Women and Burnout
Are you tired too much of the time?
Do you feel depleted and emotionally overwhelmed? Do you feel ill-equipped to manage the stresses in your life?
If so, you’re not alone!
The negative effects of stress are reaching epidemic proportions in our modern lives and women(like you and me) are falling like flies—our bodies and souls are suffering.
Even though it’s across the board, burnout, or Adrenal Fatigue, is more common in women, and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome affects women at four times the rate of men.
If we’re tired all the time and our nervous system and often hormonal system are compromised, we’re not able to live at our full potential and shine our lights as brightly as we’d like.
That’s why it’s more important than ever to find ways to manage stress in our lives in order to prevent, or if necessary, heal, from burnout.
Even though burnout is not a good thing, it can bring unexpected gifts. In my case, burnout led me to institute major changes in my working and home life, that has helped me immeasurably during my transition into motherhood.
If we listen to the ‘voice of burnout’, it’s very likely we’ll learn what it is we need to let go of, in order to live healthier, more balanced, and more vital lives. This is of course, where the tools of yoga can help so much in healing and rejuvenating us, and in bringing us back from the brink of burnout.
In our society of 24-7 communication via technology, demands and pressures, everyone seems to always be run-down or overwhelmed. But feelings that go even beyond that, making it hard to do even the simplest of tasks, may be a sign of burnout. In my line of work as a wellness practitioner, ‘IT MEANS WE’RE OVER-ALLOCATED’, which is how I define burnout.
“In your mind, and perception is reality, it feels like you can’t drop any balls,” and may I add that you can visualize burnout when you think of your life as a pie chart with everything from work to kids and family taking up all the slivers of the pie.
“It’s an epidemic happening especially to millennials because the world is getting faster and faster”
SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS OF BURNOUT IN WOMEN
The kind of burnout I’m seeing is a fixation on little things making high-achieving, high-performing women with passion projects and side hustles feel overwhelmed. We as women feel ashamed that we can’t keep up. To say that’s what embarrasses us, it puts us in a dark corner.
Other signs of burnout can include insomnia, chronic fatigue, difficulty concentrating, apathy, irritability, anxiety and getting sick more often.
While burnout is not a medical diagnosis, it can have physical consequences that include everything from respiratory problems to gastrointestinal issues, according to Dr.Farzaneh Ghaffari from Melb Acupuncture Wellness Centre.
Are you suffering from burnout?
There are four questions you can ask yourself to determine if you are suffering from burnout.
Rate yourself on each question using a number one through four, with one being never, two sometimes, three often and four always. Then total your points from all four questions.
1. How often are you tired and lacking energy to go to work in the morning?
2. How often do you feel physically drained, like your batteries are dead?
3. How often is your thinking process sluggish or your concentration impaired?
4. How often do you feel emotionally detached from co-workers (or customers) and unable to be sensitive to their needs?
If you scored less than nine, you are not suffering from burnout.
If you scored between a 10 and 12, you are on the verge of burnout.
If you scored between a 13 and a 16, you are suffering full-on burnout.
How to help burnout.
It is up to you to make changes in your life in order to prioritize yourself, experts say.
“Be intentional and force yourself to stop if you’re living on one of these never-ending rides. “It’s not going to stop for a while or just fix itself, so you have to do it.”
I recommend starting by removing the urgency from things in your life that are truly not urgent.
Start practising meditation for at least 20 mins per day. Even if it is 10 mins in the morning and 10 mins in the evening.
Incorporate exercise and yoga in your weekly routine.
Eating a healthy diet, getting proper rest and setting boundaries on your apps and phone.
Draw boundaries between your life and your work that allow you to succeed in both.
I recommends being intentional about the type of self-care you give yourself.
“I don’t mean get a mani[cure] and facial,” “It’s about putting yourself first once in a while. Turn off your phone. Leave work at a reasonable hour. Draw boundaries between your life and your work that allow you to succeed in both.”
Accepting that your life can be big and messy is also good way to move forward. “You have to embrace the mess.” “Don’t get caught up in the idea that things have to be perfect or there has to be a balance. A big, ambitious hungry life is a messy life.”
I also stresses the importance of saying no.
“If its not a heck yes, its a heck no,” . “If you’re not totally jazzed about doing something, just say no.”