3 Signs I Was Nearing Burnout...And What I Did About It.

burnout Apr 07, 2024

If you are reading this, chances are you are familiar with the relentless pursuit of success, the high standards you set for yourself, and that creeping sensation of mental exhaustion that is hard to shake off. 

You are not alone. 

I want to share insights into the subtle signs of burnout I experienced before I conquered my high functioning anxiety.

More importantly, I want to guide you through actionable steps to navigate away from the edge of burnout. From a blend of compassion focused therapy, CBT, acceptance and commitment therapy, and particularly, somatic therapy—all key aspects of my approach in the 🔗 High Functioning Anxiety program.

Let me know if you can relate...

Sign 1: The Constant Feeling of Exhaustion

I would start my day already feeling drained, despite a full night's sleep. 

It was like my personal battery was unable to recharge completely, no matter how long I rested. 

This wasn't just the physical tiredness that a good night's sleep can cure but a deeper, more persistent fatigue that diminished my mental and emotional reserves. 

If you can relate you might also notice that even the smallest tasks feel overwhelming, or the thought of facing your workday fills you with dread.

Sign 2: Increased Irritability and Disconnection

I found myself mentally snapping at colleagues over minor issues, and my patience wore thin much quicker than it used to. 

I had worked hard for 10 years to achieve a doctorate and establish a solid career and reputation in the NHS, but I noticed a growing sense of detachment from my work and even from my achievements. 

If you can relate, this isn't just about having a bad day; it's a sign that your emotional bandwidth is stretched too thin, affecting your relationships and how you perceive your role and contributions at work.

Sign 3: High Functioning Anxiety Was in Overdrive

High-functioning anxiety can be deceptive—it propels you to achieve, to push through barriers, and to maintain a mask of control. Yet, it's like running a car engine beyond its limit; it's only a matter of time before it overheats. 

If you can relate you might find yourself obsessing over every detail, second-guessing your decisions, and feeling paralyzed by the fear of not meeting expectations (often, your own). 

This constant state of heightened anxiety not only amplified my stress but significantly contributed to the path leading to burnout.

Recognizing these signs and accepting my struggle instead of ignoring it was the first step in overcoming it, for me. 

The next step was doing something about it. 

This is what I did to conquer burnout...

Rediscovered Somatics

As I navigated my journey through high-functioning anxiety and burnout, I re-discovered the transformative power of somatic therapy and really understood (personally not just theoretically) how deeply our bodies store stress and trauma. 

I remember the constant tension in my shoulders, the aches, and the way my breath would get shallow or stop whenever anxiety took over. 

These were not just random symptoms but a direct communication from my body, signalling the overload of stress it was under. 

Participating in somatic therapy classes, I learned to listen to these signals, to engage with them rather than dismiss them. 

The physical release of trapped energy and emotions was like lifting a weight off my shoulders, offering a sense of calm and grounding that I had forgotten. 

This aspect of healing was key, going beyond the mental understanding of my struggles to physically moving through them.

Doubled Down On Self Compassion

Self-compassion was a concept I struggled with initially. 

My inner critic was loud, often drowning out any thoughts of kindness towards myself. 

This critic had been a driving force behind my high standards and relentless pursuit of success, but it also left me feeling unworthy and disconnected from my achievements. 

Learning to create self-compassion was like learning a new language—the language of kindness towards myself. 

It involved acknowledging my efforts, recognizing that my worth was not tied to my productivity or achievements, and treating myself with the same understanding and care I would offer someone I loved. 

This shift was not instantaneous, but over time, it allowed me to soften my self-judgement and embrace a more compassionate perspective. 

This nurturing approach to self-talk became a foundation of my journey back from the edge of burnout, helping me to silence the inner critic and give the mic to my wise, compassionate inner voice.

Realigned With My Values 

The final piece of the puzzle in my healing journey was realigning with my values. 

High-functioning anxiety and the drive for success had led me astray from what truly mattered to me. 

In the relentless pursuit of achievements, I had lost sight of my core values and the reasons behind my chosen career path

Using techniques from acceptance and commitment therapy, I set out on a process of exploration and reflection. 

This journey back to my values helped me reignite my passion for helping others, the joy of learning, and the importance of balance and well-being. 

It was a huge realignment that mitigated the disconnection I felt, guiding me towards a more purposeful and fulfilling life.

A life that was lived in the way I desired, without the constant stress. 

This realignment was not just about finding my way back to my original path but about choosing a path that resonated with who I had become and what I had learned about myself and my needs.

These three elements:

  • Somatic therapy

  • Cultivating self-compassion

  • Realigning with my values

Were instrumental in my transformation from frozen to fearless. 

They are not only part of my personal healing journey but are also foundational pillars of the High Functioning Anxiety Program. 

I had a lot of trial and error in the process of healing, but you don't have to...

If you are ready to transform your situation so you can excel in your industry without the constant stress, here's where my 🔗 High Functioning Anxiety Program steps in, to do all of the heavy lifting for you. 

Offering a sanctuary and a solution... 

This program is designed to guide you through these transformative steps, offering support, community, and actionable strategies to navigate high-functioning anxiety and move towards a life of professional and personal fulfilment and well-being. 

The pressures of high achievement, especially in environments that constantly demand more, can push even the most resilient among us towards burnout. 

But it's crucial to remember that reaching out for support is not a sign of weakness; it's a courageous step towards reclaiming your well-being and vitality.

If this resonates with you, know that 🔗 The High Functioning Anxiety Program is not just a step by step program; it's a community where your experiences are validated and your healing journey is supported. 

You've already demonstrated remarkable strength and dedication in your career. Now, let's channel that same determination towards nurturing your well-being. 

All my love ❤️

Dr Michaela