Can love to burn out

Why the risk of burnout is particularly high right now

“42% of fathers feel more stressed than they did before the crisis,” was an Instagram post in the Süddeutsche Zeitung last week.

No wonder. Corona has taken the delimitation of work to extremes. Anyone who has to work between breakfast, lunch and homeschooling can quickly lose track of things.

Many mothers and fathers, especially young children, have suffered since Corona from not doing anything and not doing justice to anyone. You are constantly in action and still have the feeling that you cannot get anything done.

An alarm signal that you should take first so that it doesn't get to the point where you can no longer at some point. Because parents cannot call in sick. At least not with their children.

But it is not only mother and father duties that lead to an increased level of stress, financial worries, existential fears and fears of the future also cause sleepless nights and promote exhaustion.

From the manager's disease to the common ailment

For a long time burnout was considered a manager's disease, today, as the official diagnosis is, exhaustion depression has become a widespread disease that by no means only affects managers. People burn out when the stress becomes too much. When the overload doesn't stop when the batteries can no longer be charged. And that is often not because of the job, but because of the stress in the private sphere, which demand so much from us besides the job that at some point nothing works. Single mothers or fathers, parents of sick children, caring relatives are often affected by the pathological exhaustion.

When stress becomes a disease

Corona gives many people a massively increased level of stress. But how do I know when it becomes dangerous? Where "normal" stress ends and illness begins?

Burnout doesn't come overnight. It develops insidiously, when you can't get out of the stress, when it becomes chronic. A little stress is known to be good, it can get us to perform at our best. But that only works when stress, as in the times of the saber-toothed tiger, decreases again.

We humans are perfectly equipped to react adequately in stressful situations. That was essential for our ancestors to survive. In order to be able to decide whether to attack or flee in a fraction of a second, a clever program runs in our body that makes us "ready for action". The release of certain hormones and transmitter substances makes our pulse faster, breathing flatter and muscle tension increased.

Today we rarely have to flee or fight, but rather benefit from the increased attention span and brain performance in this state. But the other processes also run. If this is a state of emergency, all is well. Then, after the stress, the parasympathetic nerve is activated and body and mind can recover, the organism settles back to normal.

It becomes dangerous when one is permanently on the alert. Then the stress cocktail of hormones and transmitters is released permanently. That is why, when we are under too much stress, we often notice that something is wrong from physical symptoms. Tension, back pain, sleep disorders and stomach problems are the order of the day; the stress literally lies in our stomachs, sits on our necks and robs us of sleep.

And that is still the harmless variant. Stress can permanently damage the immune and cardiovascular systems, and in combination with alcohol, medication and nicotine, the hormone cocktail can not only literally become a deadly mixture, but in the truest sense of the word.

Take precautions now: Mindful and self-sufficient against stress and burnout

Due to the state of emergency corona, constant stress, i.e. stress that makes you sick, is the order of the day for many people.

It is important to develop an awareness of this. Burnout doesn't come from one day to the next, and not even in a few weeks.

If you notice that something is wrong, if you know what the alarm signals are, then you can consciously take action against it.

Incidentally, sleep disorders in particular are a problem that should be taken seriously. Because if, in addition to the daily stress, the nocturnal rest phases are also missing, then you get deeper and deeper into the spiral of exhaustion.

Continuing to exhaust yourself does not help anyone, because in the long term it will mean that you can no longer be able to do it yourself and at some point you will fail. Nobody benefits from that, least of all you, but you are also doing your family and colleagues a disservice if you run until you break down and break away.

It is therefore better to turn one or the other adjusting screw in good time or to pull the emergency brake from time to time in order to activate rest phases and escape the spiral of stress.

The only person who can change your life are you

First of all, become aware of what (right now) your greatest stressors are. Perhaps, like most of my clients, you are of the opinion that you cannot change the reality of your life, your everyday life or your stress. Because the circumstances are one way or another. I can promise you: you are wrong. One can always change something, even if you feel powerless and at the mercy of the moment. Even little things can have a big impact. But nothing will change by itself. The only person who can change your life is yourself.

Maybe you have to go against your principles and let your children watch TV for a quarter of an hour longer. You may need to cut back on other people's expectations and skip a phone call or a meeting. Just to be with you and to take good care of you.

Take stock. And then do something that is good for you. That recharges your batteries. You will be amazed how much 10 minutes can change.

Maybe you have to work on your demands on yourself in a longer process. If you need help with this, give me a call and we will take a coaching session to see how you can get out of the spiral of stress and exhaustion.

By the way, a good way to consciously activate our rest nerve and ensure lasting relaxation is a stay in the forest. Forest bathing is particularly good, conscious mindfulness training. You can find inspirations to just try it out on my own on my Instagram account. But a walk in the park or whatever else is good for you is a great start.

If you have any questions, please leave a comment below or write me an email.

I wish you lots of ideas and joy in taking good care of yourself.

All the best,