I have run my own business for the past 12 years and often it can be tough. I’m not Richard Branson and don’t have a million dollar business and like many people with a regular job, I’ve had financial ups and downs, along with the highs and lows of life, and our family has struggled to manage many things.
As a result of high stress I’ve also experienced burn out a couple of times. Trust me it’s no fun at all so recognising the pitfalls and the signs and symptoms of stress and fatigue is one way you can catch it early. That way you won’t end up like I did, completely burnt out with adrenal fatigue.
7 Signs and Symptoms of Stress and Fatigue to look out for:
1. Heightened Energy
Strange as it may sound when you start to experience burn out you almost feel like you have more energy. That’s because you’re wired, you’re running on the stress hormones cortisol and adrenaline and for a while they keep you going strong but of course eventually something has to give.
2. Junk Food Cravings
Due to the imbalance of hormones and our body pushing it’s limits we can begin to crave energy foods such as sugar, chocolate, caffeine, high fat junk foods, along with chips and salty foods. If you find you’re craving these things more, ask yourself if stress could be a driving factor. Overeating, binge eating and more emotional eating can also be associated with stress and fatigue.
3. Sleeping Problems
- Are you finding it difficult to get to sleep?
- Do you have broken sleep?
- Are you waking up feeling unrested?
- Are you constantly restless all night long?
These are all clear signs that your circadian rhythm (your natural 24-hour cycle) and cortisol patterns are not operating how they should be, and this is a clear sign that stress is interfering with your life.
If you’re anything like me you strive to do your best in all things but when experiencing burn out we can show much less interest in our work and what we do. Instead of being proud and concerned about the outcomes we become indifferent to the outcomes. Instead of our usual energy we may experience apathy and a feeling of laziness and total lack of care toward the things around us, including those we love sometimes.
5. Relaxing with Alcohol
When under extra pressure and stress it’s common to turn to things like alcohol to help you relax. While it feels like a solution it only exacerbates the effects of stress long term, contributing to hormonal imbalance, sleep problems, and increased stress issues. So if you’re turning to the alcohol as a way to sooth yourself, perhaps it’s time to find another way out because it is easy to formulate a daily habit that may last years or lead to alcoholism when these situations occur.
6. Lack of enthusiasm
The zest, the fire, the interest, and the passion in life, that’s what often drives me to keep going. BUT with burn out these things no longer exist, it feels like a struggle to get through each day, there is no passion or fire, and at it’s worst point you can feel empty and dead.
7. Tiredness and fatigue
All of the above signs and symptoms can start to occur long before the tiredness and fatigue sets in. You find yourself slowly moving through the above things until finally you turn around, you’re totally exhuasted and your life is a mess, or you may even get sick. That’s the thing about burn out, it can creep up on you ever so slowly and then turn around and hit you in the face. Of course you can experience general tiredness and fatigue without all the other things but more often than not, the various signs and symptoms above do occur in many people. If you do experience more tiredness and fatigue than usual, this is still a sign that something isn’t right.
Look out for these clear signs and symptoms because it’s much better to tackle the stress and fatigue before it tackles you 🙂
Nutrition & Health Coach