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  • Writer's pictureLisa Thomson

🔥 🔥Let's Talk about Burnout 🔥 🔥


A work-related condition of emotional exhaustion in which interest in work, personal achievement, and efficiency decline sharply and the sufferer is no longer capable of making decisions. The condition is brought on by the unrelenting stress of pressure at work and is frequently experienced by individuals in jobs involving considerable involvement with people, who derive a major part of their self-esteem from their work, and have few interests outside it.

 From: burnout in A Dictionary of Business and Management » Oxford Reference

‘Burnout’ is recognised by the World Health Organization (WHO) as an ‘occupational phenomenon’. While it is not a medical condition, it has been classified as a syndrome, meaning a collection of symptoms or signs associated with a specific health-related cause. Burnout is a state of physical and emotional exhaustion. It can occur when you experience long-term stress, for example, working a stressful job.

Common signs of burnout:

 Feeling tired or drained most of the time

 Feeling helpless, trapped and/or defeated

 Feeling detached/alone in the world

 Having a cynical/negative outlook


 Procrastinating and taking longer to get things done

 Feeling overwhelmed

In my own experience as an entrepreneur and business owner, & working with and supporting many founders and leaders, many of us are well aware of burnout symptoms and how these present in others. But we often hold ourselves to unmanageable standards or expectations, can lack self compassion, and so unwittingly damage our health and wellbeing by 'powering through', taking too much on our shoulders, putting others needs and priorities ahead of our own and feeling trapped and overwhelmed in a toxic cycle of "busy-ness".

When ultimately the buck stops with you, its very hard to step away or take time away to focus on yourself.

However I know sadly from my hard personal experience the long-term damage this can cause - to health (physical and mental), diet and lifestyle choices, family and relationships and overall wellbeing. You can end up emotionally exhausted, unproductive and even losing sense of your own self, worth and identity.

So it's key that we take steps to address and manage this early before issues snowball. Here are some tips and nuggets of advice I wish I had told myself...

 Prioritise. Ask yourself - does this really matter? Some things do have to get done, but others can wait until you have more time and energy. Decide which tasks are less important and set them aside.

 Delegate. You can’t do everything yourself, so if more tasks than you can handle need immediate attention, pass them off to someone you trust.

 Articulate your needs. Talk to others around you and let them know what’s happening. Don't be scared to seek out support in order to take care of your health.


Set Boundaries. Don't be scared or apologetic about saying "No".

When you are stuck in a cycle of overwhelm, this kind of advice and tips can seem desirable but impossible and so often it helps to have a trusted support you can chat things through and get clarity with. This can be a fellow entrepreneur, a colleague, a mentor or adviser - but don't struggle alone... and don't wait too long if this resonates!

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