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How Burnout Actually Feels.


Feeling lost, confused, exhausted, overwhelmed, drained, and drifting are all associated with burnout.

The WHO defines burnout as….

“A syndrome conceptualized as resulting from chronic workplace stress that has not been successfully managed."

Characterised by three dimensions:

  1. Feelings of energy depletion or exhaustion.
  2. Increased mental distance from one’s job, or feelings of negativism or cynicism related to one's job.
  3. Reduced professional efficacy

What is often not talked about with burnout as how you feel.

It’s hard to attach words to the feelings sometimes.

I’ve experienced burnout so I know.

I couldn’t ever describe how I felt in a way which my support network could understand.

I’d say things like…
“I just feel a bit lost at the moment”
“I’m just confused and a bit overwhelmed”
“I’m tired, like all the time, even after days of lots of sleep”
“I don’t feel like I’m moving forward and I keep making dumb mistakes”
“I don’t feel like I’m getting anything right at work”
“Stupid, but I feel super sensitive, getting butt hurt about banter is not going fly in a alpha team sport environment”
People would say things like..
“Everyone is tired mate. Just got to get some sleep and get on with it”
“What do you mean you aren’t moving forward or getting things right? You’re smashing it!”
“You think too much pal, you’re just working hard doing what you need to do and that’s that”
“You gone soft you have. Toughen up, you got this”

Needless to say, that wasn’t really what I wanted of needed to hear.

I simply listened then doubled down. Sending me deeper.

The reality was that I was exactly as I described myself. I was also incredibly burnt out.
I could never find the right words, possibly because I was surrounded by the wrong people.

Possibly also because I didn’t know what burnout was and how it was showing up for me.

If this resonates with you, you feel or have felt any of these things before I urge you to do a couple of things…

1-Do a Google search on what burnout is and see how closely it matches to how you are feeling.
2-Dig deeper and look at how it is showing up for you in your daily life.
3-Reach out for help. There are a lot of great people doing great work in this area.
4-Remember you don’t need to suffer. It’s choice, choose health and well-being over sickness, disease and the grind.

Look after yourselves, you’re important.

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