Are you burnt out?

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We've all heard the instruction: 'In case of an emergency landing, please place the mask over your nose and mouth before assisting others.' But what happens when the emergency landing is a metaphor for your life right now and everyone's trying to get a piece of that sweet, sweet oxygen?

Life has been anything but predictable for the last year, and we've all had to find ways to adapt, to 'keep calm and carry on'. But what happens when something pushes you over the edge, and you just can't fake that everything is fine and under control any more?! ..Welcome to the burnout club. Membership perks include: constant anxiety, an inability to sleep or concentrate, irritable moods and a loss of interest in pretty much anything at all. Your legendary multitasking abilities become a thing of the past, and basic tasks like texting back a friend or deciding what to make for dinner become your Everest. You see, burnout isn't just a little headache or a day or two where you feel a bit down, it's a phenomenon that effects pretty much every aspect of your life; physically and mentally, and it's a real shitter.

There's no quick fix to relieve the symptoms of burnout, no pill or supplement you can take to give you a sudden boost of energy or euphoria. Unfortunately, burnout can last for a while, and it's usually the people who try to be everything to everyone that get hit the hardest. So what the hell are you supposed to do if you find yourself in the depths of burnout? Recognise it. Call it what it is. Tell your friends, family and co-workers that you can't take on any more and stop judging yourself for feeling that way. You got here because you're awesome, and you're trying to do a million things at once. You are not a failure. Take time for yourself, switch off from the world if you need to (and that includes Social Media - that guy is definitely not your friend right now!)  Most importantly, try saying 'no'. Even if you think it will upset people, this is the time to be selfish, to hog that oxygen mask, because the truth is you're no good to anybody if you're a shadow of your former self. Recovery from burnout is a marathon, not a sprint, so allow yourself the time you need to get better.

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Online Contributor, Psychologies Magazine Ambassador

A blog exploring who we are, and what we want out of life, one story at a time.