End of the year, we have made it! It’s been another tough, long year for us all and we are feeling the impact. This time of year is when we need to take a breath, reflect on the year that we have experienced and re-energise ourselves for the year to come. Psychological burnout is when we have taken on so much for a long period, and we are now feeling the consequences of just keep swimming and pushing through each day.
When you experience burnout, it is an overwhelming sense of exhaustion, negative feelings of cynicism or pessimism as well as detachment or disconnection from those around us. This can lead to a sense of hopelessness and lack of accomplishments in everyday tasks which you would normally enjoy.
Some people describe it as feeling like drowning, sinking or suffocating. When our family members, friends or children rely on you to listen or help them out it can intensify burnout - leaving us with overwhelming emotions, feeling like we are not able to cope. How can I possibly try to manage my stuff when everyone keeps on piling their stuff on? *snap* literally.
When we experience psychological burnout, it affects every aspect of our lives. This includes our relationships, how we respond or react to others, reduces the enjoyment of things you once looked forward to, can make you feel like giving up and hiding under anything away from people. This increases isolation, feelings of helplessness and then can spiral into self-sabotage behaviour and negative thoughts about ourselves.
Not all is lost! The great thing is now you know why you are feeling this way, it's not just you! The end of the year is hard and we are all in the same boat. To recover from burnout, we need self-care.
Self-Care is not randomly getting a massage and expecting things to get better, self-care is helping us self-soothe (when we are upset and overwhelmed, we talk to ourselves kindly and acknowledge our distress). We need to re-evaluate our life patterns; are there things we can change in the everyday routines that will make us happier?
Develop better coping skills such as retraining our automatic thoughts, learning emotional intelligence and not being afraid to ask for help. We are social beings, reaching out to those we feel trust with to make us laugh. Adding relaxation strategies every day. Yes, every day. It’s important. If you don’t make time for your wellness, your body will force you to make time for your recovery.
Be conscious if you are an emotional eater, if you are, that’s ok. Understand why. Set yourself up for success and have better snacks around that won’t make you feel worse or mindful every time you open the fridge. Follow the Goldilocks Principle: tasks not too hard, not too easy, just right!
Take time for yourself. Recognise when you are not feeling mentally well and be kind to yourself – give yourself a break. Surround yourself with those who support you and put-up boundaries with those who make you feel drained or anxious. Talk to a professional when you are not feeling yourself, it can help figure out why. Counsellors can give you strategies on how to grow and evolve into the life you want. We have one life, learning these strategies can set you up for long term happiness. You are worth it.
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