Four Surefire Ways to Restore Ourselves When Experiencing Burnout
Some days you just feel like shit when you wake up. You feel the pressure of our capitalistic society that tells us to work hard even through the pain and need for rest. You may feel like there's no space for you to just be present and give yourself the love and attention that you need.
Well, that's not realistic and it's not how we sustain ourselves.
In fact, we'll probably kill ourselves faster if we allow ourselves to fall into this cycle, so it's important to listen to our your bodies, take notice of our emotions, and give ourselves what we need to be the best version of ourselves.
When we feel ourselves spiraling and life seems to be crashing in all around us it can be tough to carve out space for peace and tranquility. We may have deadlines to meet, kids to pick up, or events that we have to attend. It can cause us to feel obligated to get these things done before we let ourselves restore our energy reserves, but this is what leads to burnout. Running yourself to the ground does very little for you or your efforts. When we continue to work without the proper restorative exercises, we're treating ourselves like lawnmower that's run out of oil. We'll sputter a bit as we keep pushing, but eventually we're going to blow ourselves out.
Restorative exercises keep us refreshed and help us to give time and attention to the areas that need them the most. If you're anything like the rest of us that have in the past or continue to struggle with prioritizing your own needs over the needs of others, it can be pretty exhausting. Although you want to take time out for yourself, you feel like it's just impossible. But I want to share with you Four Things You Can Do to Restore Yourself When Experiencing Burnout.
1. Take A Day Off
This is the best way for us to give ourselves time to restore. If we use the time we would normally be at work, our kids may be at school, our spouse is at work, and we can have time to just exist in our own comfort. The work is going to be there whether you are or not. And there's nothing more important than our need to refresh. If we ignore it and continue to push through, our work and ultimately our career and reputation could be at risk should we make a mistake. This is especially true for people of color. Mistakes made in the workplace for us often must be corrected immediately and we have to work six times harder to bounce back if the mistake is not corrected swiftly. To avoid this, give yourself time to show yourself a little love and attention.
2. Read a Book
Many of us these days just reach for our phones or turn on the tv when we have time to relax. We may think that it's the less stressful activity that we have at our disposal, and that's false! Tv and scrolling your timelines require energy that we give every time we reach for the phone. It overloads our bodies with dopamine and can even increase our stress levels depending on what we're consuming. Reading takes us to another world. Although we find pleasure in the story, often we can also learn something without overwhelming our senses. Reading requires little effort and has many benefits to help us be more rested and restored. It reduces stress, can help us sleep better, strengthens our brains, and can increase our empathy. Even if it's only for 30 minutes a day, reading has so many restorative benefits it pays to add it to your schedule.
Meditation is when we sit purposefully to allow ourselves space to be present in the moment. We often get the true result of meditation confused. Many of us believe that the objective of mediation is to empty the mind and stop thinking all together which is not even possible. The true objective of meditation is to observe the mind, breath, and body to identify what comes up. When we hear monks and gurus say "empty the mind" what they truly mean is to focus on something that is constant to allow thoughts to just come and go. It's okay to let the mind wander, just don't let it wander too far and for too long. Bring your awareness to a constant such as your breath, the sound of the air conditioner or an appliance, or how your body feels. As we advance in the practice, we can even begin to release limiting thoughts and beliefs, plant seeds for manifestation, shift our energy and circumstances through visualization and so much more. The goal is to get comfortable with being alone with the body, the breath, and the mind to commune with the universe around you.
4. Free Write in a Journal
Free writing is one of the best methods of resting. It lets us escape from what's going on around us by releasing our feelings and thoughts onto a medium that serves us. So if we're feeling overwhelmed because our boss is being a jerk, we can write down our feelings, things we want to say, and thoughts that keep us bound to the situation and leave it right there. Free writing takes away all the pressure of having to structure it into a particular format so we can focus on just releasing. It even helps to respond to what you wrote as if you were addressing a problem for a friend. That way we give ourselves solutions to our problems or offer grace within the situation.
Taking time for ourselves is not a crime as much as the world would like us to believe. Working like a slave isn't going to do anything for you but get treated more like a slave. You are so much more than what you can do, and you cannot do anything if you don't give back to yourself. Always remember, when emotions get high and it feels like you're drowning, it's time to do energy efficient restorative self-care exercises to refill your cup. You can do this and you deserve to give yourself the same energy or more than you give everything and everyone else.