I hope you all have had a better week than myself. The events in my personal life are inspiring me to talk about burnout. It happens to us all at one point or another. Feeling burnt out can last for as little as a few hours or can last for several days or weeks. However long the burnout lasts, let’s remember that it is not forever, and we can always reignite the flame we need.
What are you feeling burnt out about? What caused it? Was it hyper-focusing for too long? Not giving yourself enough breaks? Constant bombardment of work? Is what is causing the burnout a force that is in your control or out of your control? If it’s out of your control, are there any qualities about the situation that you can do something about?
How can you tell you are on the verge of burning out? Are there any tell-tale signs that could inspire you to treat the oncoming burnout before the severity increases? Is there a difference between physical and mental burnout? Where does the sensation of burnout live in your body? What kind of burn out are you experiencing?
There’s that old saying that a candle that burns twice as bright burns half as long. How can you switch from being that twice as bright candle to the longer-burning candle? How long does your candle need to burn?
How do you like to treat your burn out? What self-care helps you reignite your flame? What can bring back your excitement or energy? How did you feel when you first started, before the burnout? Is it possible to get that back? What else would work? Do you have any new awareness that could change your outlook in a positive way on the thing that caused you burnout?
How do you know when it’s time to get back to work? What does it feel like to get energy back? How will you remember to get back to work? What inspires you? How can you adjust to honor your own mental and physical needs while still doing the work you need? What needs to happen to make those adjustments? Would a new tool help the problem? Talking to someone about what you are experiencing or need? How will you remember to what you need? What will keep you from doing it? What will it be like to have a system that minimizes your burnout frequency?
You don’t always have to push through the burnout. There can be diminishing returns when you aren’t working while feeling your best. If you are burnt out the same task that takes you 10 minutes may take you 20. It may be faster to walk away, take some time to take care of yourself, and then get back to work. The quality and speed could improve.
Honor yourself. Help yourself. Help others help yourself. Stand up for yourself. If you are burnt out take your time to reignite your flame.