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When burn out hits us.

Clients often ask me what burn out looks like? Or what it feels like? And sometimes they ask what leads to it or causes it? There is no set definitive answer to these questions. But there are certainly a set of very key points.

Have you ever felt exhausted all of the time? Found yourself lacking interest in your usual activities or motivation to do things? Ever found yourself going through the motions every day, almost like you are dragging yourself through thick mud all the time?

These are just some of the signs of burn out – something that can then go hand in hand with depression and leave people feeling in a very dark and isolated place. It Is important to acknowledge what things can lead to burn out, what burn out actually looks like and finally how to cope and deal with burn out when it does it an individual.

So what are the common triggers of burn out? There are many – but some of the most significant can include –

  • Feeling overwhelmed by the amount you have to do
  • Feeling under constant pressure
  • Lacking support
  • Lack of clarity about where you are going in life
  • Lack of control about the things that are happening in your life
  • Exhaustion
  • Financial pressures
  • Relationship difficulties
  • Lack of work life balance
  • Lack of boundaries in life

These are some of the things that can contribute to a person burning out. But one of the important things is for that individual and perhaps those around them to recognise when someone is burnt out. And more then that to acknowledge that it is that they might need.

Burn out can look and feel like –

  • Lack of patience
  • Total exhaustion
  • Dragging yourself through the day
  • Lack of motivation
  • Lack of inspiration
  • Lack of desire and libido
  • Questioning everything – from your job to your relationships
  • Feeling totally alone and isolated
  • Lacking energy
  • Using things to self-medicate – such as alcohol or food
  • Struggles with sleep patterns
  • Physical ailments and complaints

So if we have an idea of what can trigger burn out and in addition to this an image of what it might look like. Then we know what we are dealing with.  This awareness is the first positive step towards changing things. The next one is looking at what can be done to help. So if you or anyone you know is feeling totally burnt out at the moment, or heading towards burn out – then please try some of the following to help.

  • Seek support where possible – through friends, family or professionally
  • Practice mindfulness – be aware of whats going on inside you and around you
  • Exercise regularly – find what works for you and put it in place
  • Try relaxing activities when you can – walking, yoga, a bath, reading etc
  • Write your concerns down – identify what it is that you would like to work on
  • Set yourself achievable goals
  • Keep a journal – write down your thoughts and feelings
  • Do more of what makes you feel like ‘you’
  • Address the areas that might be causing you worries and concern
  • Day by day – step by step – make small changes
  • Remember how much you are worth