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What Does Burnout Look Like?

What Does Burnout Look Like?

People Keep Telling Me I am Stressed, but I Don’t See It

One of my clients told me recently: “People keep telling me I am stressed out, I don’t see it”.

Let’s look at personal stress by using the analogy of an overworked computer. When my computer tries to download a massive file, needs to be backed-up, or has too many pictures of my adorable grandchildren stored, the optimal functioning of the machine is seriously compromised. 

Don’t Overload Your Command Center

That box on top of your body, containing your command center of thought and emotion, also slows down once it’s overloaded. Like that stalling computer screen, the mind also experiences “system errors”. However, with expert guidance, care, and attention, these system errors can be repaired. With neglect and added demands, this human “system error” can deteriorate into burnout.

What Happens When Your Mind Goes Into Burnout?

Concentration, response time, access to skills and memories are all compromised. Those feeling that you have placed in the “I will get to it later” basket come randomly flooding to the surface! Your mind literally begins to brownout. You know the feeling! Maybe you are more stressed than you realize. While you try daily to access your power supply, your brain and body show you signs of draining that very limited power source.

Comparing your stress to a lackluster power grid, do any of these signs apply to you?

  • New or constant physical aches and pains
  • Fading out during normal conversations
  • Restless sleep due to stressful dreams
  • Loss of interest in things that you loved to do
  • Loss of emotion, or even a surprise surge of emotion
  • Skipping meals or eating more than necessary
  • Staring numbly into space or computer screen, unaware of your state of mind
  • Waking up exhausted after a full night sleep
  • Driving and not remembering where you have been or where you are going
  • Quick to judge, react rashly or being crabby

If you see yourself in 5 or more of the above symptoms, you just might be headed for burnout. Your mind and body are screaming for relief.