DO YOU RECOGNIZE THIS?
Your work has always been about meeting the deadline. Despite chaos and a hectic pace, you navigate between all involved parties because you know your contribution matters. Even when targets are constantly evolving, you keep all the balls up in the air.
But you’re finding it more and more difficult... you feel worn down, tired, unwell. You don't understand what's going on, but deep down you realize this is not going to pass on its own!
Things used to be different. Hard work and long hours weren't a problem, you kept sight of every single detail, you were fully focused and on top of your busy schedule, you met the deadlines and your goals feeling good about yourself.
Now you secretly hope that something will happen that allows you to slow down and catch your breath, but it seems more like you will have to step up a gear on accelerated programmes. You feel anxious, because you can’t afford to get sick. Then someone else will seize the interesting opportunities or worse, people will think that you can’t keep up and you’ll be put on a sidetrack or on the exit-list!
YOU WANT TO BE AT YOUR BEST, BUT REALITY LOOKS DIFFERENT...
You’re struggling to complete tasks because you’re too tired and have lost your focus.
You pick up actions and immediately drop them. You feel panicky, because you don't know where to start because everything seems to be a priority.
You’re having trouble overseeing your agenda and your overflowing mailbox. There are just too many messages and constantly changing meeting requests that you need to respond to, most of which you haven't even looked at. You worry that you will overlook something important, make a mistake, miss an appointment or commitment.
You rush from one meeting to another while trying to reply to messages on your cell phone. You feel like you’re losing control and you fear that your boss and colleagues will soon suss you out.
During meetings you are not as sharp as your colleagues and you participate less actively. At the slightest hint of a new task you wish you could become invisible.
During the day you crave sleep. Luckily there's coffee to pep you up a bit. You regularly pass the vending machine for a chocolate bar or a biscuit.. After a long day you flop down on the sofa in front of the TV with a glass of wine, though you really should be in bed. A voice in your head whispers that what you are doing isn’t good. Neither the wine nor the sugar. But it’s your only moment of peace and comfort.
You put on a smile but you think "just leave me alone!" You’ve no time for colleagues, family and friends, you need to get on with work.
Participating in your limited social life takes quite an effort. You’re present physically, but you can’t laugh about anything, and you have no desire whatsoever to talk about how you are. You can’t stand it anymore to hear yourself say that you’re tired.
You collapse into bed late but find it hard to get to sleep. Then you wake up way too early thinking about all your to-dos. You hate tossing around and worrying in the dark, so you get up and work on your emails despite heavy eyelids. When you go back to bed and, with a bit of luck, you fall asleep, the alarm goes off. Lifeless you stagger to the shower!
You may also be noticing physical sensations: e.g. stomachache, headache, muscle or joint pain. You think, “I can't go on like this, it's 5 to 12, my body is giving up on me! If I finally start to eat better and get fit, I’ll be my old self again”. But if you’re honest deep down you know, "something else" has to happen, but what and how?
"Each time I met with Eleanor, I would go in all wound up and come out as a quiet, different person. I felt recharged and regained my energy. I gained insights both about myself and towards my children. She sensed perfectly what I needed and addressed it.
Knowing that I can always count on Eleanor reassures me. - JM
TAKE CARE OF YOUR NEED FOR REST NOW!
At this point, you long to sleep for a few days, to be left alone and not to have to think or make any arrangements. But that’s not going to be enough, if you don't immediately face your situation and take steps to take better care of yourself now. Long-term exhaustion and chronic stress can have devastating consequences for your physical and mental health, just think of a burnout. Then sleeping all day and not being able to cope with anything will be your life. They weaken your immune system, exposing you to many chronic illnesses and even cancer. I don't want to scare you, but have you thought about that? No cool projects, no social life, no energetic body that you can count on, no autonomy to do whatever you want.
Do you want things to be different? What are you going to do to prevent yourself from ending up like that? Are you going to take control of your need for rest and recovery? Or are you going to let it take control of you? Then your body and your life will come to a standstill, but it doesn't have to go that way.
Let me help you take care of yourself now!
My vision on burnout prevention: Rest and recharge!
You don't suddenly have a burnout. It is the result of consistently ignoring your need for rest and recovery and it announces itself months, sometimes years in advance through the physical and psychological symptoms of stress in your body.
It's easy to avoid! Rest when you need to. But this doesn't seem possible when you are working hard to be at your best or fear being seen as boring, lazy or not good enough for the job!
"Although many of us think of ourselves as thinking creatures that feel, biologically we are feeling creatures that think."
- J.B. Taylor, Neuroscientist
Change the way you look at things and the things you look at change.
- Wayne Dyer
Sometimes you have to change to stay the same.
- Ki wisdom
Happiness is not the absence of problems, but the ability to deal with them..
Severe fatigue can be the symptom of a variety of illnesses and should therefore be taken seriously.
As a coach I never make a diagnoses. In case of complaints, always first seek advice from your general practitioner or the company doctor .He or she will rule out medical causes, make a diagnosis and set out a treatment plan.