The second step to overcome burnout is also easier said than done. Especially in a society where being stressed is part of good manners. If you’re not, you’re certainly not doing a good job. Or your superiors are setting an example of a 12-hour day, and your colleagues are going along with it. Then you can only be wrong, if you don’t want that or you realize that it is too much. Or the environment simply expects you to take care of your sick parents in addition to your job and family and to have a tip-top tidy home. That’s just the way it should be. Oh yes, and dear women, you have to look great, of course, you can not just let yourself go! If it becomes too much, there can only be something wrong with you!
No – all those who notice that it is too much – listen to yourself! You are not wrong! You are also not weak, or little resilient! You are humans and not robots!
Also here I would like to tell my story first.
I was the only woman in my company who had a technical profession. I wanted to prove myself. Recognition, I identified myself through this job – because I had already failed in the other areas of my life. No husband, no children. And no, no one from the outside put pressure on me, at least not the most. It was all me. My demands on myself were higher than they could ever have been from anyone else. Where did the demands come from, of course from the urge to satisfy everyone, I had learned how to function. I carried everything on my shoulders, even the things that would have been better on other shoulders. Nobody asked me to do that either, but I imposed it on myself. After all, I wanted to be recognized, and in my eyes that was the only way.
If I had not had any help, I probably would not have seen all this. But I was also already deep into the 2nd phase in the exhaustion spiral. If there were signs earlier, yes of course, but I ignored them.
At this point I would like to go into more detail about the difference in the phases. If you are still in the 1st phase, you can still help yourself. Think about what exactly it is that makes you so exhausted or restless. Take an honest look at your life. And I don’t mean just one side of your life, but all 4 sides of the work-life balance. What are your values? What do you do with, for, your social circle? What about your finances? What is your health like? What are your beliefs? Only if you make an honest target-performance comparison, you will recognize what you can work on. You will find your stress factors and can then think about how you can eliminate them. Where you can get help.
Similar tasks are also ahead of you when you are already in phase 2 or 3. However, it will become increasingly difficult to cope with them alone. Perhaps there are already physical illnesses that have arisen. Therefore, in phase 2 and 3 you should resort to help. This can be your family doctor, a psychologist or a coach. In the last phase it may even be necessary for you to be admitted as an inpatient. Take time just for yourself.
Because just as the way down the spiral is a years-long process, the way out is also a correspondingly short or long one. But, with the necessary help, it can be done!