Monday, May 9, 2011

6 Lessons You Can Learn From Burn-Out

I fear I may be suffering from a slight case of burnout. I feel tired, uninspired, spent and overwhelmed. I am in desperate need of a vacation—one of the beach variety, which would involve only sand, sunlight and spirits. I know exactly how I arrived at this point, and it was completely avoidable. Here are six lessons you can learn from my current state of burnout—I am re-learning them yet again (as apparently I am quite hard-headed as well):

1. Listen to your body. The human body is a miraculous wonder. It knows when it’s being pushed too hard and will communicate this beautifully and seamless with your mind. Your body will whisper, then scream, and finally completely shut down if it has to, in order to get you to rest. For me, this notice comes in the form of lower back pain; if you think carefully about it, I bet you know what your physical trigger is too.

2. Don’t stress/have faith. This is likely the most important lesson I’ve (re)learned over the past few months. There have been several situations that have required my immediate attention, but not the high level of stress I attached to them. I’ve been emotional and allowed fear to seep in, causing me to forget that everything is always going to work out on my behalf. There are forces (God, the Universe, Mother Nature, or whomever you please) that are constantly conspiring to bring about your best life. Trust them. Have faith in them. You’ve heard this before, but it is oh-so-true: the minute you surrender to a power greater than yourself, everything you’ve been praying for will come to fruition. It may not materialize in exactly the way you’d pictured, or be what you thought you wanted—but it will be exactly what you need.

3. Learn to say “no”—even to yourself. No matter how driven you are; how well you multi-task; or how high your level of organization, you too, have a breaking point. If you’re not careful, there will be a moment at which you’ll find you have been pushed to the brink and stretched to the limit. We play a game of Jenga with our lives, placing commitment after commitment on top of each other, watching as our tower threatens to crumble. Don’t over-schedule. Know your limits, and be firm about them—both with others, and with yourself.

4. Maintain your spiritual diet. Just as your body will eventually crash if not properly fed, so will your mind and spirit. All your clarity, focus, inspiration and peace will wither if not strengthened consistently and continuously with prayer, meditation, study, journaling—or whatever it is that you do to become spiritually sound. Yet, it is not enough to become—you have to remain as such.

5. Clarify. What is important to you? Are your daily habits and commitments in-line with what you’ve just named? If not, shift your focus, drop the things that don’t fit, and re-align yourself with your purpose.

6. Forgive yourself. You’re human. You’re going to forget, ignore and overlook all of these things from time to time. The most important thing is to evaluate why you got lost, forgive yourself, and to pick back up where you left off.

Is there anything you would add to this list? Feel free to share.


MerelyMarie said...

Yes...great list, especially #6.
I don't know why it's so hard to not expect this "superhuman greatness" of myself.

GG said...

#6 really hit home for me too! Forgiving myself has been hard to do, but I'm getting better at it. I'm so forgiving of everyone else, so I don't know why it's so hard to bestow that understanding upon myself.

Kim Jackson said...

@ MerelyMarie - I think it's a symptom of the American culture. We are taught to push push push, and achieve achieve achieve. But if you look at certain European cultures, they don't demand the same of themselves. They work hard, get done what they can, and then play/rest hard. I think we could take a cue from them.

@ GG - It's always harder to see ourselves, isn't it? hmmm

Laila said...

I needed to read this today.

Just Daisy said...

Hi, ladies!

This post is oh so relevant with finals, paper deadlines, and the abrupt ending of the semester. I burned out two times a role this week and its only Wednesday. This was definitely a post I needed to read!

Thanks so much for sharing
with love,

Kim Jackson said...

So glad this touched you ladies too. Sometimes it feels a little better to know other people are experiencing similar things in their own lives.

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