Are you heading for burnout?

By Beverley Jones


If you have not been in the office recently due to lockdown you may well be thinking ‘how can I be heading for burnout?’ Well here is the thing I believe burnout can happen to anyone at any time. If during these unprecedented times if you have been juggling many balls in the air, working or not working (both stressful depending on your own personal situation), home schooling children, looking after the vulnerable, worrying about money, fearful of the future, the list goes on then you could be susceptible to burnout. 

The Collins English Dictionary describes burnout as:

total loss of energy and interest and an inability to function effectively, experienced as a result of excessive demands on one's resources or chronic overwork

It was in 2009 that I was diagnosed with burnout and I can honestly say it was the worst and the darkest experience of my life. While work stress was a contributing factor there were indeed many others that assisted me to go down that lonely path. I count myself as fortunate to have had the help and support I did to change my life, a life indeed where I now count my blessings every day, however at the time I contemplating ending it all as I felt a complete failure, useless and could see no light. 

Over recent months I have spoken at many online seminars recently I know that anxiety is high for so many so today as in the seminars I thought I would share the seven signs I wish I had known about at the time, seven signs that started appearing two years before in 2017 and seven signs that indicated things were spiralling out of control. I have listed these below in the hope that by doing so I can help someone, anyone to take note of what is happening before burnout occurs. 

Changes in personality – If you have always been a happy, positive person but now find yourself negative, sad and weary then seek out the reason why. What has changed in your life to make you feel this way? 

Paranoia – Are you constantly on the lookout for others who are seemingly out to get at you? Do you question others motives or actions when previously it would never enter your mind to do so? 

Isolation – Where once you were a social butterfly are you now turning down social invitations as you just can't face people? Do you make constant excuses not to attend parties? When you do make it out do you feel like the loneliest stranger in the crowd?

Anger Is being angry alien to you? Do you find yourself nagging and snapping at others for the smallest of issues? Anger is a true negative emotion and often one that can spring up for no apparent reason.

Physical illnesses – When our minds become unable to cope the physical body often starts to shut down as a sign we need to sit up and take notice. It is often the case that this doesn’t happen and we carry on putting physical illness down to ‘just having a cold’ or a bad back for instance.

Sadness – When you find yourself easily upset, when you cry at the smallest thing then take note. When every day seems like it has an overwhelming shadow cast over it and getting up in the morning seems like a drag, take note.

Loneliness – Do you feel alone with only your negative thoughts for company. When surrounded by people do you often feel like you are standing outside of the physical situation you find yourself in?  

It may be that you recognise some of the signs in yourself or in others,  they are in fact signs we may all notice from time to time in our lives however if you are seeing them appear on a regular basis for an elongated length of time then please seek assistance, speak to someone and let them know what is going on.

As I say now ‘Communication is the best Medication’, I wish I had heeded my own advice at the time and took note of what my physical body was telling me as maybe, just maybe the road wouldn’t have been so long nor so tough.

So please remember if life now seems like a rollercoaster, hold on a little tighter and please have that conversation, it will I promise, help you feel better. 


Beverley Jones

Author, Speaker, Business Mentor and Well-Being Consultant

Helping others through the anxieties of life and business.

Tel 07502375714