Burnout can be so painful. Once you were passionate, now you just don’t care. Instead of feeling excited, you feel exhausted, drained, and bored.

In my world, I hear a lot about burnout prevention. Folks, especially in the nonprofit world, can talk about burnout as if it were some impossible nut to crack. However, preventing burnout can also be quite simple.

The key to preventing burnout is to be aware of the early warning signs that you have too much on your plate.

My early warning signs are that I forget words and confuse dates.

My body feels hot and drained.

I start resenting other people for not working as hard as I am.

How do you know when you’ve taken on too much?

I recently put this question out to my Facebook community, and here are some of the answers that came back:

Getting short with other people for simple things.

Starting to resent everything, even the fun stuff.

Having a deadline creep up and take you by surprise.

Not sleeping well.

Not having time to make meals.

Crying more easily.

Looking at the week ahead and not knowing how you’ll find time for everyday chores.

When you pay attention to the early warning signs of burnout, you gain the ability to re-calibrate much faster and with much greater ease.

If you notice yourself experiencing early signs of burnout, I encourage you to pause immediately. Then, get curious about what you might be able to let go of.

I’m not claiming that it’s easy to say no, at least not at the beginning. But, the more you can let go of obligations that don’t inspire you and create time to decompress, the more space you’ll have for energy and excitement. And, this energy is what you need to be truly successful in the long run.

So, how about you? What are your early warning signs of burnout? What do you need to pay attention to so that you don’t take on too much?

If you’re worried that you might be burning out (or if you already are), I encourage you to learn more about life coaching. It can help you get more energy and start living a life in which you feel truly alive.

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