Life gets tough and you burnout. It is often unfair and unbearable. There are many days where I know you feel like you are trapped and suffocating, like there is no light at the end of this very narrow tunnel. Like you want to run away.
But please hold on. In a minute I will explain why, and I will tell you how.
Cry if you need to. Cry until you cannot feel your face anymore. Scream at the world. Accept your feelings and understand that it’s ok to feel like this. You are not crazy, ungrateful, or abnormal. You are human, doing the very best you can in your situation, with the limited resources that you have.
People are going to be incredibly insensitive. Most aren’t going to get it, and they will judge you and tell you all sorts of ridiculous things to crush your self-confidence and self-esteem. Sadly, these people will often be your (well-meaning?) friends and family.
But my dear, you have so much more to live for, than to not live for. This life we have is a gift, even though there are many days where we wish we hadn’t been born. It is a gift because we have the chance to live and experience so many good things, IF we choose to.
Here’s Why You Need to Keep Going Even After Burnout:
1. We have the chance to feel love:
To show love and be loved. This alone can make an entire life worth living. There is nothing greater than this feeling that fills up your heart, whether it be for your children, your partner, your sibling, or your best friend.
2. We have the chance to bring happiness and/or relief to others:
This doesn’t require money. What people remember the most, is the act of kindness, the love. People remember feelings not objects. Simply loving someone unconditionally can be enough to give another person a reason to live, a reason to smile, and even a reason to thrive.
3. We have the chance to improve our lives:
We always have the opportunity to learn, and any good thing we learn will enrich our lives. There are books to get lost in and gain useful knowledge from. Role models to study and learn life lessons from, and nature so that we can slow down and revel in Earth’s magnificent creations.
There is too much to live for darling. I know it may seem things will never be ok, but you can make them right.
Here’s how to Keep Going Post-Burnout:
1. Cut from your life
Be ruthless. Remove everything possible that brings you down in any way, whether financially, mentally, emotionally or physically. Including people. I know it is probably not reasonable to delete your sister from your life, but you can always lessen the importance people have in your heart. Choose the lesser of the two evils, whatever that is. We always have a choice.
2. Be Selfish
In terms of taking care of yourself. Stop being a martyr and putting everyone else’s needs in front of your own. It may seem like a good idea at the time to please everyone and avoid confrontation, but in the long run, you are hurting yourself and enabling others to use you by presenting yourself as a doormat. This kind of pain will hurt way more down the road than the momentary discomfort of not pleasing someone 100%.
The most important non-negotiables in self-care include:
- Physical activity: Everyone needs daily exercise, and chores do not count. If you are too busy for this, cut something else out
- Proper nutrition: Skipping meals then loading up on sugar to compensate for your lack of energy will not get you far. I promise that. Eat whatever you want, as long as enough of the nutrients you need are entering your body.
- Adequate sleep: Messy house or mental basket case?
- Regular rest periods throughout the day: It could be a simple 5-10 minute tea break 3 times a day, daily walks, or a half hour of reading. Whatever relaxes you, ensure you etch it into your schedule and do NOT skip for any reason.
- Look good: Wear pretty clothes and nice shoes. Do your nails, and treat your skin. And most importantly, do it for yourself FIRST. There’s nothing wrong with wanting to look good for someone you love, as long as he or she is not the sole purpose.
- Regular checkups with a health professional: This includes following any prescribed treatment such as medication, therapy, and follow-ups. I find many people neglect this aspect, thinking that seeking professional help means they are weak, or wanting to be ‘strong’ and deal with it on their own.IMHO, the truly questionable behaviour is the one of people who are given a way to improve their life, and would instead rather take the harder way, living in misery because they ‘believe’ they can fight it on their own, or fear what people will think of them.
Mental and Emotional:
- Have at least one support person: Someone who gets you. Who genuinely cares about your wellbeing and can lend a hand or an ear when you need.
- Engage regularly in some kind of passion that brings you fulfillment: This could be a career, a pastime, recreational activities, or helping others. Whatever brings a smile to your face.
- Spend time with someone who contributes positively to your life. Someone who loves you unconditionally, is non-judgemental, shares your passions, or just plain out makes you feel good.
- Love yourself: Regularly think of all the ways you are an amazing individual. Write them down if you have to and read it daily.
3. Keep your stress levels as low as possible
Stress will literally kill you. It almost killed me silently, using my blood pressure as it’s destructive tool. However, out of everything I believe keeping stress levels at bay is the absolute hardest. Here are some tips:
- If something is completely out of your control, screw it and move on to happier things that you CAN control. Try to stop worrying and simply reacting. (Yes, yelling at people is a reaction.) I know this is a MILLION times harder said than done, but it is not worth ruining your health over something you cannot change. This includes other people’s behaviour, how many hours there are in a day, how many kids you have (or don’t have), or what others think of you.
- If you are feeling overwhelmed about things you CAN control, start with micro baby steps. Remember that any action no matter how small will bring you closer to your wellbeing than doing nothing. Where we fail is when we try to handle too many things at once, and burnout, leaving us worse off than where we initially started.Choose one debt to pay off slowly or commit to just 5 minutes with your child. As long as action is consistent, you will definitely see positive results.
- Accept your feelings during the times you feel like nothing is going right. Stop trying to fight them and stop berating yourself about how you shouldn’t be feeling like this. Yes, we must all be grateful, but it took me a long time to realize that feeling terrible does not equate to ungratefulness. No human is perfect. We aren’t meant to be perfect. Mistakes and bad experiences are here so that we can learn from them and become better and stronger afterwards.And something really important: if the horrible feelings just keep getting worse and worse, please get professional help, because you may be dealing with a medical issue. And as much as some people would like to believe, health issues cannot just be wished or prayed away.
- Find support. The more the better, but if you currently have no one, go out and search for at least one person who has your back. Someone you click with. Someone who will at least listen to you without judging you. There is likely someone in your circle, or close to your circle that you will find if you look hard enough.
You are worth every second of this life you were meant to live. You are worthy of love. Focus on that. Focus on love, first for yourself, then on giving and receiving it from the special deserving people in your life.
Because when you love something you will not harm it. You will do whatever it takes to preserve it, to nurture it, to help it grow. You will have mainly positive thoughts about it, and you will definitely not want to see it break or die. And this my dear is exactly how we must first treat ourselves, then the people we love. When this is the focus of our life, all the crippling fear and negativity slowly gets pushed out.
I know life is incredibly hard. That maybe you even want out at this moment. But promise me you will try. That you will hold on just a little longer. Because things will get better, once we finally realize that we are worth it and that we have the choice to make this life we are living worth it as well.
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