"In dealing with those who are undergoing great suffering, if you feel ‘burnout’ setting in, if you feel demoralized and exhausted, it is best, for the sake of everyone, to withdraw and restore yourself. The point is to have a long-term perspective." -Dalai Lama
If you are feeling drained, feeling as if you have nothing more to give, it is time to take a step back and make some changes.
Chinese medicine says that where there is pain or imbalance in the body, there is either stagnant energy or lack of flow of energy. Not only does our physical activity affect our energy flow, but more importantly our mental and emotional states can alter or stagnate the flow of energy.
We all go through waves of busyness in our lives. How our bodies cope through those times or those various struggles is what ultimately gets us through our next wave. Hopefully, this post will help guide you to prevent the burnout phase; but if you are there today, that's okay. This just means it's time to make yourself a priority; for yourself, but more importantly for your loved ones and any people you serve.
Here are some things to consider in order to preserve your overall energy:
Are there activities or commitments you have told yourself you "have to" do? "I have to do this in order to be this."
If they are draining and not fulfilling your energy emotionally or physically then it needs to be considered as something to decrease or even eliminate! These decisions may feel selfish, but they are worth it in the end.
When things simply are unable to be decreased or eliminated can we shift the perspective?
Instead of saying "I have to" do this, start saying "I get to." This shift in mindset will make a huge difference. You will feel grateful instead of judgmental towards that specific task.
For example, we tend to resent yard work or housework but what if we changed the perspective. “I get to do yard work because my body is physically able to.” Whereas, for some that is not possible. Or “I get to cook for my family because we have enough finances to provide food.” It may seem silly but these small “mind hacks” will contribute to an overall attitude of gratitude.
Are there people in your life that are emotionally draining?
Is it possible to limit your interaction with them, even just for a few days while you reset? Or maybe take a few moments to express how they are influencing you, because they may not even realize it!
Are you saying no?
It really is OK to say no … we promise! Some of us tend to fill each minute of our days with many things that actually are just to please others. Although many of us love to make others happy, sometimes you really have to do what is best for you.
Are you breathing?
Did you know that where breath goes energy follows? When we are stressed it is our natural tendency to hold our breath. So here’s a challenge: Next time you are in traffic arguing with your kids or whatever it may be, take time to breath.
Breath in for 3, hold it for 3, then breath out for 6. Visualize and feel your body relax. If you suffer from headaches, this breathing exercise may relieve this symptom.
Are you getting the proper movement in your life?
Some people thrive off of high-intensity workouts, and some do them because they feel like that's what they are supposed to do in order to be fit and happy. We encourage you to find exercise or movement that your body craves. Just for a short time, take a break and do some nourishing then get back to the more intense movement. Or explore some simple stretching or walking. The key is to listen to your body because it has all of the answers!
The process of acknowledging and moving through burnout isn't easy, but it sure is worth it.
YOU are worth it.
Today, we hope this encourages you.
Take care of yourself today. We are rooting for you!