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What is the cost of burn-out?

For me, the cost of burn out was massive. I had to close a business I was hugely passionate about; I wasn’t able to earn money; I could rarely see my friends; I couldn’t live alone; I lost my independence; I couldn’t drive more than a few minutes without bringing on a crash; during my worst a 5 minute walk was a huge achievement. I made a huge mistake, in fact I made many huge mistakes. Countless times the universe presented me with a virus that would send me crashing, year after year. Yet I chose not to slow down, to alter my course. I became so addicted to the adrenalin rush I felt throughout my career that life felt quite dull without it. The upshot was Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.

For obvious reasons I now feel quite passionately about teaching people how to become more in tune with their bodies and their minds, so that they can better manage their health and not let things get to ‘that’ point. For this reason I wanted to share a wonderful post written by Melbourne Kinesiologist, Kerry Belviso, who has just launched a Heal my Adrenal Fatigue eCourse  commencing on 8th September. If you, like me, are feeling the warning signs, I strongly recommend you look into this e-course. I was interviewed for this e-course, along with over ten other experts, to share my story, discussing the impact whole foods had on my return to health. Here’s a snapshot:

Amy Crawford quote

What is the cost of burn out? by Kerry Belviso.

In this video, Kerry talks about three of the costs of burn-out.

Of course, there can be many more.

In our society, burn-out can sometimes be worn like a badge of honour. I was talking to a colleague about my Heal My Adrenal Fatigue e-course the other day and mentioned I burnt myself out a few years ago, “Oh yes, haven’t we all,” she said.

Maybe it’s a rite of passage to burn yourself out in today’s society? Or maybe, by getting really clear and conscious about what we’re doing and the impact, we can still work hard and achieve, but maintain our health too. Maybe we can learn to value how we feel and our wellbeing as much (or more than!) our achievements. I think so. That’s what I’ve been learning to do over the past 18 months, and what I can’t wait to help others to do too, through my course.

Let’s have a look at these costs:

Physical cost

When we’re experiencing chronic (long-term) or high levels of stress, we can experience a wide range of physical symptoms, such as ongoing colds or illnesses, allergies, intolerances, digestive issues, fertility issues and many more. Sometimes, rather than recognising these are being created as a response to the stress we’re experiencing, we might have a range of tests or consult a range of experts which may create positive outcomes – but ultimately, we do need to address our stress levels and how we care for ourselves in an ongoing way to feel healthy and vital.

Emotional and social cost

Often, if we’re experiencing high levels of stress, we can develop a kind of “tunnel-vision” where we’re extremely focused on what we’re trying to achieve, attain or do, which can often come at the expense of our emotional wellbeing and our relationships. Clients often tell me that they start to feel frustrated, impatient or intolerant of their partner, friends, family members and/or colleagues when they’re experiencing high levels of stress. Time with loved ones is often reduced and sometimes people will tell me they hardly have a social life.

Over time this has a cost, which sometimes can’t be seen until you finally (whether by choice or not) slow down. Even if you continue to have good relationships with those around you when you’re under high levels of stress, it’s unlikely you’re experiencing the levels of closeness and intimacy in your relationships that would be possible if your life was more balanced.

Feelings of overwhelm, confusion, depression or anxiety can become more common, and clients often tell me that their memory and ability to concentrate are poor.

Financial cost

If we reach the point of burn-out, there will be a cost in terms of time, energy and also money in order to recover. Recovery is generally considered to take between 6 months – 2 years and it’s important to get to the underlying issues that have led to the situation, or you’ll more than likely re-create it again.

If you do burn-out, you might need to take time off work, or reduce your hours. How you’ll feel about that, and how much of a financial impact it has will probably depend on whether you work for yourself or someone else, and how possible this is if you do work for someone else. I have worked with clients who have reached the point where they need to leave their job and take time out altogether – a huge cost!

For some people I’ve known, burn-out has reached the point that hospitalisation is required. Obviously if you reach that point, you are extremely depleted. Others have had to shut down businesses, scale right back or change direction. Sometimes a crisis point is reached and all of a sudden there are problems to deal with in many parts of life. Jobs or clients may be lost, relationships break-down, mistakes are made, often in dramatic fashion.


Don’t let it get to that point

Personally, I did let it reach the point of burn-out at the end of 2011, and that’s a big part of why I’m so passionate about this topic. If you burn-out, there are huge costs.

We don’t always recognise this when we’re right in the middle of a go-go-go phase or feeling like I-just-need-to-get-through-this. Part of what happens is that we lose touch with what’s really going on.

We’re not really connected to ourselves.

We’re missing things.

We’re ignoring our true needs.

Once we hit burn-out, we’ll do WHATEVER it takes to heal, and start to feel better.

Don’t wait til then! Start making positive changes NOW.

