I could not move, it hurt so much, the only thing I could do is be still and not moving. In my pajamas, on my bathroom floor, my body gave up. I experienced pain I have never felt before, excruciating, paralyzing, the pain that stopped me in my tracks and made me think about me.
If you strive to schedule resting out of your day, feel guilty about resting, fill your day with to-dos, hate to waste time, and tend to stay very busy, this post Is for you.
Let us talk about what is burnout and three signs you can not afford to miss.
What is burnout?
According to Helpguide.org, “ Burnout is a state of emotional, physical, and mental exhaustion caused by excessive and prolonged stress. It occurs when you feel overwhelmed, emotionally drained, and unable to meet constant demands.
The negative effects of burnout spill over into every area of life—including your home, work, and social life. Burnout can also cause long-term changes to your body that make you vulnerable to illnesses like colds and flu. Because of its many consequences, it’s crucial to deal with burnout right away.”
Three signs of burnout I missed
Persistent feeling of being exhausted
You know that feeling when you wake up in the morning, and all you could feel is the need to back to bed? The foggy state of just not able to say another word, do another task or take on another challenge?
I knew something was terribly wrong when I found myself for hours at the time staring at my computer screen. I figured I did not get enough rest last night. But my issues were more profound than that. I was burning out. The kids, the house chores, the cooking the cleaning, the never-ending stupid laundry, the co-workers, and the day to day stress were just pilling up higher and higher. It seemed never-ending string of issues that demanded my time and attention. I felt exhausted and deflated.
Feeling edgy, angry, and defensive
What comes next, after we don’t stop after we first feel tired, and keep pushing through is we develop burnout resilience. Basically, our bodies and our mind give up on getting a break. What happens next is we become edgy, defensive and angry.
When I hit this point, I become susceptible to comments and acutely aware of other people`s perceptions about my work, parenting, relationships, my looks and everything else. It seems it takes nothing at all to get me off the kilt and upset me.
Feeling physically sick
Feeling off symptoms? Are you feeling sporadic symptoms: headaches, stomach aches, and all sorts of unrelated discomforts in your body? When your body fails you, it is time to stop and think, not take a pain pill and keep going.
My back pain started with tension and stiffness. It continued upward to my spine and manifested itself as neck pain than my hips began to hurt. Next, I began having colds, and my insomnia reemerged. That morning, when I found myself face down on my bathroom floor my body went on strike, and I had a wake-up call with the most excruciating pain in my lower back. I collapsed, and yes I got the message.
How to prevent and stop burnout.
Stop and listen to your body.
The truth is, it is different for every person. What will or did help me may do nothing at all for you. we all need different things to be healed. That said, there is one thing that is universal. You must stop and listen to your body and mind.
Examine your current state.
When I was on the floor, unable to move I realized that ignoring my body calls can not continue as is. After my spouse scraped me off the floor, gave me a tremendous amount of pain killers, and got me to bed, I had no choice but take stock. I recall mentally scanning my body, looking for pain, tension and other signs of trauma.
Commit to small steps.
We are good at massive vacations, making napoleon`s plans to “one day” go to a workout class, lose weight, start eating better, and distress on a regular basis. I do believe sustained changes come from small steps that you do every single day — something that fits with your life, your situation and your style.
Looking back, I am very grateful for that morning and the fact that I got so sick. Knowing myself I would not pay attention otherwise. I could have kept on going, continue taking care of others, giving, without replenishment.
I struggle with burnout even today, and every day, when the demands of my family life are more than I can handle. What do I do?
I ask for silence in our home, I garden, I lower my voice, listen to my favorite music, take a walk in nature, I write, or call a dear friend or one of my sisters. I share my story, honestly and unapologetically. I accept the fact that I can not stop, but I can take baby steps to self-care and slow down to allow my body and mind to catch up. I accept my imperfections and need for restoration after all you and I are only humans.
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