Burnout: What I experienced so you don't have to

With so much to do and so little time, how do you recognize the warning signs of burnout? Photo by: AlisaRyan / CC BY-NC-ND 

In a world where there’s so much need and so much to be done, burnout seems inevitable.

Based on my personal journey overcoming burnout and my experience supporting others in doing the same, I’ve seen that burnout is something we can pull back from as well as prevent. The critical part is identifying the burnout “red flags” so that we can take action and get support.

Burnout affected me on every level — emotionally, mentally and physically. I no longer felt inspired doing the global health work that I had so passionately poured my blood, sweat and tears into for over a decade. Years of last minute travel and late night conference calls left me with little time to invest in my relationships with family and friends, leaving me feeling disconnected and unsupported. On the health front, I developed food sensitivities, digestive issues, hormonal imbalance, weight gain, brain fog and chronic exhaustion.

There was also a crying fit on my cold bathroom floor with the words “I have nothing left to give” repeating themselves over and over in my head as I clung to my bathmat. Although my past self would have been mortified to confess all of this for fear of being judged, I’m happy to share it because I’ve since met so many others with similar stories — many of them including what I’ve lovingly come to refer to as “bathroom burnout breakdowns.”

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About the author

  • Catarina

    Catarina Andrade

    Catarina is a transformational leadership & wellness coach that helps changemakers who feel overwhelmed when it comes to balancing their purpose-driven work with their personal health and happiness. She supports them to create more time and energy to get it all done with less stress and burnout, so they can feel inspired, do good sustainably, and increase their impact.