Dealing with stress, Adrenal Fatigue and burn-out is complex. That’s why I’ve interviewed over ten different experts who have wisdom to share on a range of angles for my “Heal My Adrenal Fatigue” e-course.

Make sure you sign up to Kerry’s mailing list over at to hear when the course opens.

HMAF_square_v2Kerry Belviso is a Kinesiologist based in the Melbourne CBD and Port Melbourne, and can be found at She’s the creator of the DIY Kinesiology Kit and the Heal My Adrenal Fatigue e-course starting September 8th.

Tell me, have you experienced burn-out, or Adrenal Fatigue? What were some of the costs you experienced?

10 Comments Post a comment
  1. Naomi Lee #

    Hi Amy – I only recently found your blog through a link on Nat Kringoudis’ website, and am enjoying reading about your journey.

    I’ve had burn out three times in my life over the past 15 years, and yes, the cost is high. Very high! I had a chronic fatigue-type illness (the doctors dismissed me and didn’t diagnose me – but I now know this is what was probably wrong) at the start of my professional career, and consequently I was never able to put in the energy and long hours in needed to rise to the top, (as was my ambition at the time). I was in my twenties and it was lonely and scary. Can I also say, it costs a lot financially visiting all kinds of practitioners trying to figure out what is wrong and taking herbs, supplements etc that are not prescription?

    Very inspiring to hear you have recovered. I’ve never had heavy metal toxicity tests and would love to hear more from you about how you go this done (or maybe this is already on your blog – I had a quick look around but couldn’t see a post about it).

    With thanks

    August 30, 2013
    • Hi Naomi,

      Oh don’t get me started on the financials! Excluding the years of tests I had, I ended up spending between $350-$500/month on supplements. I took about 28 a day plus different potions. It bled my house deposit dry!

      My toxicity readings where done through my amazing Dr, Dr Iggy Soosay. He actually wrote the foreword for my eBook. He is in Melbourne. They are expensive but my goodness it was so worth it.

      Good luck,

      August 30, 2013
      • Naomi Lee #

        Thanks Amy – also value the point you made below about fear of getting really sick again. One of the reasons why I feel I need to take all those *magic* pills. I have considered rationalising them to essentials to see how I go. I just noticed that your business is based in my neighbourhood. I’ll say hi if I see you out and about with your gorgeous furry friend 🙂 Naomi

        August 30, 2013
  2. What a fantastic post, and so applicable to just about everyone! My experience with burn out was in a volunteer capacity running a fortnightly Growers Market. It has taken me 18 months to feel as though I could embark on another project in a volunteer sense, and boy, will things be different 🙂

    August 30, 2013
    • Yes, we learn the hard way Sara don’t we! Things just have to be different. On that note I am about to put my pens down for the weekend! Good luck!

      August 30, 2013
      • Thanks, you too!

        August 30, 2013
  3. Holly #

    I burnt out.. ended up with a 10 yr relapse of CFS at the age of 28. I had bouts of it since its onset when I was 16 – at which point I pretty much slept for an entire year. There had been many “relapses” throughout the years, mainly lasting 2 – 4 wks. But this was the final straw of me ignoring my body, fighting the CFS and refusing to slow down.
    I didn’t work for over 10 yrs, couldn’t look after my daughter, put immense pressure on my husband and mum, couldn’t eat property, shower unassisted, read, exercise, socialise. Lost my life force and spent many days crying and grieving over the loss of my life (as I knew it). I wouldn’t wish it upon anyone. Yet no one understands.. the common response is “yes, I’m tired too”- which is extremely frustrating.
    I have now been symptom free for 2 yrs (touch wood), and absolutely panic if I am over doing it. I have found I can no longer commit to anything, constantly letting people down. But I am too terrified of doing even the slightest thing too much. It took 15 years but I finally learnt my lesson and stopped fighting the message CFS was trying to send me.

    August 30, 2013
    • Hi Holly, what a journey you have had. My goodness. You now need to free yourself of the fear attached to CFS. That fear is toxic. I teach people about this in my therapy work. Every single thing you think, say and feel becomes true for you. You need to only every imagine yourself doing star jumps, never imagine yourself battling with CFS long term. Manifest the life you want, you are the power.
      Good luck on your journey.
      Amy 🙂

      August 30, 2013
  4. gineenlife #

    Hi Amy 🙂

    I’m so excited to have found your blog and I can’t wait to read more of it and follow your journey!

    Your situation reminds me so much of mine. I too, just had to sell my shares in a business that I was extremely passionate about, and now I have to pick things up and begin on another path and journey.

    I’ve had adrenal fatigue/burnout, I believe for at least a year now, but I ignored it to the point where now, I’ve had to stop work.

    Thanks so much for sharing your journey!!


    November 21, 2013
    • Thanks so much for visiting! I hope you find some inspiration in there 🙂

      November 21, 2013

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