Is it stress or is it burnout?
You love what you do and you want to do it as much as you possibly can. You have goals and ambitions and plans to help your passion grow.
But then slowly, you find the passion fading, and other, not-so-positive feelings are starting to creep in.
You drive to work with 3000 thoughts in your head and the soothing music in the background does nothing to calm you. Your to-do list never gets smaller and you feel like you are turning into Strech-Armstrong, being pulled in all directions. Some days you crash when you get home, or full weekends are spent recovering so that you feel good enough to work again on Monday. Wine, chocolate, and chips ease the pain, but you know in the back of your mind that you shouldn't be counting on them to get you through the day.
I was in your shoes, not so long ago.
I was working a minimum of 80 hours a week, for multiple years on end, in a job far bigger than one person could ever manage. My husband didn’t like who I had become and questioned our new marriage. My anxiety and depression were through the roof, I had chronic headaches, and I was doing everything in my power to feel well enough to go to work. The only thing I knew was work; I had no social life, no hobbies, no fun. Plus I was ZERO fun to be around when I did find the time.
In order to burnout, you must first have a burning passion.
Burnout is more than just stress. You aren’t going to recover with a vacation or long weekend (as if you could even take that kind of time away!).
The World Health Organization officially recognizes burnout as an "occupational phenomenon." But this phenomenon is not unique. And women are finding themselves burned out disproportionately more than men.
We all have our reasons for working hard, and a lot of it has to do with your drive to do your very best and, possibly, to compete with the men in your industry.
Common burnout symptoms include:
cynicism and disillusionment
mental, physical, emotional exhaustion
using food, alcohol or other substances to cope
headaches, stomach irritability, or other physical ailments
creativity and innovation dry up
But with dietary and lifestyle modifications, burnout can be managed and overcome. And once again, you will feel like your passionate self.
Do you think you are burning out? Take this quiz to find out.