Smart Women Do Burn Out

Smart Women Do Burn Out

As smart women, we have so much going on in our lives. Hello! – career, business, family, dinner, chores, soccer practice, getting snacks for soccer practice, etc., etc.

There’s a lot of talk these days of self-care which may include an occasional lunch date with friends (typically followed by a mad dash back to the office) or the occasional massage, or perhaps you have a standing appointment for a weekly manicure.

These are all good acts of self-care and they contribute to your overall wellbeing. But to truly tackle and solve burnout, which the World Health Organization (WHO) recently classified as an “occupational phenomenon” and as

a syndrome conceptualized as resulting from chronic workplace stress that has not been successfully managed,

you need to dig a little deeper and truly understand what burnout looks like on a day-to-day basis. In other words, you have to recognize how it shows up typically in your life. You may be surprised that you’ve totally normalized the typical signs and symptoms.

Here are 5 Signs You May Be On the Verge of Burnout:

  1. You Live Behind a MaskYou show up physically every day and you’re a contributing member of the team; you successfully perform and you get along well with your clients, co-workers, team members, and leadership; outwardly you look like you’ve got it all together. But on the inside, you’re in an almost zombie-like state simply going through the motions just trying to get through the day.

  2. You Have Only Two SpeedsYou’re either going full throttle all day long submitting daily to every deadline, demand, and dilemma and performing multiple tasks like the Energizer Bunny OR you’re in a state of sheer exhaustion camped out on the sofa for hours or falling into bed every night in almost a catatonic state.  You devote very little quality time in between for family, friends, or simply to be.
  3. People Piss You Off

    Everyone and everything gets under your skin. No one seems to be able to perform tasks at your level of expectation and you casually daydream of body-slamming your senior leadership, the people who work for you, and your significant other. You’re pretty short-tempered and low on patience.
  4. It’s Been a While Since You Had a Decent BreakAn afternoon nap does not qualify as a decent break. If you’re hoarding vacations days with absolutely no plans for a real trip because you don’t think the world can rotate without your presence, then you may be toddling down the path to burnout.
  5. Your EMS Factor is All Off
    EMS stands for Eating, Moving, and Sleeping.If your Eating (and drinking), Moving (as in movement and exercise), and Sleeping factor is off, no matter how well you think you’re coping, you cannot expect to perform at your best, period! Burning the midnight oil working on a project while stuffing yourself with caffeine and crappy food all qualify as signs you may be on the verge of burnout, as does the extra pounds you’ve gained around your midsection.
  6. Bonus!If your closest friends or your deepest conversations are with Siri or Alexa, then not only are you on the verge of burnout, it’s time for an intervention! Lol, it’s time you had real conversations and connect with real people. 😆

Burnout is a very serious matter. It contributes to huge health risks in our society, and it costs the U.S. approximately $315 billion per year, according to the Harvard Business Review. A recent article in states,

Burnout hurts families, employees, and companies, and it will only continue to get worse unless we take a hard look at why this is becoming an issue for so many of us.

To examine your risk for burnout, ask yourself where you honestly fall against the five points (+ bonus point) described above. If any or all of these points are resonating with you, then know you’re not alone. I’ve been where you are and then some and it’s a bummer. That’s why I specialize now in helping leaders who are tired, drained, and exhausted reduce stress and prevent burnout so they can take back control of their lives.

You can heal from burnout but it’s a heck of a lot easier and cheaper to prevent it. If you need expert guidance, reach me at

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