Burnouts and breakdowns

The epidemic that is plaguing women

By Barbara Pierce

As women, most of us are maxed out, crazy busy, and totally overwhelmed.

In our constant drive to achieve, we push ourselves to fill our plates with accomplishments, positions, awards and “things to do.” This drive to do more and more impacts our families, our work, and, most of all, our health.

The result is exhaustion, anxiety, guilt, fear and physical illness — burnout.

Are more women burning out?

“Absolutely! Women are burning out at a higher rate — no surprise there,” said nationally recognized hormone expert and gynecology health specialist Nisha Jackson, Ph.D., of Medford, Ore., who has been monitoring this crisis for years.

Jackson founded Peak Medical Clinic, which specializes in primary care, wellness, hormone therapy, medical weight loss, and esthetics.

In her new book: “Brilliant Burnout: How Successful, Driven Women Can Stay in the Game by Rewiring Their Bodies, Brains, and Hormones,” Jackson offers a solution to burnout. Her innovative techniques — supported by unique and cutting-edge testing — will change your mind and body forever.

“Women are burning out at epidemic proportions,” she said. “They have way too many balls in the air, eat way too much sugar, junk food and processed food, are constantly paying attention to their devices, are constantly ‘on,’ with no down time.”

“It’s a world-wide epidemic. I’ve lived it. I wasn’t willing to let go of my life on the fast track,” Jackson said.

“We tell ourselves, ‘I have to be perfect,’ ‘I have to achieve more,’ ‘I can handle it all on my own,’ ‘It’s right to put others first,’ ‘I’ll worry about myself later,’ or ‘I can’t be perceived as weak,’” she said.

Jackson explains that, living on the fast track, with a constant barrage of demands and challenges, we are running on adrenaline.

When you run on adrenaline for a long time, it causes an imbalance in your hormones. Burnout means you’ve been running on empty for too long.

“Not that you’re laid up, but you’re affected emotionally and mentally,” she said. “Your ability to concentrate is affected.

“You don’t feel good, and your doctor can’t figure out what’s wrong. You may feel depressed, irritable and generally disinterested in everything.”

Burnout has physical impact

“This doesn’t happen overnight. If you push your adrenal gland too much, it robs your other hormones. This is the body’s way of surviving, but it’s not good. It can cause weight gain, belly fat, heavy periods, pre-menstrual syndrome, or perimenopause. You feel awful,” she added.

“Women don’t know what’s going on,” she stressed.

What’s innovative about Jackson’s approach is that there is a flood of books written on how to prevent burnout and manage stress.

These books say, “Just focus on your breathing,” “Just say no!” or “Let go of some of your responsibilities.”

However, Jackson recognizes that women are not willing to do this; we are not willing to give up our responsibilities and accomplishments. We don’t want to slow down; we want to thrive in the overwhelming demands of both our careers and our personal lives.

This book gives us the tools we need to feel great while being successful.

“Based on my theory and my experience, if you give women the tools they need, they’ll be better off,” Jackson added. “Women deserve answers.”

“Don’t settle for feeling awful,” she said. “If you want to be successful, you don’t have to feel awful; you can feel great while you’re successful.”

Her book is a road map that gives us the ability to feel vibrant and well while being successful. “Just reading the book alone will help,” she said. “It’s a fun book, with humor; it’s simple, so you’re not overwhelmed.”

“This is a must read for all women!!” says Jane Krieser online. “It is a road map — easy to read, understand and appreciate but not information you will get from your general practitioner or gynecologist.”

“It’s like having a conversation with your best friend!” says Kristi Myers.

“My life has changed immensely for the good using many of the tools Nisha Jackson has in her book,” says Kari online. “I felt exhausted with complete burnout. I kept gaining weight no matter how much I dieted and worked out. I had no energy and was dragging myself through my day. I’m so thankful I found this book.”

Some of the ways Jackson recommends establishing balance and banning burnout from your life:

— Have supportive friends, and create a “tribe.” Your tribe is the group of people you surround yourself with, whom you know you can count on no matter what.

— Also, prioritize your activities. Make yourself a priority; don’t neglect your self-care and personal growth.

To order the book “Brilliant Burnout” by Nisha Jackson, go to amazon.com.