So when we are experiencing burnout – what is actually happening physiologically?
Well on top of our kidneys, we have adrenal glands. The adrenal glands are endocrine glands both about the size of a walnut. They are chiefly responsible for regulating the stress response through the synthesis of numerous hormones. Healthy adrenal glands secrete adrenaline and cortisol. These allow our bodies to deal with physical and emotional stress. When we experience physical or mental stress the adrenal glands release adrenaline and cortisol into the blood stream to prepare us for the stress response. The heart beats faster, pupils dilate and sugar is sent to the muscles in order to have physical energy to deal with the stress.
If the adrenal glands are constantly pumping out these stress hormones and don’t have time to recover then they can become fatigued and stop producing these hormones. This can eventually lead to adrenal exhaustion aka burnout. You’re probably wondering what are the signs and symptoms of burnout? I would say the top 10 signs to look out for are:
1. “You’re extremely exhausted”
2. “You sleep loads but don’t feel refreshed”
3. “You experience dizzy spells”
4. “You drag yourself through each day”
5. “You lose your drive and motivation”
6. “Even small tasks are challenging”
7. “Your cognitive function and memory start to fail you”
8. “You experience severe slumps and crashes on a daily basis”
9. “Lower back pain (around the adrenals)”
10. “Your muscles feel weak “
You are probably thinking ‘that’s me’, ‘I have all of those!” Well, it might not be a surprise but you
get burnout when your plate is already full but you keep on adding to it!
Typically the people that suffer from burnout the most are the ones who are perfectionists, over
achievers and have A type personalities Statistics show that 76% of employees experience burnout on the job at least sometimes, and 28% say they are burned out 'very often' or ';always' at work. Which is a lot! (ref)
The good news is you can recover from burnout. Read more to find out how.
Top tips for Burnout Busting Nutrition
The good news is you can recover from burnout. There are many practical steps you can take to get back on your feet but it will take time: no amount of pushing will heal burnout. Rest and patience are the bottom line! My top tips for recovering from burnout are as follows: