10 things I learned from burnout so you don’t have to

3 min reading time

1. Worthlessness is often at the centre of burnout. This core fear is one that most of us have, and creates a fear-driven drive to do more, be more, have more to be “enough”. To be “worthy”. Once we can extract our worth from our work or job title, life gets a lot easier.

2. The difference in how it feels pouring from a full cup, versus from an empty one. Think of the “I’m sorry I’m late, I didn’t want to come” vibe. Instead, imagine being excited to turn up for work, excited to serve others and do your best. Leaving the dread and anxiety behind.

3. Prevention is much easier than cure, but both are possible with the right support. I needed 6 months to recover from each time I burned out. I let people down, I had to invest money in my healing, and all the rest. The ROI on getting this support is high.

4. Nutrition matters when it comes to your body’s ability to cope and heal. Food intolerances, thyroid health, cortisol, immune system, fertility, and metabolic conditions… they all have a place in the complex health picture of burnout. Nutrition needs to be a priority when your nervous system is under strain.

5. Hustle culture is fucked up. The better you sleep, the better you perform. Even getting between 6-7 hours isn’t enough for most people, and it’s the quality that matters even more. It’s not worth the sacrifice on your health or your performance to avoid it.

6. The sacrifice you make from burning the candle at both ends isn’t worth it either. In the worst period of my drug habit, the effect of sleep deprivation on my body was something of nightmares. My immune system shut down, my brain didn’t function well, and I was a walking zombie. It took a huge, and irreversible toll on my body. Separate to the effects of the drugs themselves.

7. Obligations and “shoulds” deplete your energy, more than the things you actually desire. When you have a list of things to do that are for other people, you get tired much faster. Dragging yourself through tasks that suck day after day depletes you. Change it.

8. Neither your own nor someone else’s business, is worth more than your own well-being. Business owners and highly-driven staff both suffer in cultures that put productivity first. There’s a 500% ROI on activities that promote employee wellbeing. A burned out leader isn’t able to lead at all.

9. Stress has a huge impact on your health, more than any other factor. Stress kills. It contributes to heart conditions, metabolic conditions, strokes, immune dysfunction, poor gut health, and infertility. Not to mention mental health conditions like anxiety and depression, or the effects of the things we use to cope.

10. If a company doesn’t do their best to prevent employee burnout, find one that does. It’s not all about wage theft, it’s health theft too. If your workplace cares more about profit margins and wage costs than the health of their staff, GTFO. You’ll be better off elsewhere.

I hope some of these have been helpful or even thought-provoking. For more tips, get my free eBook the Hospo’s Guide to Wellness here, or find out more about how I can help you go from surviving to thriving too.

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