Are you burned out?

If you feel like you've been running on empty for a long time and you've noticed that your threshold for stress and overwhelm is low, you're always tired, you're just getting through the days without much enjoyment or spark, you might be experiencing some degree of burnout.

Burn out is very common and has increased significantly since the pandemic. We experience burn out when we've been over stretched, encountering chronic stress and operating in survival mode for too long or when we have encountered a number of compounding sources of stress coupled with not enough rest and recovery time.

Burn out can also occur following a period of acute stress or may be triggered by a viral infection or period of illness, relationship conflict, a traumatic experience or even surgery. It's also not uncommon for women to experience burn out in their late 30s/40s/50 coinciding with the hormonal changes of peri/menopause.

Most often it will show up as a combination of physical, mental and emotional symptoms which are pervasive and persist despite a weekend away or a few nights of decent sleep.

Common signs of burn out:
- Low motivation and low energy make it hard to keep up your usual self care strategies eg. exercise and nutrition may go out the window (too worn out to exercise or tired to prepare meals or do your usual exercise), usual stress management strategies like meditation, mindfulness or breathwork go by the way side

-Sleep issues, you're exhausted but can't sleep when you need to or find yourself needing to sleep during the day when you can't. You wake tired, sluggish and unrefreshed. Then at night might feel tired but too wired to sleep.

-Brain fog and difficulty focusing. Can't make decisions. Can't switch of the barrage of anxious thoughts and can't think clearly. Forgetting things and easily distracted.

-low threshold for stress and feeling more easily overwhelmed, emotionally reactive or sensitive or experiencing anger and frustration.

-Feeling like you've lost your enjoyment or can't feel the joy or colour of life.

-Feeling like you've lost your sense of purpose or direction or sense of confidence within yourself.

Common physical symptoms of burn out:
- Digestive issues
-low immunity/frequent infections
-increased muscle tension/pain. Joint aches or other inflammatory type symptoms
-physical fatigue, everything feels achy/heavy/sore
-hormone imbalances/changes to cycle/PMDD or more noticeable PMS
- a raft of unexplained physical symptoms

What can you do if you're experiencing burn out?
The first step is acknowledging what is going on for you and looking at why it may have come about.

There may be some changes that you need to make to try to reduce sources of stress where possible.

Finding ways to also build in more opportunities for rest is super important. Rest and time to replenish your reserves and recover are paramount. Burnout can't be pushed through or rushed- as frustrating as that can be!

Setting boundaries is important and they may need to be firmer than at other times when you have more capacity.

You may need to say No more often and examine whether 'people pleasing' or perfectionist tendencies or needing to always be busy are stretching and depleting you (these can be multi-layered, life long patterns so whilst becoming aware of them is the first step, working with someone to uncover the drivers of these patterns of behavior may be helpful- NER (Naturopathic Emotional Release and also breathwork are a couple of ways that can be really effective here and you can read about both at ).

Naturopathy can really help through providing nutritional or herbal support, identifying and addressing vitamin and mineral deficiencies and looking at simple modifications that you can make to your diet or lifestyle to support your recovery in regaining your energy, strength and vitality.

If you recognise that you may be experiencing some signs of burnout or feel like you might be headed that way if you don't put some support in place, naturopathy appointments can be booked here:

Follow up appointment (for current/returning clients):

Initial appointment (for new or returning clients who haven't had an appointment in the past 18 months):

I've experienced burnout both personally and it's also something that is very prevalent among the women who I work with.

In our fast paced society, generally so focused on busyness and productivity, with women juggling many hats to keeping a family and household running, unfortunately it eventually comes at a cost and there is no shame in having reached your capacity- after all we are not machines and nor are we actually biologically equipped to function at the pace often expected of us without some fall out eventually.


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