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Burnout....What signs to look out for

Whether you are a new mom dealing with little sleep, a mom of multiple busy kids working full time, a nurse working shift work at a stressful job, a menopausal women taking care of teenagers and elderly parents…it can be a lot. If we take on too much and don’t take the time to take care of ourselves this can lead to burnout if we are not careful. My examples are all women as the research shows women are more likely to develop burnout than men.

Burnout is defined as a state of emotional, physical and mental exhaustion caused by excessive and prolonged stress. It could be stress from the workplace, stress from home life and responsibilities, stress about the news or a combination of it all. Burnout is a gradual process but it can seem to creep up on you. Unfortunately with all that has gone on the past couple years it is not surprising I have seen an increase in burnout in my practice lately.


  • fatigue

  • sleep issues - trouble falling asleep or tossing and turning

  • worse PMS symptoms or symptoms during your period

  • more irritable with the people you love

  • avoiding activities you usually enjoy

  • quick to tears

  • lack of focus, brain fog

  • getting sick more often

  • IBS symptoms starting

  • more hair falling out

If you recognize the signs above in your behaviour or you are tipping towards them please don’t fret, there are several things you can do including reaching out to an ND like myself.


  1. Reach out for help - please use the support around you if you are trending towards burnout. I am also guilty of trying to do it all at times but that can be detrimental over time. Help can be from family, friends, coworkers or practitioners like myself - NDs, MDs, therapist, counsellors etc. Someone to help share the burden with, or someone to listen and provide you with tools.

  2. Set boundaries - These boundaries are for things you take on in and out of work, but also electronics and social media, which over time we are seeing can have a negative impact on our stress levels. Please leave your phone out of your bedroom and pick up a book before bed, or do some stretching/yoga to unwind.

  3. Sleep! - This time to crucial for healing and repair. Set up a routine for bedtime and wake time that is the same daily and aim for 7-8 hours/night. If you are having difficulty with sleep already I can help.

  4. Eat protein - A healthy diet is important but where to start is your protein intake, especially at breakfast. Aim for 15-20g of protein in the morning. Protein is a building block for energy and cortisol and often lacking in women. A couple breakfast options without eggs are below.

As an ND I have several tools in addition to the above to help heal from burnout. Vitamins, herbs, acupuncture, IVs, to name a few. Please reach out if you recognize the signs above and would like support.

In health & happiness,

Dr. Karen

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