Burnout is real — How to overcome It. 

“Between stimulus and response, there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and freedom.” —Viktor Frankl.

Migraines, anxiety, misery, fatigue and work-related stress are just a few of the conditions our members are telling us they are battling in this new world of work. Many have left their jobs – and in some cases, without having another opportunity lined up because they feared the impact on their health would be non-reversible.

Being constantly on alert, glued to our 24-hour news cycle, which only reports bad news is not healthy. Overwork and extreme productivity has become a status symbol. Our manic attachments to our smart gadgets, never-ending to-do list, and drives to succeed at all costs have also not done us any good. It has taken its toll on our brains and our well-being.

Since 2019, the World Health Organization has recognized burnout as an occupational hazard. Companies are responding by offering more paid holidays, a shift to a 4-day work week, and unlimited days off

Researchers at Cambridge University, Oxford University and Boston College will study how the four-day workweek affects workplace productivity, employee wellbeing, gender equality and the environment. More than 3,300 employees at 70 companies get an extra day off each week for the next six months—without a reduction in pay.

I can’t wait to see the result of this study. 

However, these initiatives will fail if we do not take personal responsibility and make the cultural and mental shifts needed to manage our workloads better.

As a working mother, I’m no stranger to burnout, yet it always takes the constant nudge and those around me to recognize when I’m overextending myself and likely to get burnt out. 

Here are some of the steps I’ve taken over the years to avoid burnout:  

Recognize the symptoms of burnout 

It is not always easy to recognize when you are burnout. This inability to recognize burnout is because you lose perspective and are so far down the rabbit hole that it usually takes another person to recognize your symptoms. So what are the signs of burnout? According to Mental Health UK, common signs of burnout are feeling tired or drained most of the time, helpless, trapped and defeated, and detached/alone in the world. A cynical, negative outlook accompanies this. Feelings of self-doubt, procrastination, taking longer to get things done, and a general sense of feeling overwhelmed are typical.

The Time To Pause Is Now 

Brene Brown, the famous researcher and storyteller, recently announced a three-month sabbatical for herself and her team, including a break from social media to recommit to what she called a “sacred pause”. This decision is a bold move and one we can all emulate. Although we cannot all take three months off, we can certainly give ourselves a proper break and give our brains some time off from the constant stimulation from our gadgets and social media. I admire the Jewish practice of taking a complete sabbath every week. I’ve not been organized enough to avoid house chores on weekends, but I’m working towards that. Take a holiday that disconnects you entirely from work. You can thank me later.


We have been starved of social interactions over the past few years, and there is a real risk that we can throw ourselves straight back into a busy social life and schedule without acknowledging that our bodies and minds have changed. The risk of social burnout is real, as we will require more mental and physical energy to do the same things that might have seemed second nature to us. Be mindful of the activities you choose to get involved in and give yourself time to ease back into the social engagements.

Re-evaluate your relationship with work and change your work habit and patterns.

Your work pattern might be detrimental to your well-being. Your drive and passion for your work might make it difficult for you to switch off. How you work matters – working 100% from home, from an office or a hybrid set-up. Please find the best work pattern and be disciplined about sticking to it. Be intentional about your work commitment, as not all work yields the same result or has the same impact on our prospects. I gave up a considerable portion of my business to focus on a small niche that just happened to be more profitable.

Work fewer hours

In a society where more is seen as better, can we be content with less if it will improve our wellbeing? It was wonderful to see M&S’ first female CEO Katie Bickerstaffe working a four day week, something she has done for a while. Job shares, part-time or flexibly working in more senior roles, should be supported more widely by businesses. Our working pattern should not keep us from making an impact at work.

Manage expectations with an out of office message

Being glued to your email and inbox and responding to emails all day is overly reactive and counterproductive. As a society, we now expect immediate replies to emails, making it difficult for people to block out time to do deep, focussed, and meaningful work. Set up an out-of-office message that will inform people of your schedule, so they know when to expect a reply. This little hack will help you in managing expectations and your time better. It will help you to be less reactive to emails

How have you been dealing with the pressures and stresses of life?
What strategies have worked for you?

I’d love to hear from you. 

Griselda Togobo

"Leadership is not a title, it's not a payslip, it's a mindset." Griselda Togobo.

Leadership is about challenging yourself and keeping the success level high. In the past, it was impossible for women to get a seat at the table. Presently, there are so many women in leadership doing incredible things. Do you consider yourself a leader or is there someone you are deeply inspired by?

This year’s nominations & applications are still open for the FL Leadership Summit & Awards and guess what? We will be having a hybrid event, both in-person and virtual

Click the link below to nominate or apply ⤵️🏆✨