That’s how burnout creeps up on you, putting it’s hand on your shoulder to guide you down the road of excitement, expectations and exhaustion.
I didn’t wake up one morning with a bald spot right at the front of my head.
As I smothered some shampoo through my luscious locks, I started to notice that the clumps of red hair in my wet hands were getting bigger and bigger.
You most likely didn’t wake up one morning with a frazzled nervous system that meant you had the concentration (and digestion) of a constipated goldfish along with a permenantly pissed off feeling and an overwhelming desire to spend the day face planted in a floury, sugary bed of carbohydrates.
But when you’re in the treacly thick of it, you don’t notice the creepy hand of burnout, anyway you’re a modern woman who happens to have kids, you’re meant to be tired all the time.
I don’t think so.
There are stages of burnout and I’m going to break them down for you, because not all stress is ‘bad’.
Knowledge is power.
You need to know this so that you have the techniques and tools to swat away that creepy hand, build resilence, be adaptive and most of all be the woman you want to be.
Energetic & Enthuthiastic
- Everything is new and fancy.
- Excitement is taking over your senses.
- Tiny human waking every 45 minutes; no biggie.
- Living on toast & peanut butter; it’s fuel for your fire.
- Feeling powerful & determined; absolutely.
- One woman show who feeds tiny human, feeds the dishwasher, feeds the big humans and feeds the superwoman myth; yep.
- Not taking care of yourself. Well you’ve got other things to do and you’re feeling great so no need.
- Adrenaline is powering you through.
- You develop coping strategies here that will either help you develop resilience and be adaptive or that’ll push you further along the burnout steps.
Cracks start to appear
- Hmm, the sleep deprivation is starting to make you bit narky. But you’re a mum, you’re meant to be tired, right?
- Some days are better than others.
- You know you can recapture the energy and enthusiasm of stage 1 if you keep pushing.
- Resting is for old people and the lazy, certainly not for you when you’ve got sh*t to do (and clean up)
- You start neglecting yourself and your needs.
- No alone time. No intentional movement. No nourishing foods. You don’t have time.
- Expectations of yourself and your capabilities are being s-t-r-e-t-c-h-e-d.
- You know something’s a bit off, but taking your foot of the accelerator, slowing down and addressing the root cause of what’s going is making you anxious. Anyway it’ll take up too much time.
Denial. Pushing through.
- Who else is going to do it as well as you?
- You base your entire existence on how well you’re parenting and other external factors like your work performance.
- You’re feeling frustrated, fatigued and forgetful.
- You’re pushing through any health issues that might start popping up. Life is meant to be full on, busy and demanding, that’s not what’s causing you to feel constipated with terrible reflux.
- You’re not about to start showing any weakness or signs that you’re struggling.
- Emotional crutches might start to make an appearance here. Wine, online shopping, chocolate hobnobs.
Can’t be bothered phase
- Motivation is at an all time low.
- You’re getting sick more often. Colds, flu you name you get it.
- Getting to sleep and staying asleep has become almost impossible.
- You’re going through the motions but that’s about it
- Socially, you can’t be bothered so start withdrawing.
- You’re wondering if you can make a run for it, but you’re too tired.
- You’re overthinking, struggling with decisions and anxious.
- Emotional crutches from stage 4 are ingrained habits here. These are your escpaes.
- People close to you will notice a change in behaviour.
All time low
- You can’t ignore anymore that something is wrong.
- Things are too much.
- Losing interest in daily goings on of life.
- The energy and enthusiasm of stage 1 seem impossible, almost like it was a different person.
- You’re being forced to slow down because you simply can’t carry on like before.
- You’re mentally, physically and emotionally exhausted.
- Depression and/or anxiety at this stage may need professional intervention.
My commitment to you is to do everything in my professional capacity to give you all the tools, accountability, cheerleading (I always wanted to be a cheerleader, but that wasn’t a thing in the Isle of Lewis in the 80s!) and truths to get you to be where you want to be.
Hit me up to book you free 10 minute meet and greet chat, let’s see where you’re at and what I can do to support you.
Because being tired all the time is a waste of yours.
Can you see yourself in any of these stages? I hit stage 4 before I put tools and practices in place to get myself back to stage 1.