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  • Identifying, Preventing & Healing from Burnout - As a Professional Athlete

    June 12, 2024 3 min read

    Identifying, Preventing & Healing from Burnout - As a Professional Athlete by Maranda Minogue

    Burnout As A Professional Ski Athlete 

    Written by Maranda Minogue

    Something that's not talked about enough in the ski industry as an athlete is the very real risk of burnout, as well as the effects it has on both the mind and the body. I would like to “shred” (haha) some light on this topic within my blog this season. 

    Please note that this blog is intended strictly for awareness purposes, not as medical advice of any form. If you believe you are experiencing burnout or other adverse mental health symptoms- please address these concerns with a licensed professional. 

    In this blog, I’m going to address the following questions: 

    • How may I identify if I’m experiencing burnout? 
    • What particular risks associated with being an athlete outdoors may contribute to burnout? 
    • What other factors may contribute to burnout? 
    • What are some ways to heal from burnout? 
    • How may I identify if I’m experiencing burnout? 

    Burnout can cause a lot of symptoms, both mental- and more surprisingly, physical. (Who knew?) I won’t pretend to know them all, but in my experience, burnout can feel like a number of things including but not limited to:

    • not having energy for or enjoying activities you used to in the past as much (eg. your sport) 
    • Feeling anxious, rushed, or paranoid when there is no logical reason to be
    • Feeling tired, even with adequate rest
    • Being unable to complete obligations that used to be easy (eg. attending training, going to the gym, etc
    • Finding it hard to answer texts, even from loved ones 
    • Physical symptoms such as insomnia, gastrointestinal issues, urinary symptoms, higher BPM, and much, much more! 


    What particular risks associated with being a professional athlete outdoors may contribute to burnout? 

    Quite literally anyone can experience burnout. Certain environmental aspects that outdoor athletes often experience on a daily/weekly basis may worsen or contribute to burnout symptoms.  

    These include but are not limited to: 

    • Dehydration 
    • Increased fatigue
    • Long hours in the heat, sun, snow, cold, or water training
    • Stress due to the risk of injury 
    • Performance Pressure (both from external sources and internally) 


    What other factors may contribute to burnout? 

    What burns someone out, may energize another person- so this is a tough question. In my opinion, anything that seems to be “taking out of your bucket” rather than filling it is something that could contribute to causing or worsening existing burnout symptoms. This is different for everyone, but if you feel significantly more drained after an activity or a person- this is a clue that it could be potentially causing or worsening your burnout symptoms. 


    What are some ways to heal from burnout? 

    Once you have identified that you may be experiencing burnout symptoms, it is important to seek help. Seeking help for burnout can look like a lot of things, and is very necessary if you want to improve these symptoms and prevent burning out further in the future. 

    It can feel very hard to ask for anyone to ask for help. As someone who is a professional athlete or public figure- this can seem extra daunting. There are extra worries associated- and oftentimes people depend on you to meet competition deadlines or other obligations. It can be nerve-wracking to let your audience and supporters see behind the curtains and know that you aren’t doing the best. It’s important to remember that everyone is human, and it is absolutely ok to not be ok. 

    Below are some examples of what seeking help for burnout may look like: 

    • Talking to your General Practitioner 
    • Talking to a registered Mental Health Professional 
    • Letting friends, family, or coworkers know you’re struggling with feelings of burnout so they can best support you 
    • Identifying and eliminating stressors in your everyday life
    • Talking to your coach or training partner about your feelings 

    Burnout is commonand it can happen to anyone- not just professional athletes. I feel that oftentimes athletes aren’t expected to burn out, as we get to do what we love as a career. I wanted to shine some light on the fact that even though you may love what you’re doing, you can still experience hard times and burnout. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t heal from it and return to your sport (or whatever it is you love doing) better than ever after taking some time for yourself! Healing is possible, you just have to speak up. 


    - Maranda Minogue, Freeride Athlete, Ski Instructor. 



    About Maranda 

    Maranda Minogue - Paradise Athlete

    For Maranda, skiing is her passion and life fuel. She's been an instructor for 7 years and has worked as a ski technician and in management roles within the ski industry. A predominate freerider, Maranda also dabbles in many other facets of skiing. She loves to share her passion, knowledge, and excitement with everyone. If you ever spot Maranda on the slopes, don’t be afraid to come say what’s up!!

    Follow her on Instagram @marandaisntreal

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