Jeunessima Friday Lifestyle Delights 9. Tips for Busy Women over 40 ... Are you on your Way to Burnout?
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Jeunessima Friday Lifestyle Delights 9. Tips for Busy Women over 40 … Are you on your Way to Burnout?

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Hello, this week I have some more sobering thoughts for you … that will hopefully help you to avoid the deep exhaustion, almost burnout, that I am going through right now.

Do you love your work and feel it’s easy to deal with it? …

How often over the last month were you frustrated for one or another reason with your work or felt somewhat overwhelmed? How often have you been irritated by something or someone?

Is your body strong and healthy? …

How often during the last month have you been experiencing physical complaints like headaches, cold, tense muscles, backache? What about other signs that you should slow down?

Are you at ease with letting things go and going with the flow? …

Are you a perfectionist? Prefer to be in control and rather do things yourself than delegating them because you know you can do a better job? Do you have a high-achieving, Type A personality?

Are you full of energy? …

Ask yourself, how many days during the last week did you feel full of energy … the whole day long? Emotionally, physically and mentally? If you want to go deeper to explore your fatigue level, check this Fatigue Scale. Even though it was designed for people with chronic illnesses, the results can be even more telling if you don’t have any chronic disease.

Are you getting enough energizing sleep? …

How many nights over the last week did you get at least 8 hours of sleep and woke up in the morning full of energy and ready to take on the world?

How long have you been going without getting adequate rest & opportunities for complete rejuvenation? …

The more often you’ve answered ‘No’ to the questions above, the more you’re in danger of exhausting yourself over time, … or if you’ve been going like that for a while already, to break down, to burn out.

I don’t want to scare you, rather call your attention to your real current situation, without excuses, buts, and ‘I’m different’.

I want to make sure that you check in what state you really are, mentally, physically, and emotionally.

I want you to take some time for yourself, every day … and some days … or even weeks off … depending on the severity of your personal situation.

I personally have not stopped for a very long time, I can’t remember when I did actually.

Even after having spent 2 challenging months in hospital with my dad last year where we didn’t know if he would be able to pull through and then my dad-in-law passing away just after that … I never took a real break.

And even though I’ve worked with one of the best stress (management) gurus in the world and part of my PhD was derived from burnout research, I tried quick fixes with meditation, 12-hours in bed here and there, exercise, coffee, healthy herbs, nootropics for my mind, … all good things but they don’t help anymore if one (me) still gets up between 5 and 6 in the morning and gets to work as quickly as possible to only finish at around 10 or 11 pm … almost every day. Not healthy!

Thankfully though I do know the signs of exhaustion and burnout and years ago I had read the book Falling Apart , which was a real eye opener for me, especially what a breakdown or burnout can really mean for the daily life … or non-life as it is … shown by stories of different people who weren’t able to do anything anymore.

I’ve also experienced people around me burning out. Absolute high-flyers, high-achievers.

Being aware of that, I knew I had to do a full-stop before things got to the point of complete breakdown.

I took off for quite a while to recover and re-energize. I didn't even check e-mail or go on social media.

Thankfully, both my readers and I were supported by my great team.

Quotes I’m reflecting on …

When looking for quotes I found many that resonated with me at that time. Here are two of them:

I've worked myself to exhaustion before … I thought I could do everything; it was just too much for my body and my mind – Penelope Cruz.

Sustained exhaustion is not a rite of passage. It's a mark of stupidity – Jason Fried

Over the next weeks you’ll get to know my team a little bit better. Each week a different team member will send you their thoughts, tips, discoveries, quotes, …


Enjoy your day …. every day … without waiting for that day when you can allow yourself to do so.

And share your comments, tips, and ideas with us. What are your thoughts about the above? Send a tweet to @Jeunessima or leave a message on Facebook. Put #lifestyledelights in so the team can find it 😉 …

Thanks for reading!

Have fun … stay young,

Ines O'Donovan, PhD
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