“Overcoming” Burnout

2019 was a peak of life altering events and achievements from starting my career, to buying a car, getting my first apartment, and finally, vowing till death do us part. It was totally awesome to say the least, which is why I felt completely thrown off when I found myself lethargic and drained. I started to wonder if I was falling into a depression or if I had been wrong about what I thought I had wanted in life. Trying to find my motivation again I set new goals, made up new routines, and determined to pick myself up again only to feel even worse when my attempts totally bombed. I had zero energy. By August, I started to dread the thought of doing anything besides laying in bed like a potato. 

In my quest to get back to myself I started reflecting and analyzing the past eight months. I mean, I could understand why I was tired. I had started a new job which I felt I was totally under qualified for, picked up two side hustles, planned a wedding in Costa Rica, bought a car, had it stolen from right outside my house, traveled, moved, was living on my own for the first time, then got a new roommate aka my husband, all while maintaining a 4.0 GPA and OCD level of a clean house. I knew I was juggling a lot, but what I hadn’t realized was that I had actually lost my balance. I never allowed myself time to process, adjust, or enjoy the changes that were happening around me. I had just kept trucking through unaware that I was heading straight for a breakdown. 

That was when I started googling things like “what are the symptoms of burnout,” “what to do when you are burnt out,” and being my “push-through it” self, I ended with “how to overcome burnout.” If you’re reading this, chances are you are either experiencing burnout or maybe you are wondering if you are burnt out, like I was. Hopefully sharing my experience will bring you some clarity. 

How I felt: 

Lethargic

Quickly exhausted

Migraines 

No passion or motivation for ANYTHING including being social

Sick (I got sick eight times in eleven months) 

Zero patience or tolerance for anything 

 

What I did: 

Be a potato 

Allowed myself to rest 

Sleeeeept

Said screw it to everyone’s expectations – including my own 

Put my productivity addiction on hold

 

How I “overcame”: 

Did more of the things that bring me life

Hung out with awesome people 

Said no to over committing myself even when it sounded super exciting

Identified what could be “procrastinated”

Avoided multitasking & became mindful instead

 

In our culture of hyper-productivity we can be fooled into thinking as long as we are busy we’re on the right track. The reality is we are limited human beings. We need rest just as much as we need food. We need connection just as much as we need water. And we need exercise just as much as we need air. Society convinces us that if it’s not “productive” it’s not important. WRONG. Get back to what you love. Get back to that feeling of time passing through your fingers without stressing about it. Literally nobody cares if you have checked every item off your to-do list. What people care about, the people who really care about you, is to see that you are happy, healthy, and present. 

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