I used to be someone whose motto was “I’ll sleep when I’m dead”, but after suffering burnout last year, I’m now 100% committed to putting my health first. As I’m back to full health now, I know that I did the right things – listening to my body, resting and taking things a little slower. As someone who teaches others how to be productive, I’ve seen how these things improve productivity!
Last year, I had the pleasure of chatting to Dr. Eleanor Akaho about her personal experiences of burnout. As a doctor, she has a professional understanding as well as a personal perspective, so it was fascinating to chat to her and realise that I wasn’t the only one that burnout caught off guard.
In this blog, Eleanor explains what burnout is and how it affected her. We also look at how you can recognise it and recover from it.
Recognise there’s a problem
Get enough sleep
Reassess your goals
Set boundaries, start saying no
Recognise there’s a problem
Get enough sleep
Reassess your goals
Set boundaries, start saying no
When I interviewed Eleanor, she explained to me that burnout is physical, mental and emotional exhaustion. You won’t be surprised to hear that the most common causes of burnout are work pressure and the stress of being a carer.
As Eleanor explains in her honest and personal video interview with me, the common signs of burnout you need to recognise include:
Eleanor tells us that the following life events can increase our chances of burnout:
Throughout your life and especially when embroiled in life-changing events, you need to regularly stop, take time out and check how well you’re coping. This goes a long way towards working out if you’re heading towards burnout.
Did you know that according to the Health and Safety’s Executive’s work-related stress, anxiety or depression statistics in Great Britain, 2019 in the 2018-2019 financial year:
However, the problem is not limited to the UK; it is happening all around the world.
Eleanor is a qualified psychiatrist who currently works with children and adolescents. During her training and working years, she has had about three or four episodes of burnout but didn’t actually realise what it was until 2018. She told me she had been working too hard in one job, staying late trying to finish all the paperwork and not taking care of herself. Then she encountered the stress of moving from one job to another, whilst also moving home and dealing with other life events.
Like me, she didn’t see burnout coming. For her, it was one small incident that made her realise the extent of her exhaustion. She spilt something in her kitchen and when bending down to sweep it up, she felt woozy and as though she had just ran a marathon! This marked the beginning of her most severe burnout episode and she ended up taking seven weeks off work in order to stay at home, recover from the burnout and reflect on what direction she wanted her life to go in from that point on.
Angry with herself, she wondered how she had allowed it to happen and how she could stop it happening again. During her reflective period, a good friend told her a few home truths: “You don’t sleep enough. You’re not drinking enough water. You’re running around all the time doing stuff for other people”.
I think this is something a lot of us are guilty of, right?
Burnout will not go away on its own. In fact, it will get worse unless you address the underlying issues causing it. If you ignore burnout, it will only cause you further harm, so it’s important that you begin recovery as soon as possible. However, recovery from burnout is often a slow journey, so be patient with yourself.
The first step towards recovering from burnout is to take time out, have lots of rest and work towards identifying why you’ve experienced it. As in Eleanor’s case, it can help to have an honest friend or family member who has good insight into your life. In some cases, you may need the professional support of a life coach or counsellor.
Not only is fatigue a symptom of burnout, but insomnia also ranks high on the list. In order to recover from burnout, it is essential to get enough sleep. Develop good sleep hygiene habits, such as going to bed at the same time every night, keeping your bedroom dark and cool & not using smartphones, laptops or other electronic devices before bed.
Burnout offers a hidden silver lining. It can be a positive force for change, giving you a perfect chance to reassess nearly everything about your life and your work. Take time to think about what you really want in life – your goals, priorities, future goals, etc.
If you are someone who naturally puts others needs before your own, it can be very difficult to assert yourself and say no. However, saying no is powerful tool. After all, every “yes” you say adds another thing on your plate and takes more energy away from you.
As Eleanor told me, “You need to know when to say, ‘I’m really sorry, but I’m so exhausted, I’ve had such a long week. I know that we made plans, but I don’t think I can do that.”
It is important to recognise an impending burnout. As in Eleanor’s case, are you feeling physically tired and mentally drained after little or no exertion?
In my case, I didn’t realise I was sleep deprived and didn’t see the warning signs. It was more of a mental rather than physical tiredness and I just couldn’t put my finger on it. All I knew was that I didn’t feel like me, I was finding it hard to cope and I was feeling extremely emotional.
If you are suffering burnout, you urgently need to take time out to address the underlying issues. Please feel free to get in touch, as I am happy to share my story.
Eleanor Akaho is a qualified psychiatrist who currently works with children and adolescents. She is also a certified personal development coach for women via Ellementes Coaching and has an inspiration page called Elleversation. Eleanor is a passionate advocate and teacher when it comes to topics around mental health and has taken part in several discussion panels, workshops and other events.
Eleanor is now also a published author. Her first children’s picture book, Everybody Counts, was written during her rest period in 2018 and was published in February 2020. It is a fun, rhyming story for 4-6 year olds about celebrating diversity and embracing social inclusion.
You can find her on both Instagram and Facebook:
Habits are what gets you success and my blog, 4 Insanely easy ways to create good habits, explains four easy ways to start creating good habits to prevent burnout.
Are you still struggling to get up and get going in the morning? Read my article The Importance of a Magic Morning Routine to find out why creating a magic morning is so important and how it empowers you to start the day on the right foot, so you can take control of your day, become more productive and live a life-by-design.
Are You Recognsing any Symptoms of Burnout?
It is important to recognise an impending burnout. If you are suffering burnout, you urgently need to take time out to address the underlying issues. Please feel free to get in touch, as I am happy to share my story.
