Dreading the Monday morning’s feelings of exhaustion, depression, and boredom? Work feels heavy and joy and inspiration are getting replaced by apathy and resignation? Been there, done that–maybe your physical and emotional strength are at their lowest and you have lost all your motivation… this blogpost is for you!
How do we go from being excited and growing and feeling alive to this heavy, soul-stifling dreariness? When does the shift from one of cheerfully giving selflessly to the feeling of being taken advantage of take place? “Burn out” happens in many ways, but most often, it happens because we give/do/listen/are around too much of something: too much overtime; setting aside too much of your own issues to help others; hanging out too much with negative people; handling too many emergencies; allowing too many people to take advantage of you; seeking too much acceptance from others; working out too much; over analyzing too much; and you can add whatever your “too much” is to this never-ending list…
And when you feel burned out, the last thing you really want to do is expand more energy to fix the problem. You just don’t have it. And actually, it feels like the more you try to overcome burn out, the more burned out you become. I bet you know exactly what I mean…
Solution? It’s called REPERCEPTION. Which means, learn to look at the situation differently, using “fresh eyes” to see what has been bothering us so much. Sounds too simple? I know. But things actually do change as they are seen differently, not necessarily because circumstances have changed, but mainly because as we shift our perspective, we ourselves are being changed. How?
(1) In order to change perspective, we must first take a step back from a situation and simply acknowledge what is so, without judgment of self of others. When we remain emotionally tied up with the circumstances, we usually just react. We do not create an appropriate response, and we use up more energy than we think we have. Stepping back from a burned out situation, setting aside our emotions and trying to reperceive what is really going on helps us think things through from the inside out… and might just be what we need to take appropriate steps to recover from burn out.
(2) A great way to prevent burn out is to simply keep in mind the bigger picture–what is our ultimate purpose, or life work? Reconnecting with why we are doing what we are “our values and desires” can be a powerful way to maintain our priorities straight and not take on “too much.”
(3) Do your best. No matter what you have on your plate, do your best, raise your personal bar of excellence and you will find what you do becoming valuable,worth doing, challenging–even if it is scrubbing the floor. When we are intentional about what we are doing, we actually find peace in our work because we do not allow ourselves to be affected by outward circumstance or negativity.
Burnout happens when we give too much and neglect our own wellbeing, chaining ourselves to unrealistic expectations. It drains us in every possible wa: from the body to the spirit. We wind up allowing our emotions to rule us. So if it’s you today, step back, assess where you are at, repercieve the situation and make clear and healthy choices to move you out of burnout into wellness. I know, I know, it’s easier said than done, but it is feasible. And in the process, you will maintain your sanity and grow. What do you say?