Many of us lead busy lives, trying to juggle and balance different aspects of our lives that require our attention or time. Some tasks we find easy or pleasant to do, that nourish us. It’s very likely that we will encounter situations that we find stressful or challenging. While the ideal may be to remove those stressors, most of the time that prospect is not possible or realistic. If we are continually exposed to such experiences without the means to discharge those feelings that arise, burnout can happen. We get overwhelmed and exhausted by everything on the ‘to-do’ list, yet worrying about ‘falling short’ at the same time.
Being numb of emotion is also a sign of that your emotions have been exhausted. This is a sign that your mind and body needs you to listen. Take some time out to replenish your energy or resources. This could be through physical activity, a meditation, a creative outlet or connecting with others that brings you joy. This activity will help you ‘feel through’ what you feel so you can let them go. Without the ‘weight’ of those emotions being stuck, you can move beyond the burnout and towards a sense of wellness. Regaining that sense of connection not only helps you feel better, itreally helps with being able to see the woods beyond the trees again.
When we are in an extreme state of burnout, we might not necessarily be able to see what is going on for ourselves. The overwhelm can mean that we don’t spot the signs, deny that we are struggling or feel able to make a decision. It’s others around us that may be able to see our deterioration, that all is not well. They are the ones that may say to us that we need to take restorative action. This is the advice that we might give to others if they are burnt out but not for ourselves. Therefore we might just need others to tell us – but we need to listen and take it! Hence self-care is not always exercised through our own volition. After all, if we are looking out for others, it’s likely they will be looking out for you too.