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It is amazing how burn out just seems to “happen”.
People are constantly astounded at how quickly burn out happens and how it happens without any warning.
But who causes burnout?
We do!
Who ignores the signs that burn out is going to happen?
We do!

It is really simple – if you overwork yourself or are overwhelmed by responsibility, you start off being able to cope because your adrenalin keeps you going.
But then, one day you start feeling tired, and you ignore that feeling – often with a cup of coffee or four.  Then you start getting headaches, and you ignore those because it is quite simple to be able to just swallow a tablet and carry on.
Then you start feeling irritable and moody or tearful and sad.  And that’s a little more difficult to ignore but still you go on – waiting for the weekend or the next holiday or a mythical time when everything is going to be quiet and calm.
Your body doesn’t seem to appreciate that – and if you continue to ignore it screaming at you, it will make you take notice by knocking you right down so that you can’t do anything to ignore it anymore.  And burnout and total exhaustion kicks in.

Over the past two days (and I’m sure that it is not going to just stop there) our power supplier has very kindly (not!) cut our electricity twice.  Supposedly due to a fault in a substation – though I’m willing to bet that some engineer who was responsible for looking after the station was too burned out to do his job properly and now we are all in the dark (that’s just my theory anyway).
So, there I was with ‘mountains’ of work to do and unable to do it because I needed my computer to work.
And I couldn’t even use my principle source of procrastination (watching TV) either.
I sat in the dark feeling really frustrated, and quite hungry when I suddenly thought “well thank you very much, I wasn’t planning on taking an entire evening off to go to bed early but what other choice do I have?”
So I did – I went to bed at 9pm for the first time in as long as I can remember and had a wonderful night’s sleep.
Thanks Eskom for that!
And it was incredibly simple just to leave everything, even though it was forced, and just have time to nurture myself.

Please don’t wait if you feel that you are burning out.  Please don’t ignore the signs that you are burning out.
If you are tired and exhausted and overwhelmed – now is a good time to do something about it.
Nurture yourself – even though you feel that you may fall behind or lose out by not getting things done, eventually you will be energised to do everything that you were meant to do in the first place.
You owe it to yourself!

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