Webster's dictionary defines burnout as ": exhaustion of physical or emotional strength or motivation usually as a result of prolonged stress or frustration" damn.
With all that is going on in the world, and the increasing access to remote areas you may never visit in person, it is easy to be overly stimulated, activated, and almost too aware of the problems of humanity. This combined with the global pandemic that suddenly forced millions to work from home, with no time management skills or knowledge of how to regulate screen time and create a work/life balance, from home. This combination was a petri dish for for the virus we all hate, burnout.
People who were used to getting their social fix from work were now isolated and forced to communicate through jabber exclusively and those who already took their laptops home on the weekend to get in some extra work were now jacked in 24/7 with no idea of how to "turn it off" when home was now the office too.
Keep this going for a couple of years, or in some cases a few months and you have burnout. A state we are all too familiar with as the boundaries between our safe spaces and the world recedes. How do you escape it all when it's "all" on your phone a device meant to connect you, just not this much.
So now that we know how we got here, collectively to this place of bleakness how do we rebuild? The silver lining is burnout is a great place to start over from because from this space where we have emotionally burned it all to the ground using every last scrap of whatever "it" is we can now decide exactly who we want to start over.
Hobbies that didn't serve you, friends and family that added fuel that that fire that consumed all your joy, let it go and find new joys to fill those spaces. Jobs that left you feeling like less of yourself and more like a drone can be released with no fear because you've discovered you can lose quite a bit (during this mess) but losing yourself now seems like too high of a cost.
When you are faced with burnout it is not a time to be afraid, these flames are not here to destroy you but cleanse. Where soap and water are not readily available fire and sand are often used to clean and remove impurities.
The best way to approach a feeling of burnout is to unravel those feelings, follow that twisted yarn of emotion back to its source and figure out what makes you feel good and what makes you feel bad. Once you can identify what you want to keep and what has been destroyed you will usually be able to create a new space for yourself in this world and if you build it to suit it just may be fire proof.
This leads me to another point about burnout, and managing it.
I want to give a special thank you to the businesses that have supported me and others during this time as we have all learned to lean more into self-love and self-care. Estheticians and spa owners are a group who have created what can be seen as safe havens to release stress, worries, to-do lists, and anything else that creates tension. They are places to pamper yourself and really rejuvenate so that you can continue to show up in the world.
Many of the people who operate these spaces understand the stress that can accumulate in your body and cause illness if not regularly expelled through wellness practices. The spaces they have created reflect an understanding and an ability to help realign you with the best version of yourself .
When we are in burnout sometimes the idea of doing anything for yourself can seem like too much effort or too costly to be worth it however the bigger cost is our wellbeing.
I recommend you check out my list of highly accomplished and incredible self-care advocates and see if you can find a service that aligns with you. Therapy is also another option if even these steps prove to be too trying. Whether your self-care starts with becoming in touch spiritually, or with ritual, and skincare or through therapy I have many people who can offer suggestions or products to help you on your journey.
Burnout can be difficult to deal with and the idea of rebuilding your world when it all seems to have crumbled is daunting. Through introspection and quietness in these times however, we can figure out exactly where we want to be and chart a path from there. Listening to yourself, knowing when you may need a little help from the outside and taking the steps to get that help are the best ways to work with these feelings instead of against them.