What exactly is burnout? Everyone talks about it. In fact we all but accept it as part of our life. We know we’re tired, working too hard, we will readily admit we need to slow down, but that’s more easily said than done in today's’ western world of deadlines and schedules.

Many of us go along day to day thinking we’re handling everything well- the kids schedules, relationships, work, little sleep then suddenly something comes along that completely upsets our balance. It maybe just one more thing, but it proves to be too much and without warning we throw our mind and our body into chronic overdrive that may eventually lead to burnout.

There is no medical diagnosis for burnout, but it is well known by the staff of The Stress Disorders Medical Services at New York University Medical Center. "One of the symptoms is feeling like all your energy has been knocked out," says staff physician J. Reed. "There may be a loss of pleasure in food, friends, or other activities that were once exciting and interesting- a general sense of running on empty."

Physical indications of burnout are muscle tension, restriction of blood flow to the tissues and increased adrenaline buildup. These physiological processes can lead to headache, backache and exhaustion. Other warning signs of burnout include temper tantrums over trivial matters, not wanting to get out of bed in the morning or becoming accident prone.

Taking control over burnout can be more difficult than just handling undue stress. First get your priorities straight- find out what’s important in your life then stay committed to those priorities. Other important tips: learn to understand when a challenge is a good thing, control what you can, learn to say no and let the rest go. Don’t expect miracles especially at first.

Still feeling lost? It may be wise to seek out psychological counseling.

Here are some more tips on how to deal with burnout-

Make time for exercise and good nutrition. A body deficient in quality nutrients feels flat, heavy and fatigued. Exercise is also nutrition for the body as it pumps fresh air and nutrients to the cells.

Slow down! Empty time is great for rejuvenating the soul. Use meditation techniques, go outside, and go for a walk or whatever helps your mind and body rejuvenate.

Take time for fun- take a vacation, seek pleasure and laugh. Don’t allow yourself to become so overwhelmed with the humdrum of daily life that there is nothing else. A joyless life is an unhealthy life.

Get a massage. Massage can help recharge your internal batteries revitalizing body and spirit.

Burnout may be a symptom of a bigger problem. Listen to your inner guidance- is there a message there you’ve have been ignoring? Is it time for a new job, or possibly a new hobby- or is it time to let go of some things you’ve been painfully hanging on to? Rebalancing your life can be uncomfortable but rewarding!

Till next time, Rebecca.