Picking up the early signs of burnout can avert a crisis from which it can take years to recover.
Emma Johnson can remember the moment her body and mind told her: “I can’t do it anymore”. It was nearing the end of 2015 and she had been working for two years in private practice as a law graduate and had a gruelling workload that involved late nights, weekends and 12-hour days.
She found herself consuming more and more coffee because she had no energy, drinking more alcohol than usual, unable to get herself to the gym, constantly unhappy, and still in bed at 8.55 in the morning.
“I gradually felt worse over time, then I got to a point where I didn’t recognise myself anymore,” says Johnson.
Burnout often precipitates a mental health condition, and that’s what happened for Johnson. When she eventually made an appointment with the doctor, she was diagnosed with depression.