You’re racing around.
You need to make hay whilst the sun shines. You need to get through the day, the week, the month. There is so much to do and it’s time to get your head down.
You just need to complete this project, make the delivery and finish this piece of work. It will better once you’ve got a new job, given the presentation, got rid of this cough, the kids are back at school…
It’s fine you say.
It’s fine. It will be fine. We’re fine. They’re fine.
It’s fine turns into a knot at the bottom of your stomach. (Tweet this)
It can happen so slowly, that you don’t feel a thing until it’s so big you’re convinced it appeared overnight.
That knot can radiate misery, disappointment, frustration, need, regret, hatred. With all that extra weight you’re carrying around you feel tired, wrung out, dragged down, exhausted, spent.
It’s so hard to get back up and yet it’s your busy time, your absolute hour of need, time to play hurt, you really must carry on….until you can’t.
A holiday, good book, sleep, massage at this point is too little too late.
The warning signs were back there at the first I’m fine and you’re now in triple digits.
Here are five methods that have definitely made a difference to me in beating burnout:
- Unplugging. Going off grid. At least spending a weekend, or longer if you can manage it, unconnected to your phone, email, tablet or screen of any sort.
- Listening to your body. A great way to do this is lying flat on your back, taking deep breaths to relax, then slowly scanning your body from toe to tip, noticing any pain or tension. If you find such meditation difficult, another good method is drawing an outline of your body, writing in what sensations or feelings you have in each part. For example, I often feel pins and needles in my toes. They tingle when I bring my awareness into them. Coming out of your head and into your body allows you a reality check. It enables you to witness exactly how run down you are and areas to pay attention to.
- Re-framing your inner voice. I often say I’ve been working all weekend. Actually, I may have been writing blogs, playing with images, researching areas of interest and socialising online. Therefore it is also fair to say I have had a creative weekend. Most of those activities I enjoy and so by re-framing to say I’ve been writing and designing, I can also re-frame how I feel.
- Mindfulness. Bringing your attention to the current moment and realising life is in these moments not the past or future. Just sitting in silence for at least 5 minutes a day can make all the difference.
- Pure joy. Definitely my favourite. Doing something you love, just for fun and for just you is liberating. It’s a pure shot of energy. I went dancing last week after a 22 year absence from the ballroom. I waltzed and quickstepped for an hour in the middle of the working day. It felt indulgent when I have so much to do and money earmarked for other things, yet, that one hour gave me a high that motivated me to be so much more productive.
That lesson was amazing, exhilarating, energizing and uplifting and it was definitely not fine.
Photo adapted, original photo credit