I hung up the phone and sat back on the edge of the bed. My parents had just spent the better half of the conversation trying to convince me I had to be careful and slow down. Telling me I was doing too much. That I was treading in dangerous territory.
I disagreed. I was doing fine. Honestly, I was a little annoyed they kept nagging me. It wasn’t the first time they had raised this topic.
Two weeks later, it turned out they were right.
While having tea with my dear friend (a nurse), she told me straight-up, “You’re suffering from burnout.”
I still wasn’t convinced. She suggested I make a list of all the physical symptoms I was experiencing and that she would come back after half an hour. Turns out I filled an entire PAGE with things ranging from dizziness and headaches to being nauseous.
Confronting that list, I realized this was not normal. That something might be off after all.
The next morning, she took me to her doctor. Even though my partner and I had moved there a year before, I didn’t have a physician yet. The doctor looked at my list, asked me some questions, and then confirmed my friend’s verdict. He told me to call my boss and tell him I was suffering from burnout and had no idea how long this process would take. The doctor emphasized that last part. Then he told me to come back in two weeks.
To me, two weeks seemed like a very long time. So I asked, “What if I’ve recovered before then?”
He gave me a smile and the best answer he could’ve given me, “Then you come back sooner.”
Somehow that eased my mind. Of course I didn’t go back earlier. All in all, I stayed home for three months before slowly easing back into my (demanding) corporate marketing job as product manager for a well-known Dutch chocolate brand.
Looking back, it wasn’t a matter of if I would run into that brick wall, but when.
You see, the thing is that we don’t notice that we’re slowly burning out. We’re probably the last person who will recognize it.
If you’re lucky, a friend or loved one will register that something is off. That you don’t quite seem like yourself. Like my parents did (though I didn’t believe them.)
This powerful tool will show you in minutes whether you are at risk for burnout and what’s going on with your energy and stress level.
Unless you are absolutely certain that your energy level is great and you’re not experiencing any stress, I recommend you do yourself a favor and check out where you land on the burnout scale. Because it’s so much better to be safe than sorry…
Have a day full of energy and inspiration!