Burnout is a real issue - most people are over scheduling ourselves, doing all the jobs (seemingly or actually alone), and denying themselves space to feel the feelings and rest.
Typically the response from the wellness community is to begin incorporating a routine way to decompress. Loads of ideas are out there, and some are fantastic! Stop looking at your phone or tv 30 mins before bed, go for a walk, drink relaxing tea, aromatherapy, weighted blankets, float tanks, color therapy, intuitive dancing, exercise.... The idea here is that we need to schedule this act into our routine so it is not a one-off thing, but something that routinely allows us to decompress and promote overall wellness.
But honestly, that can be difficult for those who have shame/confidence issues - because if we don't make
that routine shift, and if we don't do our thing per week or day, then that opens up a place for feeling low
towards ourselves. Of course, it is easy to say, "its okay, don't worry and catch up next time" - but for those with deep seated insecurities, this could be a big hurdle.
For me, I will do something for about 2-3 weeks and feel amazing, and then fall out of the routine. Then, I feel like I failed - and so begins a mean self-talk shame spiral. I find myself comparing myself to others, I get mean about my body and aesthetic, I scrutinize my skillset... It is silly, but it happens.
This is a magical moment, though... this is when I will begin to see that I am spiraling and register my being mean to myself. Then I do something about it. I journey in to my body or into my ancestral tree to seek the original problem - the source pain, fear, shame, resentment. By seeking to love the wounding, I can help heal into wellness and be more self-aware. This awareness helps me see that there are more than one option for me to choose when I am feeling conflicted, confronted, or insecure.
But what if you don't have a journeying practice? I sat with the gorgeous Wise goddess Arianrhod, Celtic Goddess of the Moon, to help guide us on how to understand the messages of our burnout:
The moon witnesses us day and night - and constantly shifts in her appearance, reminding us to release that which doesn't serve us, help us manifest that which we want, and remember the magic and mystery of life.
This is what Arianrhod said:
"You want to know the why, why things are the way they are, why are you burned out? What about "the
how?"How did you get here. How did your actions create this mess? That is really the question... not why,
but how. Because your choices, whether or not they were conscious, are what lead you to where you are.
Some (though often many) choices are empty, thoughtless, and followed with no real consciousness or
heart. That is how you find yourself where you are. That also explains the why - because you are lacking
heart and authenticity, not accessing your full heart in what you decide to do.
You must remember to put your heart into every vessel before you choose to pursue that path or action.
Does it fit? Does this vessel bring your heart joy? That is really all that matters. From this point, you find what honors your heart, and then the rest gets passed by.
Now if you want to get into "the why," it is independent for each person. Everyone has their own lessons to
be learned and what one person may glean from a situation could be a totally different lesson from the
exact same situation experienced by someone else. The why is not universal, despite what many think.
Look at me, I change every night. Do you want to know why or how I change.... why: because it is my
purpose; how: by constantly moving constantly shifting into the next and releasing the last. Why would I
hold on to things from the past, why should I reach so far for the future when it will arrive on its own? Don't get caught in the stickiness of obsession, of things you cannot control, of things you do not need, and of paths that are not yours. That is how you change your situation and that is how you find more joy.
To Summarize and apply to normal life:
See your burnout as an opportunity to change for the improved... burnout is saying "this is not working and this body needs a change/break." This is when Arionrhod mentioned its an individual journey... I don't know what you need specifically, dear reader. But if and when you are ready, stop trying to be perfect and do all the things. Start putting yourself first - allow the crumbling of the world around you to take place. It is in the rubble that you will build a stronger and more comfortable life. Seek an embodiment coach, a healer, a holistic therapist... allow the emotions out, and the nourishment in. This is why it is called blessed burnout... it can be a blessing in disguise.
You can choose happiness - allow yourself to choose joy in the small things... such as weekend activities,
evening activities. Spend that last half hour reading about something that is truly exciting to you! Or, after
doing all the yard work, go get an ice cream and celebrate the small goals before your next chore. Need to
exercise but can't stand the gym or walking? Put on some banging tunes and dance! Or set up some
cushions around you and thrash against them to get out your energy. Make choices to allow the mundane and routine be somewhat uplifting. You own your existence... so empower yourself to find the joy in small parts. The joy will build up and allow you to find beauty around you.
When it comes to careers that don't bring joy, make choices around them that allows for joyful moments...
Find ways to bring joy in your workplace... a small african violet plant, a monthly lunch with colleagues, a
game book that you can do during lunchtime outside under the sky. Don't live your life through your work - don't find value in yourself because of your job - do your job to live your life with those you love.
Coming up with excuses to not put yourself first? Then make a list of things you want to do on your phone, and then when you have a free minute, look at it to remind yourself of these opportunities.
Don't look at others successes or joys and think you are blocked by the universe, unsupported, or unworthy. Do not live in a place of jealousy. Everyone has something wonderful to cherish... wether it is as simple as "health" or "i have good enough vision to see the world in color", or more expansive from the self to saying "i have a home, food, etc". It is OKAY to be down from time to time, but don't forget the overall blessings that you already have in your life.
Remember, change can come at any time - so release the past, and embrace change for a new future.
Changing your life to increase joy and alignment with your heart's desires doesn't mean to be reckless -
selling all things and moving to the Himalayas. Start by saying no to the things that you are not 100%
comfortable with, or things that don't bring you joy and fulfillment. Move into new choices with wit,
cleverness, and understanding of who you truly are. Get aligned with who you truly are - what do you want
for yourself in this life?
And if you don't know who you are, or what your heart wants... make choices to dig deep, heal, learn from
your past, embrace your wisdoms and quirks, and step forward with choices that help you fall in love with
yourself. Then you will begin to know yourself.