Life in the Fast Lane
3 signs you’re burning out and how to undo the damage
Have you ever told a friend, “I am sooo crazy busy!” not once, but over and over again? Perhaps you are managing work, family, children, household and volunteering, and neglecting yourself? This is a familiar scenario to most women that drives many to burn out. Without realizing it while it’s happening, the stresses of daily life can take a toll on our mind, body and health. Chronic-stress can also lead us to shut out our friends and family and lose our motivation. Here are some signs that you are headed for a burn-out and need to slow down…
You are tired…all the time
On the path to burn-out is never-ending exhaustion. You are likely to feel tired all the time, but cannot understand why. This fatigue can lead to poor health habits such as drinking too much coffee, alcohol and not exercising.
You are… irritable and weepy
You know you love your children and family, but you might find yourself snapping at them for no reason. You might lash out at the barista at your favorite coffee shop for using low-fat milk instead of non-fat or you may yell at your assistant at work. Uncontrollable irritability is a sign that you are over-whelmed and over-tired. Related is crying for no reason; you might find yourself teary-eyed on a regular basis.
You have….physical symptoms
In the past you might have had the occasional headache, but now you seem to have them all the time. You might notice your back hurting or other pains in other areas of your body. Constant, unresolved stress can cause physical symptoms, whether due to the stress replacing itself in your body or due to lack of exercise and poor posture. Other indicators are insomnia and lack of appetite, all which can do further harm to your psyche.
What can you do?
The first step to over-coming burn-out is to acknowledge that you are on this path. The next step is understanding that you cannot do it all - for example, if the dishes aren’t done, it is not the end of the world, but getting to bed earlier or maybe reading a book to your child is more important. So many women try to do it all; the pressure they put on themselves is intense.
You can also join a support group; maybe it’s a working moms group or maybe it’s a group that is not only taking care of their children, but taking care of aging parents as well. Sharing stories or resources can be a benefit to everyone.
Another simple way to reduce burn-out is to incorporate meditation into your daily life, even if it is just for 5 minutes. Sitting still with a quiet mind may seem difficult, but over time you will see the benefits of calming your thoughts.