Discover more from Notes From An Over Thinker
Is it just me or is there something in the air...
The sludgy goop (aka burnout)
Hello you lovely lovely souls
Grab a *insert beverage of choice* and get comfy.
Before we dive into the sludgy goop of the past few months can we just pay a little ode to nature, my go to medicine during a long spell of burnout.
It’s not just me
I was walking home from my part time job and
overheard eavesdropped some conversations. Some went as follows “I’m honestly just f***ing shattered all the time”, “I just don’t have the time these days”, “I’m so overwhelmed, it all feels too much”.
Either there is something in the air or we’ve become a nation of people that try to be, do and have it all to the extent of fatigue or burnout.
Burnout is a horrible place to find ourselves. It shows up in nasty little ways. I’ve felt “burnt out” for at least 3 months, however it peaked a couple of weeks back. My body genuinely felt as if it was shutting down. One physical symptom would creep up after another. I was experiencing gut issues, panic attacks, fatigue and blackouts. It sort of became second nature. Crying was a given. I’d laugh and say “it’s fineeee…i’m fineee”, knowing fine well I wasn't. My mind and body weren’t aligned and they were failing each other.
I openly shared my messy self on socials and to my surprise, it resonated a little too much with folk. The message that I received time and time again was “Me too”. Me too. It breaks my heart to think that we feel it’s necessary to push and push until breaking point.
I began to notice a pattern amongst these conversations - burnout stems from comparison. It starts as a game of keepy-uppy and goes a little something like this:
If only we tuned in with ourselves a little more we would spot the burnout demon from a mile off. Yet we push. Why? I have my reasons, whether you agree is up to you. Ego? Testing our abilities and threshold? Perception of time? Opinions and judgement? Hustle culture? Pressure (both external and internal)?
I wish I could help you, but I can’t
We can get step outdoors, unplug from our phones, commit to a little less - but the reality is “less” doesn’t always equate to rest. In fact, for some of us rest makes us restless. Seeking advice on such matters is sometimes counterproductive. What works for me might not work for you. Besides, what works for me is still to be learnt.
The one thing I can say for sure that helped me during my worst spell of burnout was practicing presence. What little energy and emotional endurance I had left in the tank was solely put into the task at hand. If my mind began to sporadically jump from one thought to the next I would consciously bring it back. Not easy when your brain works on overdrive. This is why nature is my go to medicine. I always find there is so much to take in yet it can be absorbed slowly and peacefully.
Emerging from the sludge…
…it’s inevitable that we’ll fall into it again. However, over time as we learn what our mind and body respond best to, maybe the sludge won’t feel as deep. Maybe we’ll have more patience and resilience to pull ourselves out of it. Maybe we’ll pay attention to the warning signs.
Until next time, take care of your wee self x