How to Overcome Burnout
Burnout is emotional, physical, and mental exhaustion caused by overwhelm – that feeling of constantly being swamped and like you’re still not doing enough.
Burnout looks a little different for everyone. Fatigue, feeling dissatisfied or apathetic toward your job, tension headaches, frequent colds, unhealthy eating or sleeping patterns, brain fog, overdrinking, lack of motivation, cynicism, and short fuses to tempers and tears are some of the most common side effects.
Since the pandemic, there’s an epidemic of burnout, especially among women.
Self-care and wellness gurus advocate everything from exercise, mindfulness, and journaling to green smoothies, bubble baths, gratitude, and self-compassion. With the exception of bubble baths – ick! – these are all wonderful things we could and should be doing.
But evidently, the gurus were not listening, because WE ARE ALREADY OVERWHELMED. PLEASE DO NOT GIVE US SOMETHING ELSE WE SHOULD BE DOING!!!
While there are many strategies that help relieve the feeling of stress underlying burnout (any physical activity that gets you breathing deeply is best!), you’ve likely discovered the relief is temporary. That’s because the stressors – the circumstances contributing to the feeling of stress – are still there.
Unfortunately, escaping or even eliminating the stressors in life isn’t enough. Although it’s tempting to fantasize about blowing up your life (along with your demanding job, your in-laws, and the mountains of laundry, dishes, and bills), that won’t actually help – at least not long term. Other stressors will simply appear to take their place.
You see, the problem isn’t the stressful circumstances. The problem is that your head is filled with shoulds and supposed-tos based on what’s “right” and what’s “responsible.” Unfortunately, some of these ideas – which dictate how you prioritize and process the circumstances – are in conflict with one another. That alone is enough to cause stress.
Meanwhile, your heart is sitting on the sidelines screaming, “What about me? Don’t I get a say?”
When I say heart, I’m talking about Spirit or your inner guidance that knows what’s most important to you and exactly where you will find your sense of joy, aliveness, connection, and purpose. The longer you ignore or attempt to quiet your inner guidance, the more disconnected you feel, and the more things get out of whack
The good news is, as long as you’re breathing, your heart will keep guiding you toward everything that you want. The long-term solution to burnout, therefore, is to quiet the conflict in your mind, turn up the volume on your inner guidance, and find the courage to follow it.
The coaching process I use teaches you how to do that. If you would prefer not to go it alone, don’t hesitate to reach out to me, and in recognition of National Stress Awareness Day, please share this with anyone you care about who is struggling with burnout and overwhelm.
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