#friedguides: Why Am I So Clumsy and Injury Prone During Burnout?

45m | May 26, 2024

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“When I’m stressed, I trip more, I bang into things more, I stub my toe more—so there’s definitely something going on here,” Cait shares, highlighting the curious link between burnout and clumsiness. In this latest "Fried Guide" episode, Sarah Vosen joins Cait to delve deeper into why burnout can make us more accident-prone and even lead to injuries. They discuss how stress can cause physical reactions like tensed neck muscles and narrowed peripheral vision, making us clumsier.

According to Chinese medicine, unprocessed emotions can accumulate in the liver, decaying and poisoning our system. This toxic buildup, combined with neglecting our basic needs like rest and proper nutrition, leads to a depletion so severe that our bodies can't even benefit from healthy inputs. Sarah explains how ignoring our spiritual needs contributes to this misalignment, exacerbating our stress and physical discoordination.

So, what’s the solution? Identifying a personal outlet—whether it’s exercise, journaling, or engaging in meaningful conversations—and approaching these activities with mindfulness and intention. Cait and Sarah share how they navigate their own emotional landscapes and manage their stress cycles, offering insights into finding balance in our complicated lives.


  • “When you’re in the flow of life, and you’re aligned and in balance with yourself, you’re in this flow with everything around you, and therefore, there’s no clumsiness. You’re on it; you’re in your center. Your energy is very intentional. Your thoughts are clear and everything goes smoothly, as you wish.” (3:45 | Sarah Vosen) 
  • “Chronic stress mode, when we’re not processing our emotions or processing life, it gets stored in our tissues and our physical body gets solid, hard, tense, and then everything’s not flexible. We’re meant to be flexible, we’re meant to be like a tree that bends in the wind, but when all that stuff builds up and you’re just hanging on tight and you’re tense, not only are you not seeing with your eyes but your body can’t, really it’s just not flowing.” (8:07 | Sarah Vosen) 
  • “The same way that we have overactive emotions when we’re burnt out, we know we’re responding ridiculously but we can’t help ourselves, this is the same when we injure ourselves and have a pain response. It’s above and beyond and not appropriate to the thing that happened.” (9:59 | Caitlin Donovan)
  • “When you’re burnt out your body is under-resourced. So, it doesn’t have the tools or the resources that it needs to deal with the injuries that aren’t life-threatening, which is why it usually takes someone getting really sick, or really hurt, or really ending up in the hospital to start responding.” (32:19 | Caitlin Donovan)


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Fried. The Burnout Podcast