You wake to the sound of your kids and all you want to do is roll over and go back to sleep because you feel tired, like you haven’t slept at all. As you reach for the caffeine your mind starts to think about your day. You feel a little overwhelmed and wonder how you’re going to be able to concentrate to get it all done!
Throughout the day you snap at the kids or anyone who talks to you because you are so irritable and moody. Honestly, you wish everyone would leave you alone. It’s 3 pm and all you want is sugar! So you reach for the chocolate bar then beat yourself up because you are trying to be good with your diet.
Finally, you have some time to yourself and you think about exercise but you have zero motivation to get started. You wonder if you are ever going to get rid of these extra kilos.
When it comes to your health are you guilty of ignoring the warning signs?
I am! At one stage I was trying to juggle full-time study, part-time work, playing hockey at a high level, maintaining a relationship, and also trying to have a social life. I completely burnt myself out.
Burnout is a modern-day syndrome because our lives are so busy and stressful! Burnout doesn’t suddenly happen, it creeps up on you over time, like a slow leak which makes it harder to recognise. There are three different stages of burnout that indicate just how much stress your body is under. Your body and mind give you warning signs, these include:
● Physical and/or emotional exhaustion
● Poor sleep quality
● Loss of motivation
● Easily irritated and agitated
● Changes in appetite
● Cravings for sugar, salt, and high carbohydrate foods
● Difficulty concentrating and poor memory
● Unexplained gastrointestinal problems or stomach pain
● Feelings of anxiousness or overwhelm
● Low mood or depression
● Feeling disconnected from others or from your environment
● Weight gain
● Pain – muscular or joint
● Slower to recover from injury or illness
● Increased allergies
● Skin alignments
● Hormonal changes – PMS, menstrual irregularities, infertility
● Using food, drugs, or alcohol to cope
Stress is one of the biggest causes of hormonal imbalances in women and if you are experiencing some or lots of these symptoms, it’s time to make some changes!
I work with women to help them determine where they are on the burnout scale, what to look out for, and the steps to take to restore their inner wellness.
The first step is to assess the stress in your life and how busy you are on a day-to-day basis. During stressful times it’s important to ask for help and learn to say no to things that will make you even more stressed!
Secondly, get some sleep! I know it is so tempting to have some downtime and stay up late binge-watching your favourite TV show, however, your body needs time to rest and reset, which is why healthy sleep habits are essential for your overall well-being.
And lastly, eat a well-balanced diet that is made up of fresh whole foods. Stay away from processed and packaged foods, limit caffeine and drink plenty of water.
Making change isn’t always that simple and easy, especially when you have other people to consider. However, sometimes the smallest of changes can have the biggest impact. Burnout isn’t like the flu which disappears after a week. If no changes are made it won’t go away, it just progressively gets worse.