Fatigue Is a Sign of Burnout (and 9 Tips to Get Rested)
Here’s the thing:
It’s almost too easy in our culture to…
Wear yourself down to a frazzle.
Feel responsible for everything.
And think it’s your job to change the world.
It’s as if everyone – every single person – is depending on you…
Or so you tell yourself.
A Brush with Burnout
Burnout is what happens when you go full speed under constant stress until you’re merely a shell of your former self.
Your entire outlook is one of scarcity.
There’s never enough time… never enough energy to do everything.
You’re never good enough… never accomplished enough.
You feel guilty trying to grab a few hours of sleep, even though you’re so tired you can scarcely add two plus two and get four. There’s always more to be done. So you push yourself day after day until you want to cry from exhaustion.
Until, finally, there’s a complete scarcity of you – of your energy, health, well-being, and vitality.
Here’s the thing though, your exhaustion and fatigue are actually important clues for you to pay attention to: these are symptoms of burnout. If you keep pushing forward, attempting to push through these symptoms, well… let’s just say, it could get ugly like it did for me…
Fatigue is one of the signs of burnout. And it’s worth paying attention to because it might not be plain old tiredness that’s wearing you down.
Dismissing Exhaustion as ‘Just Tired’ Is a Mistake
Because fatigue can be a sign of burnout, it’s important to take a moment right now and assess your “tiredness” over time.
- Do you lack energy and enthusiasm?
- Do you feel tired most days yet are able to push through?
If you answered yes to either of those questions, then you’re in the early stages of burnout-induced fatigue.
- Do you feel utterly wiped out?
- Are you struggling with depression or hopelessness?
- Are you having a hard time making decisions?
Responding yes to questions 3-5 indicates that you are in the latter stages of burnout. Either way, I would suggest taking action on the tips below before you get too far down the exhaustion path. I’ve been there, and it’s not pretty.
You Need More Than One Good Night’s Sleep
One good night’s sleep feels terrific, but let’s face it: One night of restful sleep won’t go a long way toward helping you recover from what may be burnout-induced fatigue. What we’re going for instead is consistently getting a restful good night’s sleep.
9 tips for getting a good night’s sleep every night:
- Keep a consistent sleep schedule (Yes, even on weekends or days off!), so your body can find its natural rhythm and settle into a regular sleep-wake cycle
- Go to bed early enough for you to get at least seven hours of sleep
- Stop using electronic devices at least half an hour before bedtime
- Avoid drinking or eating caffeine in the afternoon or evening (Remember, dark chocolate has caffeine!)
- Drink sparingly before bedtime so you’re not running to the bathroom throughout the night.
- Establish a relaxing 15-30 minute bedtime routine to quiet your mind and soothe tension in your body (i.e. a warm bath, meditation, visualization, soft music)
- Keep your room dark and cool
- Wear a sleep mask to block ambient light
- Use your bed only for sleep or sex, so your body and mind recognize it as strictly a place for rest and intimacy.
You can learn more about the vicious cycle of sleep and stress in my Deep Sleep Blueprint: A Magic Rest & Relief Formula. You’ll learn how getting caught up in this cycle can set you on the path to burnout and how to avoid this. Click here to get the Deep Sleep Blueprint free.
An Unusual Approach to Overcoming Fatigue
In addition to getting a great night’s sleep every night, take time to play! Even if it feels hard to imagine having the energy for this or it seems self-indulgent, “play can boost your energy and vitality and even improve your resistance to disease, helping you function at your best.”
George Bernard Shaw said it best: “We don’t stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing.” Play will nurture your soul, bring you closer to the joyful person you were meant to be, and ease stress.
What do you love to do? And when was the last time you let yourself enjoy what you love?
Are You Ready to Feel Rested Again?
Now that you know these tips, you can be in action with a few at a time and see how your sleep changes.
You now know…
- Why getting consistent, quality sleep is vital for your well-being
- The steps you can take to get the revitalizing sleep that will let you rediscover your natural optimism and joy
- How important it is to be in action
Once you do these things and are sleeping better, you can…
Enjoy playing with your family and friends.
Feel hopeful and happy about life.
Make decisions with ease.
Wake up refreshed, eager for the delectable day ahead, and brimming with energy and humor.
Now you have a list of rejuvenating practices you can bookmark and come back to when you need a refresher.
Now is the time to start getting a good night’s sleep. Tonight.
Are you ready?
It’s snooze time!