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Navigating Burnout: Signs, Symptoms, and Strategies to Keep You Afloat

I wrote an emotional piece for the Telegraph newspaper about being on the brink of burnout in October 2022 and how this instigated making some changes to my life. It appeared in the paper and online on Saturday 6 January – and perhaps you are joining me here as a result of reading it. If so, a big, warm hello and welcome! I have been blown away by the response to the article. Judging by the number of comments on social media, DMs and messages I have received, it has struck a chord with many people.

If you haven't read it yet, here is a link:

I decided to open up about this time to be a friend and ally to other midlife women who feel exhausted, overwhelmed and stuck. A large part of me is very conscious that if I am to support others through the challenges in their lives, then I need to be authentic about my own journey. It also serves as a reminder that what you see on social media is never, ever the full picture of someone's life.

I couldn’t have written this piece a year ago because it was too raw and to some extent I felt ashamed that I couldn’t hold it together; that I should just be grateful, keep smiling and carry on. But that wouldn’t have been real… or, as it turned out, possible. As I explain in the article, it can be a shock to realise that stress lives in our nervous system and unless you take action then it can affect your physical health – to an extent that you will be forced to listen.

Now I see what happened to me not as a ‘breakdown’, but a ‘breakthrough’. It propelled me into a period of reflection, planning, reinvention and getting to grips with my hormones. It gave me the courage to leave a job I once loved, as Editor in Chief of HELLO! magazine, to prioritise my health and my family, and embrace my next chapter.

I am pleased to say that I am now thriving, I understand my values and needs for this stage of my life and I am passionate about helping others to do the same. Giving up work was not an option - as it rarely is for any of us! So all of my decisions had to be rooted in reality – and this takes a lot of planning, number-crunching and being honest with yourself.

Putting healthy boundaries in place has been a key part of my reinvention and this takes continual effort. I have to admit I didn't feel very boundaried on Saturday when my social media was flooded and the 'fixer' in me wanted to reply to every single message and comment I received. But I was at least conscious of this. And boundaries are another blog post for another day!

For now, I hope you enjoy reading it, thank you for your interest in my work and, most of all, I hope it served to offer some reassurance and optimism. Ultimately, I hope it made those who related to the themes - or are supporting someone else going through it – to feel less alone. Link to the full article is here again. If you're not a Telegraph subscriber you could sign up for a cheeky free trial and then cancel ;-) 





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