For me, the cost of burn out was massive. I had to close a business I was hugely passionate about; I wasn’t able to earn money; I could rarely see my friends; I couldn’t live alone; I lost my independence; I couldn’t drive more than a few minutes without bringing on a crash; during my worst a 5 minute walk was a huge achievement. I made a huge mistake, in fact I made many huge mistakes. Countless times the universe presented me with a virus that would send me crashing, year after year. Yet I chose not to slow down, to alter my course. I became so addicted to the adrenalin rush I felt throughout my career that life felt quite dull without it. The upshot was Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.
For obvious reasons I now feel quite passionately about teaching people how to become more in tune with their bodies and their minds, so that they can better manage their health and not let things get to ‘that’ point. For this reason I wanted to share a wonderful post written by Melbourne Kinesiologist, Kerry Belviso, who has just launched a Heal my Adrenal Fatigue eCourse commencing on 8th September. If you, like me, are feeling the warning signs, I strongly recommend you look into this e-course. I was interviewed for this e-course, along with over ten other experts, to share my story, discussing the impact whole foods had on my return to health. Here’s a snapshot:
In this video, Kerry Belviso talks about three of the costs of burn-out.
Of course, there can be many more.
In our society, burn-out can sometimes be worn like a badge of honour. I was talking to a colleague about my Heal My Adrenal Fatigue e-course the other day and mentioned I burnt myself out a few years ago, “Oh yes, haven’t we all,” she said.
Maybe it’s a rite of passage to burn yourself out in today’s society? Or maybe, by getting really clear and conscious about what we’re doing and the impact, we can still work hard and achieve, but maintain our health too. Maybe we can learn to value how we feel and our wellbeing as much (or more than!) our achievements. I think so. That’s what I’ve been learning to do over the past 18 months, and what I can’t wait to help others to do too, through my course.
Let’s have a look at these costs:
When we’re experiencing chronic (long-term) or high levels of stress, we can experience a wide range of physical symptoms, such as ongoing colds or illnesses, allergies, intolerances, digestive issues, fertility issues and many more. Sometimes, rather than recognising these are being created as a response to the stress we’re experiencing, we might have a range of tests or consult a range of experts which may create positive outcomes – but ultimately, we do need to address our stress levels and how we care for ourselves in an ongoing way to feel healthy and vital.
Emotional and social cost
Often, if we’re experiencing high levels of stress, we can develop a kind of “tunnel-vision” where we’re extremely focused on what we’re trying to achieve, attain or do, which can often come at the expense of our emotional wellbeing and our relationships. Clients often tell me that they start to feel frustrated, impatient or intolerant of their partner, friends, family members and/or colleagues when they’re experiencing high levels of stress. Time with loved ones is often reduced and sometimes people will tell me they hardly have a social life.
Over time this has a cost, which sometimes can’t be seen until you finally (whether by choice or not) slow down. Even if you continue to have good relationships with those around you when you’re under high levels of stress, it’s unlikely you’re experiencing the levels of closeness and intimacy in your relationships that would be possible if your life was more balanced.
Feelings of overwhelm, confusion, depression or anxiety can become more common, and clients often tell me that their memory and ability to concentrate are poor.
If we reach the point of burn-out, there will be a cost in terms of time, energy and also money in order to recover. Recovery is generally considered to take between 6 months – 2 years and it’s important to get to the underlying issues that have led to the situation, or you’ll more than likely re-create it again.
If you do burn-out, you might need to take time off work, or reduce your hours. How you’ll feel about that, and how much of a financial impact it has will probably depend on whether you work for yourself or someone else, and how possible this is if you do work for someone else. I have worked with clients who have reached the point where they need to leave their job and take time out altogether – a huge cost!
For some people I’ve known, burn-out has reached the point that hospitalisation is required. Obviously if you reach that point, you are extremely depleted. Others have had to shut down businesses, scale right back or change direction. Sometimes a crisis point is reached and all of a sudden there are problems to deal with in many parts of life. Jobs or clients may be lost, relationships break-down, mistakes are made, often in dramatic fashion.