Burnout is common and from only speaking with my friends they seem to have all landed in a toxic relationship/workplace/situation. Burning out can tremor feelings of anxiety and also land you in a situation where your self-esteem has taken several blows by the environment that you are in. You may find yourself overwhelmed and unable to cope in the uncertainty of the time. Perhaps even your sense of identity has been questioned. All in all I know that it is a temporary time and that what goes down must come back up. You need to view this time as a time that will pass and also that once you have felt overwhelmed, it is time to get strategies in place that help you to manage these and never let it happen again.
Feeling overwhelmed during certain situations can happen quite often. For me, I live alone and going into a loud environment like going home can be overwhelming. All of a sudden I am thrust into the realm of busy-ness and have to deal with people wanting my attention constantly. This, I am not used to and it can be overwhelming. I enjoy quiet mornings and when I go home it seems really loud and jarring to the psyche. Having yourself become overwhelmed versus burnout is another thing - see post on burnout below. It is a continuous feeling of being overwhelmed, a continuous stress and a continuous questioning of how you are handling things in the best possible way for you. Your identity can come into question as the strategies of the past may not work in this current scenario and you are too exhausted to figure out the why or how to move forward with new ones.
You may resort to avoidance and avoidance is a strategy in its own right - we've all been there, the phone rings and we look at the number, it's not from someone you know so you decide to ignore it. It rings and rings and your mind goes through who it could be until it stops. We hope an email comes through explaining that it was so and so on the phone or that a voicemail has been left. The discomfort experienced with phone calls is not something I enjoy or like. I was never one for phone calls. In fact, I would say that phone calls make me anxious and nervous. I prefer messages/emails or even video calls are better than phone calls when my voice goes dry and I've to bring the energy to the call when I am nervous on the other end.
I am aware of this and have sought to overcome it time and time again. I even had a job as a call-centre representative for a summer once. I was actually really good at it and enjoyed it, once I got used to cold calling people! What was once uncomfortable then became something I just did without thinking. I had to do, I was there to do and it became normalised. I didn't get stressed. I just did it. My body went into the motion of doing it and performed the task at hand. We all learn to overcome these things eventually!
When you experience burnout feelings of insecurity and questioning of your identity becomes the norm and this can impact on your relationships too. You normalise these feelings and your day to day tasks can increase your insecurities to a realm where you cannot cope very well. It's into the abyss of feeling inadequate. You start to question the level of respect given in certain relationships including the ones closest to you and are on high-alert for these. Some of which might be that you want the support and someone there for you but they are off doing their own things. You may even fall into being dependent while you are experiencing this sickness. This is, of course, normal. You want the people closest to you to look after you.
Being physically sick you can see the illness, it is there to view, it is visible and physically present but when you are burnout, you are emotionally drained, perhaps also physically ill and your immune system is not functioning as your body goes to fight/flight/freeze mode. A small cold may take longer to recover, you may fall into victim mode and the person closest to you may choose to be around other people. You feel upset and tell them that you cannot deal with the disrespect shown - this may be interpreted as jealousy.
Jealousy can result in having low confidence. Jealousy is toxic and a lot of people that are jealous are unhappy with their lives and look at another person doing something that they want to do but do not have the courage to do it. A healthy way to look at this is to get yourself up and do what you want to do. Perhaps approach the girl and tell them how much you admire and look up to them. That is a healthy position to be in and a healthy thing to do. We need to lift each other up. There are times of course when some behaviour is not to be tolerated and sometimes people think girls are jealous when they might have been disrespected by another girl - then this is a case of not jealousy but disrespect and burnout.
If there was some behaviour that is not to be tolerated then, of course, address it. Why wouldn't we? We are human, most people do not do things to hurt others. Most people are good human beings that want to be safe and secure - unfortunately with burnout, everything is under threat and the feelings of safety are also not secure so you will be on high alert. This is also normal as your body is experiencing fight/flight/freeze mode.
In these times you will need support - to support yourself and tell yourself that you are overwhelmed and to comfort yourself alone. I want freedom and that includes for a partner. I think these feelings of burnout can be interpreted as jealousy so it is whether or not your partner sees that and knows that you value freedom is another thing. Being upfront about things is both yours and your partner's responsibility as secrecy also breeds jealousy and what can be interpreted an unhealthy perspective from one side - this is for another post! I value being straightforward with people and once that is done then everything will fall into place.
For me, I value freedom, I value other's freedom, I want other's to be happy and to feel free, light and able to do what they want, when they want. It is something that I want for myself and it is that not feeling that goes with burnout as you feel trapped and smothered by feelings of inadequacy. Being emotionally drained you need to get back on track and taking a walk or going for a run might be pushing yourself too much depending on your physical state. You may need to sit with yourself in solitude (without distractions - I know when you are in pain it is easy to pick up your phone to look at as it's easier than facing sitting with yourself) to work through your emotions until they are under wraps and balanced again. You may need time alone to let everything out and allow yourself to accept the situation that you are in. Don't breed toxic positivity - by telling yourself to only focus on the good we cannot appreciate why it is good and what happened for it to become that way.
WITHOUT THE BAD TIMES, THERE ARE NO GOOD TIMES
You need to sit with the bad and allow the emotions to be purged - for me that is journalling and letting them out. I also love celebrating things and redirecting my energy where it is needed most. Celebrating the small wins can be part of purging the burnout. I love celebrating things - it's the small things that need to be celebrated that amount to the big things. Sometimes we feel empty and stuck and don't know what to do. I think that's a natural cycle. People go through periods of stress and push themselves and we could learn from nature. We need time to reenergise. We all need to have the balance. We have taken a few steps forward then we need to stop and accept it. Take it in and relax. You can drive ahead with things and once the level of emotion has peaked in terms of performance then it is time to rest.
Like flowers giving all their energy to blossom in the summer and then rest in winter. It might be time to take a leaf out of nature and take the time to go through your own cycles. Do other things and do not push yourself. The most common way we give up our power is by thinking we don't have any. So be compassionate and kind to yourself - let yourself blossom for the flower that you are. :-D Feeling free is the best feeling in the world, it should be cherished and when you can overcome the burnout, you will cherish it even more. Without the bad times, there are no good times! You will appreciate the freedom more once you have had the feelings of being trapped from burnout. A free mind is a dangerous thing and most people will not know what to do with you so protect it and laugh about it. Enjoy living your free life, with your free mind and your free choices. The picture below was taken in Galway in 2013 - running, adventures and hiking makes me feel free - do the things that make you feel free and you'll notice more when you aren't free - but only when your body allows it, if it doesn't, then prioritise rest! When there's no petrol in the tank, there is NO PETROL IN THE TANK!
If you are in a relationship that means taking on a mature freedom. Embracing commitment as a freedom in a way that enables both people to flourish, be themselves and step into their own power. Being free, feeling free and most of all protecting that freedom as a human so we can thrive in all environments is one of the most important things about live and feeling alive. Do fun stuff and get out of your comfort zone. You have only one life and life begins at the edge of your comfort zone. Go for it! Make the stuff happens that you want to happen. You'll thank yourself afterwards for building the life you want and for the freedom you have accomplished. Start the blog, do the adventure, learn the language, run the marathon - build the life for you.