There's a funny thing about burnout.  

Feeling exhausted, overwhelmed, shattered and struggling does terrible things to your mind.

You start to believe that everyone else has it all figured out and that you are the sole screw up of your friends and colleagues.

That the workload you're drowning other is perfectly normal and it's simply you, feeling so tired and unable to cope.

That you can't continue any further, but can't see any way off your current track.

That's the curse of burnout.  The small, insidious voice in your head that keeps you small and scared and blaming yourself for everything that doesn't turn out well (and prevents you from taking credit for any success that comes your way).

However, there is a time to work on yourself and a time to work on others.

Workloads, working hours and pressure have steadily increased in the decade of my career and expectations are ever on the rise.

Every so often it is worth stepping back and assessing with fresh eyes; is this me or is it the situation I am in.  Think of the advice that you would give to a friend in your situation; would it be sympathetic or scathing?  Then apply the same advice to yourself.

Sometimes it is not just ourselves that need careful managing but the unreasonable expectations or managers and colleagues, friends and loved ones.  In the run up to Christmas it is all too easy to shoulder all the hard work and to refuse to ask for help for fear of judgment.

Today, take a moment over a drink to assess your current workload and responsibilities and to think what advice you would give a friend.  Isn't it time you were a friend to yourself?