I wonder if you would recognise the signs that your health was at risk from a prolonged period of stress.
We all know that stress is part of everyday life. As human beings we are resilient and able to adapt to all sorts of changes that come our way. However, if we are exposed to prolonged periods of stress it can secretly be taking its toll on our energy, health and well-being.
I’m writing this article from my own personal experience. I am the person who got stuck in a stressful situation for a prolonged period of time. I held onto a failing business and racked up 100k debt. On top of this, I went through a series of painful life experieces, one stacking up on top of the next for around 24 months. In the end, I burned out spectacularly and couldn’t work for almost two years.
When I was going through my burn out, I didn’t recognise the warning signs. So, if you are feeling super stressed, you may just want to check out the list below of 12 signs you may be burning out.
At the Harmonising Academy we help individuals transition stressful living into fulfilled and balanced living. Our Life Alignment Process guides us to gently prioritise our mental and physical well-being. For some people, minor adjustments make a huge difference, for others we help them to build up the confidence and courage to let go what is no longer working for them, before opening the door to fresh new beginnings.
1. You feel deeply tired but there is not enough extra time in the day for you to sleep
If you are constantly feeling tired and out of your depth, yet you find it hard to sleep at night, then something might be wrong. Whilst occasional periods of tiredness or insomnia may not be something to worry about, prolonged periods of interrupted sleep can stress our bodies and be detrimental to health in the long term.
2. You drink wine or take drugs to escape your emotions and relax your body
We all love a glass of wine to relax at times. After all small amounts of red wine is said to have good benefits to our heart in the long term. However, the dependency on alcohol or drugs to help you relax or sleep is never a good sign. In such cases it shows that your mind has reached a point in which it is finding it hard to relax by itself.
10 minutes of meditation daily can help you overcome that racing mind thus relax your body also.
3. Your day is one big never ending to do list.
It’s perfectly okay to plan your day, if that is what helps you get organised. However if your day’s activities consume your day to the point where no space is left for relaxation, then you need to try making changes.
4. You fear the impact on others if you were to make a change.
Empathy naturally comes to many of us who tend to over think. In fact, most of the time, our worries are for others and not ourselves. We sometimes worry how the small changes we make to ease ourselves, will affect others around us. This essentially leaves us in a never ending cycle of ‘business’ and inability to make a final decision on how to change our difficult situation.
5. You cannot see a way out of your situation
Choices are available to everyone. But if you are burnout, you find it difficult to think clearly in order to make the right choice for your health. However, if you took a moment to re-consider your actions and ask yourself, ‘do I really need to do this today?’, you will find that most things on that endless ‘to do’ list are not really necessary.
6. You feel the impact of the stress on your energy and your health.
Constant stress can have you feeling helpless, disillusioned, and completely exhausted. When you’re burned out, it’s difficult to bring up your energy levels – let alone do something about your situation.
Stress not only affects our physical energy levels but takes a hold of our emotional health. It leaves us feeling sad, unhappy, angry and just completely lost.
Take time out to listen to your body and see what it is trying to tell you.
7. You crave time out but there is no space to do anything you deeply enjoy
Going back to that endless to do list. When you are burned out, you have become a slave to ‘what needs doing’ and you can’t seem to get past it, even though you are craving to do something more fun.
Again you have a choice! The very situation you brought yourself in, is the very situation you can step out of.
8. Your responsibilities mean you can’t stop or make a change
Being responsible is definitely a gift to cherish. Not many of us have that discipline to get things done, when they need doing. If you are a mum with kids that need tending to, or student with studies that need to be done, whatever it is, you must not ignore it.
However, as much as we have to stay responsible, we also have that power to create a lifestyle that stays balanced and in harmony with our mental and physical health.
9. You feel shame about your situation
It’s common that many people experiencing a burn out feel some sort of sadness or shame about their situation. They avoid talking about it with others as it may leave them more vulnerable and weak.
If you are going through such things, always remember there are people who have experienced the same and opening up to others can be life changing.
10. You ignore all the things you would love to do because there is no time to do them
Alas, we have returned back to that ‘to do’ list you keep creating each day. Literally everything else is on that list except from the ones that make you smile and laugh. Most probably, the stressful ones are at the top.
Another common symptom of being burned out Is constantly ignoring or delaying what we really love doing.
11. Your relationships are suffering because of your lack of presence or happiness
Staying present is a common attitude for kids. Because of lack of responsibly, kids tend to live in a constant bubble of reality. This means they always engage themselves with fun things they love doing, they daydream about fun and happy things.
As we age, the stress of life’s responsibilities take over, we become more preoccupied with ‘daily tasks’, constantly planning tomorrows activates, forgetting that today needs to be lived.
12. Your mind is constantly occupied with your situation
When you are burnt out, you think of nothing else but the fact that you lead a stressful life, doing things that you don’t want to do, wishing you could take more rest or have more time with the kids. That constant mind chatter, is what also keeps you up at night, leaving you exhausted and out of your depth.