burnout—good to know!).
Common signs of burnout:
- Lack of sleep
- An increasingly cynical outlook on life and work
The thing is, I didn’t realize that I was in experiencing burnout until way AFTER taking a three-month sabbatical from work. Going into that time, I thought I just needed a break. If I could just sleep and if my doctor could find the right test to run on me, we would have an answer. I could figure this thing out and resume my life at my normal pace.
I would like to tell you that I know better now. That I have figured out my perfect formula to work hard and still keep my priorities, including my health, in balance. That’s not so, not yet anyway.
I’m still learning when my body needs a break and when my schedule is too full. It’s a process, like anything good in life—I am having to work for it.
Today, as I work with other high-achieving leaders, I often see patterns in them similar to my old ones—the lack of any balance, burning the candle at both ends, running with no margin whatsoever, being reactive constantly, living life with priorities out of whack, and putting oneself last. This leads to snapping at loved ones, feeling sick, run down and tired more and more often. And the list goes on.
Are you missing the signs as I did? How many signs of burnout have you experienced this month? More than three? Life doesn’t have to be this way. I can help. Schedule a free consult call with me today.
P.S. Wellness Mastermind for Leaders is back by popular demand this year! If you are interested in joining a small group that includes a doctor once a month for six months to learn how to be a healthier, happier, and stronger leader—click HERE now.