You've been giving, giving, giving again. You care, look after, help out and run around for others. Most often you put yourself last, as that's what we tend to do with the things we know deep down are most important. A part in you knows that if you weren't well, everything would fall apart. You are needed. So you keep pressing on.
Stress is one thing. Extended prolonged periods of stress and pushing yourself too hard another.
Are you watching out for the signs of burn out?
Are you aware of the signs and signals your body is sending you, so you can kick back a gear or two and take the pressure off?
It is so important to catch exhaustion before it develops into a full blown adrenal burn out. Once it hits you, you're so fatigued and wiped out that you can't even get out of bed anymore.
Some of the first signs and signals are slightly disguised and we tend to ignore them, or mistake them for mood swings or hormonal issues. The other warning signals are easily brushed off under the excuse of 'it's busy having a young family', 'work's just busy', 'they need me, I have to do it' etc.
To make it easier to pin point when burn out is slowly creeping its way into your life, I've put together a list of 15 questions to ask yourself:
1) Do you get easily grumpy and short?
2) Do you fly off the handle at the drop of a hat?
3) Do you get frustrated easily?
4) Do you feel like you're stagnating and not getting anywhere with all your efforts?
5) Do you feel constantly tired and can't seem to get yourself excited?
6) Do you feel bored and slightly detached about the things you need to be doing, but you're kind of 'over it all'?
7) Are you in procrastination-city and can't get yourself motivated?
8) Do you keep hurting yourself by accident?
9) Do you get sharp or dull pains in your middle and lower back, that used to be more in your shoulders?
10) Do you keep getting sick, have headaches or feel yourself generally getting more and more susceptible to colds and flues?
11) Do you get less than 8 hours sleep every night to recharge and revitalise your body.. Or are we talking way less?
12) Do you struggle falling or staying asleep, no matter how tired you are?
13) Do you find you're getting forgetful?
14) Do you lack the ability to focus and concentrate on your tasks?
15) Do you feel anxious a lot or get anxiety attacks?
If you've been finding yourself saying yes to most of these questions, you might realise now that all of this exhaustion & your mood swings haven't just been a side effect of working hard, running a business and/or having a family. You might be actually burning out.
Now, please don't freak out. Yes, you might be on the way to burning out - or even there already! - but there are always lots of things you can do to remedy this.
Read my blog post about how you can nourish yourself in busy times. You can access it right here.
In it, you'll find my "absolute minimum, high priority self-care check list for busy people in busy times" which includes things like delegating, prioritising, nourishing etc and exactly how to do these. Go and check it out now.
Even if you find that you only said yes to some of the questions above, chances are that this self-care list for busy people will help you catch things before they get worse.
If you've already hit rock bottom, I've been finding this article here from Psychology Today very useful.
I'll also dive into this topic deeper in my next blog (in 2 weeks).
Here is to listening to your body and the signs you're getting! Being honest to yourself and then approaching things differently, by supporting and looking after yourself, is a sure fire way of getting back on track.