Do you feel constantly under the pump with too much to do and not enough time to do it? Like your life isn’t going anywhere? Or do you find it hard to get excited about much at the moment? If you’ve answered yes then chances are you could be suffering from a bout of the burnout blues.
According to executive, career and lifestyle coach and author of The Great Life Redesign, Caroline Cameron, the burnout blues are a normal response to the stresses of living in the 21st Century. “While not attributable to one specific cause, the burnout blues are our mind and body’s response to the relentless pressure of living life in the fast lane,” Cameron says.
A lack of time or money, frustration with work, disconnected relationships and poor health can all contribute to the burnout blues, which anyone can suffer. Whether you’re a stay at home parent who has sacrificed a career or social network, a person who is bored in their job, a parent whose children have left the nest and are struggling to fill the void, a soon to be retiree uncertain about the future or someone who is exhausted and has no time for themselves.
Cameron says individuals experience the burnout blues in a variety of ways and manifests in an array of symptoms.
“Rather than the occasional ‘off’ day, sufferers notice that they’ve lost their mojo and that things just aren’t right with their relationships, work, and health and how they are living,” she says.
The most common symptoms include stress, demotivation and boredom and a sense that life is going nowhere.
What are the health risks?
Failing to manage the burnout blues can have a negative impact on your health, work and relationships. Cameron says that at the very least, life will go on and nothing will change. But an individual’s happiness and wellbeing will start to suffer and others may even begin to distance themselves. But, in some instances, it can get much worse.
“If sufferers don’t take action, they place themselves at an increased risk of developing full blown depression,” she says.
How can I beat the Burn out Blues?
The first step in beating the burnout blues and preventing them from developing into mental illness is to recognise that you have them. Then you need to take action.
Cameron says it is important to take stock of your life and decide what needs to change. She suggests creating a vision of how you want your life to be by asking these simple questions:
- What does my ideal life look, sound and feel like?
- What will be different?
- Where will I be and who will be there with me?
“Create an action plan that bridges the gap between where you are now and what you want to be,” she says. “Step up and hop into the driver’s seat of your life and take action one step at a time.”