Burnout. It’s a word that might evoke images of a flickering candle that’s almost run its course, but for many midlife professional women, it’s a very real and present danger. For many female mid-lifers, it is something that looms large, particularly when you juggle career responsibilities with family life, societal expectations, and personal aspirations.

The thing with burnout is that we often don’t recognise when it’s happening to us. We are often champion multi-taskers who put the needs of others before our own needs.  It’s easy to overlook the signs of burnout because it doesn’t just announce itself. Instead, it slowly creeps up on you over time. It’s important, though, to understand the signs and symptoms and tackling them head-on can make all the difference.  I know from my own experiences, that I was largely blind to it until it was almost too late.


Signs and Symptoms of Burnout

Emotional Exhaustion

Feeling drained, overwhelmed, and unable to cope are clear indicators. Your emotional reserves might seem depleted, making it difficult to muster the energy for another meeting or family event.


Cynicism and Detachment

 If you once loved your job but now find yourself feeling detached, resentful, or disillusioned, this could be a sign of burnout. This cynicism isn’t just reserved for work; it can permeate personal relationships too.


Reduced Performance

Tasks that were once a breeze might seem insurmountable. You may struggle with concentration, decision-making, and even simple everyday tasks.


Physical Symptoms

Regular headaches, stomach issues, and disrupted sleep can be indicators. Remember, our mental state deeply affects our physical well-being.


Loss of Motivation

Not feeling the same passion or enthusiasm for projects or tasks is a big red flag.


Why It’s Essential to Address Burnout Early

Ignoring the signs of burnout can have serious repercussions on your physical and mental health. Chronic stress, which is a major contributor to burnout, has been linked to a range of health problems including cardiovascular disease, weight gain, and depression[1]. Furthermore, untreated burnout can strain personal relationships and decrease the quality of life.

Moreover, for midlife women executives, burnout can inadvertently end up setting a precedent for junior team members, potentially creating a harmful work culture. By addressing and managing burnout, you’re not only looking out for your well-being but also setting a positive example for those around you at all levels, both professionally and personally.



Five Simple Initiatives to Counter Burnout

1. Set Boundaries

In an era of smartphones and constant connectivity, setting clear boundaries is crucial. This might mean not checking emails after a certain hour, or scheduling ‘me-time’ where work is strictly off-limits. It’s not about neglecting duties but prioritizing well-being.  Much of my client-based work explores restoring boundaries in both our professional and personal lives.


2. Engage in Physical Activity

A study published in the Journal of Applied Psychology highlighted that engaging in physical activity can be a buffer against job stress[2]. Even a short walk during your lunch break can help.   Working together we can explore what types of movement and activity you enjoy, and importantly doesn’t feel like another task on your long to-do list or leave you feeling more tired than before you began.


3. Seek Social Support

Talk to friends, family, or professionals. Sharing your feelings and seeking advice can make challenges more manageable. 

It can be hard to initially talk about what is going on for you, as it is our natural tendency to withdraw from our support networks, rather than admit that all is not well.  Remember, it’s okay to ask for help.  


4. Prioritize Sleep

Sacrificing sleep can exacerbate feelings of burnout. The National Sleep Foundation recommends 7-9 hours of sleep for adults[3]. Good sleep doesn’t just rejuvenate the body; it sharpens the mind.  Much of my client-based work is around helping you re-build your sleep routines, and find the right strategies that help you get a great night sleep.


5. Mindfulness and Meditation

Incorporating practices like mindfulness and meditation can improve emotional regulation and reduce stress. Even dedicating a few minutes a day can yield positive results[4].    I’ve always found meditation a challenge, but I joined meditation and mindful movement together, that was huge for me.


In conclusion, for the dynamic midlife professional woman, understanding burnout and taking proactive steps is crucial. By recognising the signs and implementing positive changes, you can continue to blaze your trail with vigor and enthusiasm.

Remember, every woman’s journey is unique. It’s essential to find strategies that resonate with you personally. You’ve achieved so much and have so much more to give. Prioritising your well-being is not a luxury; it’s a necessity.


A bit about me & my background

I am a Women’s Health Specialist and Workplace Health & Wellbeing Consultant at Restoring Balance.  Before moving into private practice  I worked in n number of senior leadership positions for high-profile safety-critical organisations leading their health, safety, and wellbeing programmes.  I’m also a carer, juggling my time between running my own business and looking after my Mum.  

My work is very different to many therapists – working with you as a whole person using a unique combination of mind, nutrition and movement to overcome both physical and emotional blocks; not just where you feel pain or have dysfunction, allowing you to live life again.  I can help you with:

I work both online and in person from my home-based clinic on Hayling Island, Hampshire.

Ready to make a change? Book in for a Let’s Talk.


  1. Melamed, S., Shirom, A., Toker, S., Berliner, S., & Shapira, I. (2006). Burnout and risk of cardiovascular disease: Evidence, possible causal paths, and promising research directions. Psychological Bulletin, 132*(3), 327–353.
  2. Sonnentag, S., & Jelden, S. (2009). Job stressors and the pursuit of sport activities: A day-level perspective. Journal of Applied Psychology, 94*(3), 596-612.
  3. Hirshkowitz, M., Whiton, K., Albert, S. M., Alessi, C., Bruni, O., DonCarlos, L., & Neubauer, D. N. (2015). National Sleep Foundation’s updated sleep duration recommendations. Sleep Health, 1*(4), 233-243.
  4. Jha, A. P., Morrison, A. B., Dainer-Best, J., Parker, S., Rostrup, N., & Stanley, E. A. (2015). Minds “at attention”: mindfulness training curbs attentional lapses in military cohorts. PloS one, 10*(2), e0116889.

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