How do you feel when you first wake up in the morning?
- I’m ready to jump out of bed and eat breakfast.
- I lie there exhausted, unable to move.
- I wonder to myself if I can make it through the day.
- I have intention to start with positive acknowledgement of what I do have
How do you feel about your performance at work or as a stay-home parent?
- I feel like I’m just not on top of it anymore.
- I find myself comparing myself to others and how those others always seem to be doing a much better job than me
- I’m happy with how I’m doing. I mess up every now and then, but that’s human.
- I like how I’m handling even tough situations. I’m making effective decisions and feeling happy with the outcome or resolution.
When you’re out for a walk, where does your mind go?
- I get lost in daydreams about all the things I must do.
- I’m pretty drained. I have to order myself to keep moving and not quit.
- I’m just happy to be outside and enjoy nature
- I don’t have time for walks anymore.
What did you do last weekend?
- I spent time with family or friends, did errands and shopping, straightened up the house; I felt really busy.
- I worked from Friday to Sunday.
- I took off at least one full day without doing either housework or work-work. I went to a party or other special event.
- I stared at the walls, watched TV and hardly left the house.
How’s your physical health?
- I’m tired all the time. I trudge through every minute.
- I have a lot of aches and pains, colds, minor infections or stomach upsets.
- I’m in great shape. I exercise a few times a weeks and rarely get sick.
- I feel okay, but I know I need to work out more frequently and get more sleep.
When you think about the life of your dreams, how close does your current life come?
- I’m not doing what I want to do. Sometimes I think, “Is this really my life?”
- I don’t know exactly how it happened, but I’m doing the things I love.
- Who thinks about that stuff? My life is what it is and I can’t do much to change it.
- I’ve had some detours, but I’m generally on the right track.
What do you do to relax at night?
- I have several glasses of wine, or take a pain pill, and flop on the sofa.
- I work out, read a novel, listen to music or just hang out with my friends and family.
- I try to relax, but it just doesn’t work.
- I zone out—watch TV or surf the web—so I don’t have to think.
Right before you fall asleep, what are you usually thinking about?
- What I did and didn’t do today—and what I have to do tomorrow.
- How tired and overwhelmed I feel.
- What went right today, what I’m grateful for, what I’d like to try to do tomorrow or in the future.
- Everything from money issues to problems in my relationships.
What happened to the spark you had as a child that powered curiosity, engagement with life, and creativity? Has it burned out? Are you feeling emotionally and physically exhausted and cynical, wondering if you’ve got what it takes to make it in this rapidly changing world? Burnout looks a lot like depression, but it’s not a biological bogeyman that medication or simple stress management can cure. It’s a disorder of hope and will that sucks the life out of competent, idealistic, hardworking people like you; and it will be an ongoing challenge for you to take your power back!
The saddest moments I have witnessed recently have been watching bright lights grow dimmer and dimmer until they eventually burn out. I’m referring to high-octane women who once sparkled, loved their lives, pursued their passions, and in doing so changed lives only to fall victim to the stress and fatigue that all too often come along with giving so much of oneself.
Burnout is a cunning thief that robs the world of its best and its brightest by feeding on their energy, enthusiasm, and passion, transforming these positive qualities into exhaustion, frustration, and disillusionment. But the good news is that burnout is not a terminal condition. Although it certainly requires a change in lifestyle, once burnout is recognized and attended to, it can become a positive force in your life, a chance to rediscover yourself and shine brightly once again.
Take an inventory. Make a list of all the situations that cause you to feel stressed, anxious, worried, frustrated, and helpless.
Next to each item on the inventory, write down at least one way to modify that situation to reduce its stress, and then begin implementing them into your routine.
Just say “no.” While you’re “recovering,” avoid taking on any new commitments or responsibilities.
Delegate as many things as possible, even if the person you’re delegating to may not do them as quickly or as well as you would.
Take breaks between big projects to give your mind and body a chance to recover.
Control your devices. Gadgets, such as iPads, computers, and smart phones, can consume large amounts of your time and energy. Turn them off as much as possible.
Rediscover your passion. Every high-achieving woman I have ever known had one thing in common–a passion. If you’re like most victims of burnout, that passion has probably lost its meaning, leaving you feeling physically exhausted and emotionally depleted. But rediscovering it (or finding a new one) with a new self-awareness that it doesn’t have to be all-consuming can be the spark you need to reignite your flame. This may mean you have to redefine your roles at work, home, or both. It may mean that you have to find a way to redistribute the load you’re carrying. Or it may mean that you have to find a new passion, one that will offer more balance so you can enjoy life the way you once did.
Reach out to us if we can help you along in your journey!
To contact Aubrey, email her: firstname.lastname@example.org