You can’t think straight, decisions are waiting to be made, you have no energy to do anything but lay horizontal and stare at yet another NetFlix series for hours. The world nor work doesn’t look so bright anymore, instead it’s a dark lens that appears over everything.
Let’s be real, energy is life, without it, life sucks.
A recent survey of workers across 25 countries, including 1,000 in Australia, found Australian office workers are the most burnt out in the world, ahead of Italy, China, Canada, the US and the UK.
Let’s first define burnout as “a state of emotional, mental, and physical exhaustion caused by excessive and prolonged stress. It occurs when you feel overwhelmed and unable to meet constant demands. As the stress continues, you begin to lose the interest or motivation that led you to take on a certain role in the first place.” Warning signs and symptoms include fatigue, lowered immune system functioning, feelings of failure and self-doubt, isolation, procrastination, and taking frustrations out on others.
More than half of the Australian respondents said they suffered from burnout in the last 12 months, with 52% admitting they’ve taken time off due to mental health concerns during pandemic lockdowns.
The pandemic has taken its toll on society in many ways, on office workers as well as business owners. Many clients I work with have been hustling over the past almost two years, have recorded their biggest and best months and years earnings ever, but, it’s starting to take a toll on them.
They haven’t taken solid time out to reflect or unwind. It’s been a constant sprint in what is now a marathon world crisis.
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Hustling is helpful in bursts, but not long term sustainable. Hustling is where your nervous system is heightened, and it feels like we’re ‘on’ most of the time. We’re tuned in to social media, endless emails, our phones are within arms reach, even when we sleep.
Burnout then occurs for many reasons, one of which is when the off switch hasn’t been activated for too long.
And it can become a real challenge to turn ‘off’.
I know so many leaders who struggle to take time off, for some it’s been 5 years since their last break. But it’s not just about holidays, it’s not taking time out everyday.
Clients tell me it’s difficult to find the time to go for a walk or to the gym. It feels like business is so important and won’t be able to function if you step out for a moment.
Remember, when we’re working hard and hustling, we activate our sympathetic nervous system (SNS). This SNS is known as fight-or-flight mode, a state of stress that was designed to see us through life-threatening scenarios.
These days our body cannot tell the difference between life-threating and work-related stress. If you’re under the pump at work, your body naturally falls into this supremely heightened state of stress, preparing you for the worst.
Our body is not designed to sustain in this way long term.
So here you are, hustling like a mofo. And then you hit a wall.
If you’re in the service business, and you’re most like the product and service, hitting the wall isn’t helpful.
In fact, it can stall, even stop your business. Then what do you do when your tank is empty and you’ve got nothing left to give?
You see burnout happens in cycles;
- Building momentum in business
- Go all in and give it everything you have and more
- Feeling imbalance but you ignore yourself and keep on pushing and hustling forward
- Overwhelm occurs
- Fatigue sets in because you’re overworked, not focused on other values and forgotten to give to yourself
- Collapse (but not in a Demartini Method kind of way)
So we can either be PROACTIVE or REACTIVE when it comes to burnout.
- Acknowledge there is a problem. Yep, super simple but a quick life review around all the areas of life and notice are you surviving or thriving? If there is more surviving then Houston, we have a problem.
- Make a list of EVERYTHING that isn’t working for you in your life. Doesn’t matter how big or small it is, write all the things that ain’t floating your boat but drowning you instead.
- Create a plan to either shift your mindset around what isn’t working, ie benefit, benefit, benefit until you love it OR drop or delegate it (no matter what the cost because if not, the cost is you (ie. the product and service, the linchpin in the whole operation)). You’ll be feeling lighter already by this point.
- Then create an inspiring plan to move forward that lights you up. This is where you’ll see your energy run through you again, maybe as a little trickle to start, and over the coming days and weeks it’ll amp back up again trust me.
- PLUS, I’m all for leveling up and continued growth and learning. It’s this framework that can break the cycle of burnout (ie – less hustle, more flow) and keeps us inspired about the future and what we are creating.
The point is, you can either wrap your business around your life or your life around your business.
So if you’re on the burnout bandwagon, or just getting back into work from having your well deserved downtime, then consider breaking the cycle. Make 2022 a new evolution of how you do business and your life.
In class, this month, we’ve been creating the ‘Divine Design’ to keep you focused and inspired in creating the thriving life you want to lead. It’s not too late to join like-minded people and gain access to all the templates to create exciting energy to propel your life forward. Take a look here.
With a warm fuzzy full of energy hug,
Leadership Coach & Master Certified Demartini Method Facilitator
One on one & group coaching available
Helping leaders to level up using a transformational mindset work.