Have you experienced this or something similar?
It's 10pm on a Thursday night. You sit back against your chair, arms by your side with your head tilted back, taking a moment to pause and congratulate yourself after a ten hour workday.
You've been hard at work on an assignment for three days and now that you’ve finished, a wave of relief instantly washes over you.
It’s almost the weekend and you can’t wait to take some much needed R&R.
The next morning, you hear from your manager. She praises you for your good work and promptly assigns you another urgent task that’s due on Tuesday.
“Well, there goes my weekend” you grumble to yourself and despite the exhaustion you’re feeling, you get right back to it and work through the weekend.
A classic case of burnout
What I've just described is a series of events that commonly lead to burnout: a state of emotional, physical, or emotional exhaustion that results from ongoing, persistent stress. And it’s not just limited to the workplace.
Burnout is overstimulation as a result of daily responsibilities, such as taking care of your kids, paying the bills, a never ending list of household chores, social obligations, etc.
Are you a people pleaser?
Do you suffer from (high functioning) anxiety?
If so, it can be difficult to say no to others (especially your boss!); it often feels like there’s always something more to do, and taking time to rest feels impossible when you’ve got so much on your plate.
The impact of burnout on HSP
Burnout can happen to anyone, but if you’re a highly sensitive person (HSP), the effects of burnout are seriously amplified!
Because HSPs are incredibly tuned into their environment, their nervous systems can easily be affected by overstimulation (compared to non-HSPs).
And unless HSPs remain extra vigilant in taking steps to avoid burnout, they’re more likely to become sick in stressful situations.
When burnout is left unchecked, HSPs are more prone to developing symptoms including:
- Emotional, mental, and cognitive imbalances such as irritability, mood swings, anxiety, and panic attacks
- Decreased creativity, productivity, or performance
- Physical exhaustion which can lead to a weakened immune system, headaches, migraine, and poor digestion
Not only are these symptoms undesirable, but when left unchecked, can lead to more serious health issues including frequent colds or infections, difficulty concentrating, poor memory and learning recall, heartburn, and stomachaches.
If you’re a HSP, what can you do to prevent burnout?
As a HSP, it’s important to focus on prevention from a holistic perspective, which includes diet and lifestyle strategies
Connect with your body
Because HSPs process information, thoughts, and feelings quite deeply, they can often be in their heads - overthinking, overanalyzing, or ruminating.
This is a great opportunity to shift your focus away from thinking to observing, and practicing mind/body awareness.
Take time to tune into your body and understand its needs. Learn how to listen to your body and pay attention to its warning signs.
Do you experience numbness, discomfort, or aches?
Where do you feel these undesirable sensations?
Take note of any messages that your body is trying to send you.
Set healthy boundaries
One of the characteristics of being a HSP is a remarkable ability to pick up on social cues which increases the capacity of feeling empathy for others.
Because of this, HSPs can often engage in people pleasing behaviors because they want to help others and attend to their needs. Unfortunately, this can mean sacrificing their own needs without even realizing it.
By learning to create healthy boundaries and practicing the art of saying no can be an important step in preventing overstimulation and burnout.
Create moments of pause
If you’re a HSP with high functioning anxiety like me, it might be difficult to take necessary breaks throughout the day.
But the most important lesson that I’ve learned and often need to remind myself of is that my journey is a marathon, not a sprint.
Taking breaks and time to rest is not only beneficial, but absolutely essential to reaching my goals faster and in one piece.
Cultivate healthy lifestyle habits
When it comes to preventing burnout, what we eat and how we treat ourselves matters. As a holistic beauty coach, I tap into the four pillars of health, along with medicinal herbs, to not only prevent burnout, but to set myself and my clients up for success.
Want to learn more about these four pillars and how they can support you in living your best life?
Download my free Preventing Burnout & Managing Anxiety Guide!
In it, you’ll find simple, yet effective diet and lifestyle strategies and medicinal herb recommendations for keeping your mind, body, and spirit in tip top shape.
How do you find ways to prevent burnout in your life? Feel free to comment below!