The classic movie stereotype goes something like this: a high-powered female exec burns the candle at both ends. She works hard to smash the glass ceiling on her way to the top, and is the first to get a round in and crack a joke on a team building night out.
In her free time, she's just as high-achieving—exercising, partying, and throwing Masterchef-worthy dinner parties. Then one day it all just stops. She hits the wall thanks to burnout, has a moment of life's-too-short epiphany and learns the true meaning of life (love, kids, yoga, long walks on a cool day).
But real burnout couldn't be more different to the work-hard-play-hard image most of us have of burnout. And while the real woman suffering from it might be under pressure at work, she simply doesn't have the energy to enjoy life outside it. She's so focused on her career that fitness falls by the wayside, baking is a distant dream (she lives off takeouts), and instead of unwinding with colleagues, she's more likely to resent them from afar for not feeling the same way.
In short: the real sign of burnout? You just don't give a damn. And in this month's ?Cosmopolitan UK?, we speak to some of the women who burn themselves out in ways you might not imagine. With 82 percent admitting to experiencing negative emotions? and 71 percent having experienced an anxiety or panic attack due to stress, it's clear burnout is a big deal in your lives.
HR executive Leeanne Graham, 30, who spoke to Cosmopolitan UK about burnout, admitted that when she was a sufferer, burnout colored her whole life.
"I hid work documents in the back of a drawer, because if I couldn't see them they didn't exist. I knew my colleagues would have to take up the slack, so I lay awake every night worrying. If I took annual leave, I'd be terrified of being found out—but even that didn't make me do the work. It was like a brick wall I couldn't get over."
Signs to look out for, which could indicate your workplace is an environment ripe for cases of burnout, include:
- ?Having far more work than you think it's reasonable to have to complete each day
- Feeling others are rewarded much more favorably than you for doing the same work
- A lack of close personal relationships at work
- Bad or ineffective leadership
- No opportunity to influence decisions that impact directly on your work, and feeling helpless because of it
This article originally appeared on Cosmopolitan.co.uk. Minor edits have been made by the Cosmo.ph editors.