This is the last in the series on burnout. I’ve provided you with a lot of information over the past month, so today I’ll keep this article simple, but the advice is key because I want to give you, what I feel is, the main way to avoid and/or heal from burnout . . .
And that is: to listen to your body.
It sounds simple but for many people this doesn’t come so naturally.
You see, the body speaks to us through symptoms – physical, mental and emotional symptoms.
It can’t speak to us directly and say: “Hey, you’re pushing me too hard now, I really need a rest as soon as possible”
Instead, you might feel low on energy, exhausted, you may yawn a lot, you may crave more coffee or carbs, you get a headache or digestive issues or feel stressed and wired etc.
These are just a handful of common symptoms that may or may not apply to you when you need a rest, but the point is that you will experience and/or feel something.
This is where many people just push through, ignore, see it as a challenge or even take something or do something to keep going – the most common example being caffeine.
What a lot of people don’t realise is that your body does have certain reserves for further energy when you’re energy-depleted and in need of rest because it’s always doing everything it can to keep you alive and well so of course it’s got reserves for emergency situations. But those energy reserves are your stress hormones – adrenaline and cortisol – to keep you going despite really needing to rest.
And here is where the issue lies, because as I mention above, these reserves are for emergency situations – not every-day life, and yet this is actually how MANY people are living pretty much all of the time … until the body can’t do it anymore. Those reserves aren’t limitless, plus tapping into them takes a huge toll on the body even after just a short period of time.
So, this is when people get ill, because being in this state for any extended period of time depletes the immune system, leaving you more open and less resistant to viruses and bacteria.
And if you stay in this state for an extended period of time, this is what leads to burnout along with other health related issues.
Your body forces you to stop and rest, yet now the level of rest it needs is in direct proportion to how much you’ve pushed, depleted, exhausted and dare I say ‘abused’ it!
So, the message today is to pay attention to the body’s language (symptoms) and then respect what it’s telling you by acting in line with what you/your body is feeling and therefore needs.
I appreciate sometimes this isn’t possible, we all have to push through at times and once in a while is not a problem as long as you then rest and recoup asap. But if you’re existing in this exhausted state for the majority of the time, there will come a point where your body starts to scream instead of talk. Looking at it this way, we can think of burnout as your body screaming out at the top of its lungs, I NEED TO STOP & REST NOW!!!
If you are concerned that you might be close to burnout and feel that you need some guidance and support, simply CLICK HERE to book a complimentary consultation.