Burnt Out?

Are you burnt out?

Burnout is physical, emotional, or mental exhaustion. It is accompanied by decreased motivation, lowered performance, and negative attitudes towards oneself and others (APA Dictionary of Psychology).

Burnout is caused by high demands placed on you at work, home, or sometimes both.

Burnout is becoming more and more common. Employees with non-supportive managers are 70% more likely to experience burnout. Women are more likely to experience burnout than men. Mothers with small children have a higher rate of burnout than fathers (Thrive My Way Burnout Stats). The pandemic, corporate layoffs, and other factors have contributed to this growing trend.

My son was born 15 weeks prematurely. He stayed in the NICU for almost 3 months. The daily grind of working full-time and then going straight to the hospital took its toll on me.

It was a grueling schedule, but there was no other option. I refused to let my son go a day without a personal touch from his mother. I thought it would automatically get better once he got out of the hospital. I was wrong! When he came home, he had a breathing monitor and oxygen.

This battle with burnout was mostly home related. It didn’t help that I also had a colleague who was always looking for ways to question my work. I can laugh about it now. I knew the role much better than she did. She hated that I was offered the lead on multiple projects instead of her. I wrote it off as typical office politics.

Thankfully, my son finally gave up his breathing monitor and oxygen tank. He was healthy and I got through that round of burnout.

About a year later, I moved into a new position. It wasn’t long before I was overworked. After work, I would sit on my couch with my mind racing. My daily workload was too much with little to no breaks in between. It was non-stop with client calls, emails, and in-person office visits.

I reached out to the person I replaced to see how she handled the workload during her time there. Her response was “by working 9- and 10-hour days.” My heart sank as I realized other teammates were doing the same thing.

Fast forward another year or so, and my company downsized. We lost 3 valuable people on our team. I moved into a new role that I had to learn. I later found out that I would be required to do the work of 2 full-time employees by myself.

I brought up my concerns about my workload to my team lead. I was told the extra work would not fall solely on me. Everyone would be cross-trained, and we would all complete the work together as a team. I’ll spare you the details—cross-training didn’t happen.

My last battle with burnout was so severe that I started researching burnout. That’s how I identified that I had been in burnout 2 times prior.

Before the pandemic, burnout was not a topic that was discussed frequently. Burnout is not new. The pandemic shined a bright light on issues that already existed. Many of those issues increased as the pandemic raged on.

Almost every day, I meet someone who is experiencing burnout. Most of the time, they do not realize it.

I worked at a great company (with some notable flaws). I worked with some great people. I still found myself in burnout. It can happen to anyone.

Below are 3 common signs of burnout that I experienced:

1.      You are exhausted all the time.

I am a morning person. I usually get up early to start my day. I have learned that my brain functions best in the morning. During burnout, I started getting up later and later.

No matter how much sleep I got, it still wasn’t enough. I wasn’t always able to fall asleep when I wanted to. It was hard to sleep through the night.

I started using my lunch breaks to take naps. That still wasn’t enough.

2.      You feel overworked and/or underappreciated.

I replaced 2 people with over 30 years of experience each. I was new in the role. I was already at a disadvantage of not having the knowledge and speed to complete tasks. Then add another person’s workload on top of that.

They also made it very clear that raises would not be given.

3.      You feel stuck/trapped in your situation.

I felt stuck in my career field. I felt stuck at my company.

I had great benefits, plenty of PTO, and made a decent amount of money. I didn’t have the energy to think about starting over.

Unfortunately, I didn’t initially realize I had options.

These are a few common signs, but there are many more. If you think you might be experiencing burnout, check out my free START Method with 5 steps to address it: Flourish Queen, LLC – Payhip

Meryleen Lightfoot

Burnout Coach/Consultant

Flourish Queen, LLC

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