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Lighting Your Candle After the Burnout

It seems as if the purpose in our society is to simply accomplish things. "Go go go. I'll sleep when I'm dead. I don't need help." I have heard each of these statements several times throughout my life, especially throughout college. Our culture pushes us to work so hard, and then demeans rest. So what happens when we work so hard that we burnout and get sick, aren't emotionally available, or feel constantly exhausted? This is when our flame gets blown out and we must proceed in lighting it back up again. There are many resources on what to do to avoid burnout, but not many that inform what to do after it has already happened.

Whenever I have had burnouts, it often lets me know that I really need to evaluate what I am doing in my life, so this can be avoided the next time I am over worked.

1) Journal about how you feel. Write about what you may think could have caused this burnout. Take some time to figure out what you need to get back on track. Who or what do you think could have lead you to this point? And are these things or habits worth keeping in your life?

2) Talk to a friend or therapist. It's always nice to have an outside perspective about the situation you may have put yourself in. This chat can simply consist of just venting or truly getting an inner-perspective outlook on your choices. Often times we put ourselves through a burnout because we are so busy trying to prove to the world that we are valuable that we forget how to take care of our own needs in the process.

3) Reparent yourself. This has been a really big topic in my life throughout the past year. This process involves learning how to take care of yourself as an adult. Setting boundaries is one of the main points involved in reparenting yourself. For example, set a bed time for yourself, make a point to have a creative habit that you set time aside to do, let yourself have fun. The phases of stress that leads to burnout can lead us into a version of ourselves that we don't even recognize. Perhaps you are someone who is super silly, and stress and burnout has lead you to be someone that is serious and cold. This can happen and that is okay. But, this is also the time to evaluate on what has lead you to this point and how to reconnect with your old self.

4) Express yourself to others. Often we simply just expect other people to know how we feel, and that is just not the case. Being transparent to those around you that you are experiencing severe stress or burnout can be an extremely humbling moment. As humans, we tend to wear a backpack of hidden and dark things that we do not wish to share to others. Once we are able to take the backpack off and begin to unpack this in front of others can we then truly begin to deepen the relationships we hold so dearly. Being vulnerable is not easy, but this process can help others understand what you are going through and allow them to be more empathetic to your situation and struggles.

5) Your productivity does not define you. As stated in the first paragraph, unfortunately the world we live in often gives us value based on how much we have accomplished that day. It has taken me a while to rewire my brain (still in the process of it) to understand that I am allowed to simply exist and am still worthy of love and success. You are allowed to take a day off, to take a nap, cancel plans, and step back from everything. Winnie the Pooh said, "Sometimes the best things come out of doing absolutely nothing".

Protect your flame, but also do not be ashamed in the process of re-striking the match.

Love always,


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