There’s a popular misconception that burnout only happens to high-flying executives and fast living entrepreneurs. It’s something that only affects other people, and it can easily be fixed with a nice vacation and a few days’ rest.
Unfortunately for the millions of adrenal fatigue sufferers around the globe, this conception of easily managed stress couldn’t be further from the truth. The fact is that modern day life leaves us all wide open to the possibility of burnout. The difficulty is that we’re so busy ‘keeping calm and carrying on’ that, like a thief in the night, burnout can strike when you least expect it.
The good news is that to be forewarned is to be forearmed. There are a number of common signs and symptoms that could give you the heads up you’re on target for a crash.
Are You Experiencing Burnout?
Burnout is the end result of prolonged stress. It’s when you realise you no longer have the reserves to continue in a perpetual state of ‘fight or flight’ or manage your cortisol roller coaster rides. Burnout is the straw that breaks the camel’s back.
The good news is that there’s a long lead up to that final breaking point, so being aware of the signs is always going to be your first and best line of defence. Although everyone experiences burnout in different ways, the following symptoms are among the most common:
This is pretty obvious in the aftermath, but it’s surprising how many people can carry on with their daily life believing that a constant lack of energy is ‘the norm.’ How many people do you know that bound out of bed with a burst of enthusiasm every morning?
It may come as a surprise but you’re supposed to feel refreshed when you wake up! If dragging yourself out of slumber every day is a regular problem for you – don’t ignore it. It could be that your cortisol levels are out of balance, which is a major sign of adrenal fatigue.
We all feel like flipping our lid from time to time, but if you find that you’re having these feelings more regularly than is normal, then it’s likely there’s something deeper going on.
One of the domino effects of a lack of energy is that you can easily feel overwhelmed by everyday tasks or underwater at your job. At first you may feel tense and irritable, but as time goes by this can develop into feelings of being trapped, or angry at the expectations placed upon you. Mindfulness, meditation, and breathing exercises can help to put these feelings into perspective – but it’s never wise to ignore them. Supressing your anger and not dealing with why your emotions are getting the better of you is a sure fire way to win your burnout badge.
It takes a lot of energy to be in a constant state of “fight or flight.” The body quickly becomes run down when nutrients that are needed for vital repair are constantly being diverted into maintaining your on- board alert system.
Stress has a direct impact on your immunity. Throw in the fact that people in the early stages of adrenal fatigue often don’t get adequate sleep, or may be reaching for low-nutrient, sugary snacks to get them through the day, it’s little wonder that lowered immunity is one of the most frequently observed signs among people who are headed for burnout.
Do you regularly find yourself unable to concentrate or notice that you forget about important tasks? This may seem a little trivial and hence easy to brush off, but don’t be fooled. This is just a small part of a bigger picture. It’s not normal if this is happening more frequently than the odd slip. If you’re not sleeping, are lacking in energy, feel overwhelmed by your workload, and generally are low and exhausted, this should send a clear signal that it’s time to slow down and give yourself some TLC.
If this sounds all too familiar, perhaps it’s time to heed the wake-up call and make a decision to slow down before it’s too late.
Take time out to look at ways to better manage the stress in your life. Pay attention to your sleep routine, and get help from those around you to lighten the load. A few small changes at this stage may be all it takes to give you those vital extra reserves and save you from the otherwise inevitable crash and burn.
My adrenal fatigue treatment plan contains lots of ideas and strategies to lower your stress levels. It takes a holistic approach to stress management, using techniques like deep breathing, dietary changes, and much more. And one of the packages even comes with a set of meditations designed for each of the various stressful scenarios that you might face. If you feel like you’re burning out and don’t know where to begin, it’s a great place to start.