As a life coach, I can support you with with your journey and be assured that you are not alone, and there is more than one way back. We got this!
Other topics I specialise in include:
If you’re looking for a coach that is down-to-earth, supportive, and knows when to challenge and push you to help you be your best, then let’s chat.
Click the link below or feel free to drop an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
What My Clients Are Saying
“I initially signed up with Alice to help me with my time management and productivity in my business and everyday life. Alice is a fantastic coach. She is supportive, kind. I love her honest, no bullshit approach. Since working with Alice I have discovered so many new ways of doing things. She has helped me uncover the root of some of my habitual tendencies and transform them. The amount of care and support she offers is priceless. I highly recommend working with her.”
Oonagh English DipNT mNTOI – Life Coach and Nutritional Therapist
“The time management course has been a total eye opener for me – I have learned so much, implementing ideas and strategies I just never thought I had time to do! Just goes to show – if you have support by the right people in your life you can achieve anything! ”
Jacqui C – Oxfordshire, England
Did you know that your gut is your second brain? So what you eat can hugely affect your productivity, energy, and wellbeing. And I am sure you would love more of all of that!
Find out more by joining our FREE webinar in May 2022!
Join nutritionist & gut health specialist Amani Kaite and me for a FREE WEBINAR in May 2022 to learn how to improve your gut health to boost your energy and productivity!
You will learn to understand more about your gut and how to use it to increase your energy and be more productive. In this webinar you will get simple, practical, and actionable tips to achieve more while feeling good and healthy. You will also have the time to speak to the specialists (that’s us) to have all your questions answered. So don’t wait, join us on this amazing free webinar HERE!
Unfortunately, you have missed the highly successful and transformational January 2022 “Own Your Day” time management course. But you can get your free copy of the mini-training – “The Perfectionist’s Guide to Boosting Productivity and Finding Balance” HERE.
The Health, Habits & Happiness 12-Week Coaching Programme being held in February 2022 in collaboration with “gut-health queen” and nutritional therapist, Amani Kaite!
Are you ready to be your healthiest, most productive self? “Health, Habits & Happiness” is a transformational 12-week programme that will empower you to eat your way to productivity, feel more energised, and being fit & healthy in your busy life.
We created this program for overworked and overwhelmed people who want to work SMARTER not harder. The frameworks, resources and tools we teach you will help you find balance, clarity and renewed focus to accomplish your goals.
We created Health, Habits and Happiness just for you, and we know that this investment in your mental and physical wellbeing will reap benefits that will transform your life, just like it has for hundreds of other people just like you.
See what others have said!
“I saw several doctors but none could help me, so I read a lot of books and listened to podcasts, but the information was too much to deal and none of my symptoms went away. Amani helped me learn to listen to my body, explained the role nutrition plays in my health and gave me tools to take ownership of my nutrition. Now, my symptoms are almost gone, and if they appear, I know how to deal with them”. – T (Graphic Designer)
“I joined Alice’s course to challenge my mindset, improve my productivity and build healthier habits. I couldn’t believe what a positive experience this was – the content was delivered with such passion and enthusiasm, I felt invigorated and compelled to take action! I have loved every minute of it and felt supported every step of the way”. – Sarah (Business Founder)
Success Box is your revolutionary monthly membership book club combining the learning and community you expect from a book club with the empowerment and growth you gain in a group coaching environment. All through the effortlessness of a monthly subscription box. You can find out more about Success Box by clicking HERE.
Take inspired action from reading personal development books (not just reading them for the sake of it)
Accountability with others to prevent procrastination
Be introduced to new personal development books that you may not have chosen
Be confident in their worth as all books are vetted
Empowering and support with a like-minded, driven, inspiring community
Are you ready for a life-changing monthly meeting, support and community that will inspire you, challenge you and grow you, all through reading and sharing ideas?
Have you ever wondered what does it take to successfully work from home? My latest book is a hands-on guide for everyone working at home. It will show you in easy to read tips how to work from home, whilst staying productive, healthy and sane.
In informative, easy to read chapters, you will learn how to set up your own dedicated workspace, select the right office equipment and tips for video calling and conferencing. You will also learn the importance of setting and maintaining boundaries inside the home, managing distractions, avoiding procrastination and learn how to establish a routine that suits your lifestyle.
With many people working from home for the first time, this book is a practical guide to show you how to work from home, whilst staying productive, healthy and sane.
Click below for more information!
This article is written by Alice Dartnell, life and success coach of Alice Dartnell Limited. Alice empowers busy professionals to be successful, transform their lives and achieve more by improving their confidence, mindset and time management.
For more information please see www.alicedartnell.com
Copyright © 2022 Alice Dartnell Limited
This blog is published by Alice Dartnell Limited solely for educational and entertainment purposes. The author and publisher are not offering it as legal, accounting, health care or other professional services advice. While best efforts have been used in preparing this blog, the author and publisher make no representations or warranties of any kind and assume no liabilities of any kind with respect to the accuracy or completeness of the contents. Neither the author nor the publisher shall be held liable or responsible to any person or entity with respect to any loss or incidental or consequential damages caused, or alleged to have been caused, directly or indirectly, by the information contained herein. Every person and company are different, and the advice and strategies contained herein may not be suitable for your situation. Alice Dartnell or Alice Dartnell Limited is not liable for the contents of any external internet sites listed, nor does it endorse any commercial product or service mentioned or advised in this blog. You should seek the services of a competent professional as appropriate. You are responsible for your own choices, actions, and results. Always consult your own General Practitioner if you’re in any way concerned about your health.