As I’m sitting on my couch watching Disney movies with a face mask on, I realize, I may be burnt out. I’m realizing that this is the first time in two weeks that I’ve relaxed. I’ve had a few days off in the last two weeks; however, today is the first day off where I’ve actually done nothing. I slept in, I’ve eaten food and watched television/read up on some Reddit posts and I spent time with my dog.
I believe I’m burnt out due to my increased exhaustion. Regardless of the amount of hours I’ve slept, I’ve felt incredibly tired and unmotivated to do anything. I’ve spent longer hours at work and even spent my days off at work. I’ve dealt with the emotional strain of my job as well as my family and I’ve hardly stopped to take care of myself. My body has given off plenty of warning signs that I needed to slow down and I failed to listen. So now, here I am, let with the question of: how do I fix burn out?
For me, the first thing that I had to do today was force myself to rest. I had a day off today and rather than going into work to check on things, I had to remind myself that I’m allowed to take a day off and that work will be there tomorrow. Then, I had to resist calling up a friend and asking them to go do something. As much as I hate being bored, sometimes being bored is the exact thing I need to do. Then, I had to ease my boredom through things that weren’t emotionally or physically exhausting.
I cleaned up my living space a little bit as I find that when my room is neat and organized I feel better. I took a shower and got changed into fresh pajamas. I made sure to drink lots of water today, take my vitamins, I ate lots of fruit but I also ate an entire bag of Chex Mix (there is no shame in my game). I wrote in my journal, I prayed, I sat outside and I spent time with my dog.
Basically, I did things that make my soul feel happy. I filled my day with things that make me enjoy life and I even took a twenty minute nap when my body said “we’re tired.” I listened to what my body needed, I listened to what my brain needed and I took care of myself selfishly.
I don’t think I’m quite out of the woods of burn-out yet. I believe it’s a process. After days of neglecting myself I can’t spend one day taking care of myself and think I’ll feel better. I’ll have to take measures tomorrow to continue caring for myself. I’ll have to get back into good habits and stop ignoring my own needs.
Bringing ourselves out of burn-out most definitely takes more time than if we try our best to take care of ourselves to begin with, but that’s the price we bare when we put others before ourselves. There is nothing wrong with being selfless, actually, I encourage loving others deeply. But at the end of the day, we are our longest commitment and we must love ourselves fiercely.