Emotional Wellbeing


Self Improvement

Mandy Kloppers

Signs of burnout


Signs of burnout

Is your current pace sustainable? Are you burning the candle at both ends? In this fast paced world where there are so many demands upon us, burnout can often be a logical next step. We regularly fool ourselves into thinking that we will slow down at some point in the future whilst we take on more responsibility in the present. Many people I meet in my line of work tell me that they need to put the hard work in now so that they can make the money and then finally enjoy their lives and relax. The reality often does not work out this way. We are not immortal and we wish our lives away, sacrificing the joy of the present moment for a possible point in time in the future. Crazy thinking!

So, instead of burning out and never getting to enjoy that time off to relax, learn to see the signs now and protect yourself from exhaustion. Burnout occurs when the demands placed upon exceed the resources we have to cope and manage with the demands.

Are you heading for burnout?

1) Exhaustion.

2) Loss of interest/motivation in things you used to enjoy.

3) Frustration, anger surfacing more often.

4) Moody.

5) Withdrawing from others.

6) Decreased performance and efficiency/effectiveness.

7) Not taking care of yourself – drinking too much alcohol, unhealthy eating, lack of sleep etc.

8) Decreased satisfaction.

9) Health issues – digestive issues, ulcers, heart palpitations, headaches, depression, anxiety, panic attacks.

10) Foggy mind – inability to focus or concentrate, poor memory

11) Sleep disturbances

12) Emotional – tearful, unable to cope with small negative issues

13) feeling overwhelmed by everything


What to do about burnout

1) Make time for relaxation – meditation, sleep, time out.

2) Develop a rich home life.

3) Maintain healthy boundaries between work and home. Don’t be pressured into too much work.

4) Get more sleep.

5) Get organised. Can you delegate? Buy software to make your work life more efficient? Brain storm solutions instead of soldiering on under the constant pressure.

6) Develop self awareness – know your limits, strengths and weaknesses. Put yourself first. There is only ONE YOU, the company you work for will exist long after you leave (if you’re not self employed).


Take time out

Burnout can creep up on you (I know, I have been there) and suddenly you can’t cope with anything. Your brain becomes saturated and everything feels overwhelming. You become less effective in your work and day to day functioning. Recently I have felt so burnt out and my physical health has suffered. Don’t let it get that far – ignore any guilt you might feel – your health is more important.

If you are able to, take a complete break from life and from work. Focus on getting rest, attending to the things that you never got time to do – for me that has been the simple act of reading a magazine, taking my dog for a clam walk and appreciating nature, watching a movie without trying to do other things at the same time. The constant strain was too much for my body longterm and I found out the hard way.

I had a chest infection that lasted a month, I felt aches and pains like never before (I had been too busy to get the flu jab)…my health had taken a back seat and I was constantly on edge. I even began having nightmares about stack and piles of work that were building around me and keeping me prisoner in my own home.

The guilt of letting others down leads us to keep on trucking when in reality we need to learn to say NO more often.


Know when to move on, when to accept that enough is enough. Exploitation is rife in the workplace and amazingly, many of us just carry on even though we feel we are breaking under the strain. It’s time to re-assess if you are suffering from many of the signs of burnout above.

Mandy X



Photo by Skley