The Red Cape Syndrome: Women in Burnout (*Free* Playsheet)

Women juggle many roles: jobs, mommies, wives, chauffeurs, students, grandmothers, leaders. … the list goes on.  These roles are all demanding and the hours are few!  A woman who is focused on getting it ALL done can be trying to live up to high expectations, whether self-imposed or other directed.  Operating on the assumption that we are capable and can take care of everything is The Red Cape Syndrome.

Just because we are capable does not necessarily mean we need to do it!  


Nancy Borkowski, PsyD, author of High-Octane Women identifies the most stressed women as having children under the age of 13, also working full-time. The demands of multiple roles can create more susceptibility to burnout.

What are the signs of Burnout in women?

  • Overwhelming exhaustion/fatigue
  • Headaches, heart palpitations, tightness in chest, stomach pain, shortness of breath
  • Feelings of frustration/overwhelm
  • Increased irritability/anger/cynicism
  • Feelings of ineffectiveness and failure
  • Sadness, loss of enjoyment, difficulty concentrating
  • Changes in appetite
  • Increased alcohol or drug use
  • Work-related problems
  • Isolation/withdrawal

How do you combat burnout?

Stop and Reflect.

Take time for yourself and get away from it all. Pick your thoughts up off the floor and connect with your life vision.

Identify Areas of Imbalance.

To diminish overwhelm, examine each area of your life, breaking them  into categories (personal growth, health, relationships, spiritual; work, creativity, leisure, etc).

Look at Strengths/Weaknesses.

Give yourself credit for steps you have already taken.  Determine small steps you can take toward creating balance in each area.  Lower your expectations. Be realistic with your goals. It takes time to change.

Create Variety/Fun.

Where is the pizzazz in your life? Ask yourself:  How can I make this more fun? Give yourself the gift of a massage, plan some romance, treat yourself with compassion, listen to what brings you true joy.  Laugh more!

Focus on Your Creative Passions.

Have you lost the zest for life?  Are you lost in the shuffle of taking care of everyone else but you?  Find your inner self again.  Discover your creative side. Take time for things that are important to you.

Keep It Simple Sweetie! (KISS)

Your mind is created to handle many complexities. But when burnout happens you have hit the limit of what you can effectively handle!  Ask yourself:  How can I make things easier?  What is the first SMALL step?

What is Your Inner Critic Saying?

Do you criticize more than praising yourself?  Create more affirming statements and tell them to yourself repetitively.  Our brains can be redirected to positivity if we are more compassionate in our self-talk.

Finally – Take Off the Red Cape!

No one can be perfect! Allow for mistakes, lower your expectations and let go of control. Ask for help from a life coach or counselor.



Download *Free* Playsheet: Finding Life Balance HERE




Author: Susan S. Miller, PhD, LPCS, NCC for Miller Counseling Services, PC

Dr. Susan Miller
Dr. Susan Miller

Susan Miller, PhD, LPCS, NCC is a Psychotherapist, Certified Creativity Coach, Certified Kaizen-Muse™ Creativity Coach, Entrepreneur & Life Coach offers counseling, coaching & creativity workshops that light the path of your life journey through Lighted Path® Coaching and Miller Counseling Services, PC Along with having 30+ years of counseling, coaching, and group facilitation experience, Susan is a life-time trained artist with a special interest in painting, mixed media and fabric art.

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