Have you been dealing overwhelm, stress and burnout with increasing regularity over the last year or so? I have. I can recount endless horror stories from friends and loved ones, or old colleagues who feel completely rung out. The thing about burnout and overwhelm is that we put up with the symptoms and warning signs for far too long before we do. It could be that we're not aware what those signals are, putting a brave face on things, fearing that if we that we can't handle the pace then we'll get 'found out'. Or, we may simply tell ourselves that we should toughen up. Believing that unless something dramatic happens that forces us to stop, or we get diagnosed with the physical or mental effects of nervous breakdown, then we have to put up and shut up -- carrying on regardless of just how bad, sad or mad we may be feeling.
It can be utterly terrifying and debilitating. You may not know upside from down, or right from wrong, and you certainly don't trust your ability to make the right decisions. It can feel as though you will be letting everyone down unless you carry on regardless. My personal story with burnout left me living life on a constant knife's edge of anxiety. As if every day of my life had been an abyss of poor choices, and self-loathing. The daily fear battle I was fighting around the impact have on my future was real.
What is burnout?
In this post from Psychology Today, it states that
"Burnout is a state of chronic stress that leads to:
physical and emotional exhaustion
cynicism and detachment
feelings of ineffectiveness and lack of accomplishment"
What are the symptoms of burnout:
Maybe you feel some of these symptoms, Maybe you feel them all. Maybe it's become such an intrinsic part of every day life, that you just haven't considered the impact it to be anything more than 'stress'.
Putting on the oxygen mask first
This is where the idea of nurture and self care comes into play. However much it feels as though we need to spend our time looking out for everyone else first, our self care comes first. Full stop. The secret to being that super hero we think we should be, is to don the cape for ourselves first. That way, when you are in full power you have more energy, health and capacity you are so much more able to be of service to other people, having first been of service to yourself.
Here's 15 questions (plus a bonus question at the end) for you to work through, which are designed to help you identify where -- and how -- you can take the time to put on your oxygen mask:
Blush Love Retreat has been created as the antidote to overwhelm. Join me for a week in Portugal 22-29 October, to help you slow down, connect in and savour life.