Becoming Your Own Superhero: Overcoming Burnout and Exhaustion

We’ve all been there; you feel like you’ve ran a marathon, you’ve had unexplained illnesses for a while, you’re miserable, your sex drive is (wait what sex drive?), you’re cycle is messed up, you’re ratty and the thought of waking up and facing the day is just a bridge too far.

Well, it’s better to work hard and hustle now right? After all you can relax when you retire and you can sleep when you’re dead… hehe.

I have worn the shoes of a type A person most of my life. The typical overachiever, hard worker, over pleaser, never good enough kinda chick. In fact, for a while in my journey the thought of an empty diary and not being ‘productive’ put the fear of god in me. Of course, like every other non serving patterns, these type A behaviours were rooted in shame and guilt at my general existence which had been hardwired in me from childhood. Still now my family (mum’s side) pride themselves on being the most hard working and everyone in our family genuinely believes in suffering daily in order to get by because ‘that’s just how it is’. Well to that I say What a load of cobblers!

In order for us to truly be in alignment with our best version, we need to balance our energies. A healthy mind, body & soul is a balanced one. Think about it, when the body is in balance between yang (active/outward/masculine) and relaxed (yin/inward/feminine) states we have optimum time to rest, restore & make adaptations so that when we step into yang mode we are actually better than the last time we were in that place.

Think about gym training, many people spend hours slaving in the gym, to no end, with a goal of weight loss, muscle gain etc etc but without an actual structured training programme which incorporates rest, trigger sessions and space for growth and adaptation, the person gets more and more tired, loses motivation & eventually plateaus. They fear stepping back because they are afraid they’ll lose the little gains they have made, they can’t physically do any more because their body is trashed in multiple ways so in the end they take a slow nose dive into chronic illness, hormonal imbalance and really trashed metabolism not to mention the myriad of other issues they will inevitably have from a poor training routine. Likewise, you wouldn’t step into a gym and go hell for leather with high level cross fit style training if you’ve been 48 yrs on a couch because it would be too much too soon, you’d adapt quickly and have nowhere else to go and very few variables to alter to make new adaptations and growth.

Life is like a training regime. It needs to be focused to your dreams and goals AND it needs to be relative to you & your current state. For me, this looks like moderate exercise, moderate yoga, daily walking and nature, daily meditation & plenty of downtime with loved ones. I cannot work to no end nor will I work myself into oblivion and ruin my daily bliss because I am too busy to see. I will not disrespect my body through constant exhaustion and grinding away, because frankly it makes me ill, grumpy and fat.

If you feel like you’ve really got to a point where you’re scared to scale back, you’re shattered and miserable and can’t see any joy in life, I propose to you a challenge: Open your mind to the possibility that less is more & you can do less and achieve more abundance.

I believe we live in an attraction based universe – if the vibration in your internal landscape is one of work, push, drive, punish punish then guess what you’ll get outside of you? A constant reflection that you have to work, push, drive.
If you start to integrate the belief that you are worthy of relaxation and you can work less and you deserve rest, the opportunities to do more and work less will come. If you feel levels of shame attached to the thought of having freedom and relaxation, then you will need to address these first. Perhaps take a look at my post on shame.

A few tips for you to start calling back your power, respecting yourself and answering to yourself and your needs

  1. Start Small. Relaxation should not be a 2 week a year holiday kind of thing. Life is not all or nothing. To create long term balance you must create habits. The body on average works with nature, this means after 3 months of constant behaviour change, you will have more trust from your body, and the illnesses and oxidative effects of stress will start to heal.
  2. Begin to support yourself with tiny daily joys. For me it’s a coffee every morning out next to the canal, letting myself have a glass of wine at the weekend, getting into nature every day.
  3. Don’t have time? Find time. There is nothing more important in this life than you. Why? Because it starts with you. If you are burnt out you’re giving 10% of yourself to your job, your goals and your loved ones. If you are rested, in your power, relaxed you can be present and really give your full focus and energy to your loved ones and your goals.
  4. Make long term goals. Dream, journal, believe and don’t lose sight. Each day is a new chance to make baby steps towards the life you want.
  5. Ask the universe to open the doors by saying ‘Bring me opportunities to___’
  6. Address the reasons why you’re so busy. For me it was that if I was still, I’d have to start grieving my mum, deal with my daddy issues, face the fact I am full of shame.. basically avoidance of subconscious stuff. Understand what it is that this pattern of overworking GIVES you. It always gives you something, otherwise it wouldn’t exist.
  7. Start connecting with your feminine energy. Feminine or yin energy is receptive and inward. When you step into this place, you can really create oceans of change. Simple things are listening to music, dancing, painting, singing, sitting in nature, swimming, having a bath, yin yoga. Maybe read about balancing your masculine &  feminine energy here.

Please share your tips, there are SO Many more than this, and I wrote this in a rush (oh, the irony) so please do share more tips. Be open to the idea that you aren’t here to work till you die. You can have rest AND abundance. Nobody else can change for you, you have to put on your own shoes and being the process of change. You can really have bliss each day, heaven is literally here on earth right now. All that remains is for you to see it. florian-schneider-710628-unsplash

 

 

2 Comments Add yours

  1. Jane Loewy says:

    This resonates greatly with me. Having to retire from my PE teaching job after 26 years due to ill health- diagnosed with fibromyalgia and joint hypermobility syndrome in 2016- I fully empathise with you and anyone swept along in our perceptions of how life should be in our western world! I was already a regular mediator, ate quite healthily and exercised but I had to adapt all the more to the new “me”. I am recovering and sessions like your lovely yoga and going to Tai chi are not the marathon running I previously thought benefited my health, fitness and wellbeing. Bit they nurture me and are invaluable. I now work very part time for a charity who supported me when I was really ill. Salus Fatigue Foundation offered me nutrition sessions, relaxation and meditation, support and social interaction. All of the elements you have eluded to that are so very important. Also so is seeing early warning signs and learning to say no. I also now re-engage with things I used to do before I became ‘too busy’… Hence the sewing and making yoga mat bags and eye pillows.
    Wishing you health and happiness. X
    (I hope you don’t mind I’ve added the website address of where I work just for your persual or sharing with anyone you think might benefit! 😀X)

    Like

    1. How lovely that you are finding ways to overcome burnout and exhaustion. I really think that when we use ‘busy’ it feels almost dutiful. I like to use the word full life now 🙂
      I am so so so pleased you shared your website i can’t wait to have a look. I wish you health and happiness too! Don’t be a stranger!

      Like

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