Do you feel as if you just can’t go on? Your body aches from sitting at the computer, your fingers look like the claws that collect toys out of a machine for a few dollars, and your brain – can you even remember your own name?

We work ourselves to the brink and beyond. We ignore the signs our body tries to tell us when we slowly reach that point of exhaustion. We don’t allow ourselves to step back and take care of our needs because we are too busy tending to the needs of our business.

So we keep going.

We keep pushing past our limitations until we reach that danger zone. The computer screen begins to get a little hazy, task/to-dos start to be missed or forgotten. Little mistakes began to happen more often than not.

Yet, we keep going.

We have convinced ourselves that if we don’t do it, no one will. The body aches roll in one by one. First the lower back, then the shoulders. The throbbing headache starts to set in and we finally begin to realize something isn’t right.

And yet, we keep going.

Bigger mistakes begin to take place, missed phone calls, missed meetings, missed deadline. You are constantly backtracking because you can’t remember where you left off. Things are starting to fall apart and spin out of control. You try to think of a resolution but you can’t, your brain has officially gone on strike.

But is it too late? Have we gone too far? What do we do when our brain and body finally hit sheer exhaustion?

Fatigue, stressed, overwhelmed, burned-out – all words that signify you have hit that wall of exhaustion and need to take a step back for the sake of your sanity and health. The first step is knowing when you are nearing your limitations and how to prevent it from happening in the first place.

Know the signs!

Do you feel exhausted all the time? It doesn’t have to be a physical exhaustion – we are talking emotional and mental as well.

What about your motivation? Do you feel as if everything you are doing is just a waste of time? Has lack of enthusiasm replaced passion?

Do you find yourself making more off coloured remarks about what you do instead of sharing positive insight? Are you noticing that pessimist is more frequently associated with your name than it has been before?

Those are just a few of the beginning signals that exhaustion has started to rear its ugly head. As the stress continues and you slowly approach “burn-out”, you may notice your job performance is slipping, you are having more arguments at home or at work, and those casual vices (smoking, drinking, eating), just became habitual.

Don’t despair! It isn’t too late to turn it around before you start to experience permanent health problems (trust me…it isn’t worth it!)

So what to do when you are overwhelmed or feel as if you may be walking the path to stress and fatigue?

Relax! I know, easier said than done. Find ways to take yourself away from work – read a book, listen to music, meditate, work-out, do a favorite hobby, go for a walk/jog – do something for yourself. If you make time for meetings, work, and everything else – you can make time for yourself.

Walk away! You do not need to be reached 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Designate times of the day when you will check your email. Turn off your phone at dinner or after work hours. Don’t let work sneak into your personal time, family time, and definitely not your vacation time.

Get yourself organised and then get some rest! The biggest thing that can make us pull our hair out is being unorganised. When we feel disorganised, we can feel overwhelmed and that only adds to the stress and exacerbates the problem.

Find a task management/project management tool that you can use to get organised and commit to it. Prioritise your day/week/month and then go to bed! Get some rest so your body can rejuvenate. You will be amazed what a good night’s sleep can do.