#thoughts: burnout

I pity this blog sometimes since I have days where I blog often and then other times, it collects dust. Truly, work has been a bit nuts. I don’t spend late nights in the office but most of the time there are a few things I work on so I become like a squirrel on caffeine during work hours and then, I get mentally exhausted in the evening. Of course, the best part of the day would be with my tiny tot and le husband even if it is just being curled up in front of the tv and eventually falling asleep together.

Juggling the different commitments of work, family, friends and not having the house look like a war zone sure can get perplexing sometimes. I am not saying it is not worth it (because it so is) but it reached a point where I ran out of steam. I started getting easily irritated and it did not matter how many hours I spent passed out; I woke up feeling like I did not get any sleep for days on end.

Gone are the days where one could randomly go to a cafe and chill after work or come home to clean laundry and I guess I realised how much I had been taking for granted in the past. With the relatively new roles of being a wife and a mother in our new place yet with the old roles of being a daughter, sister, friend and colleague, I don’t think I had to work so hard this consistently before in life.

As a woman balancing roles and commitments, I have to say you cannot just decide one day to throw everything to the wind or just disappear. You cannot just run away from life when your heart is tied to your loved ones yet you want for your family and friends to prosper in life.  Every day, it’s like the responsibilities loom at me, I worry about the future and I even reached a point where I just could not read or hear the news without feeling waves of anxiety.There really is no short cut to it aside from working hard consistently. At least we are able to juggle the roles better in time if we do work hard and smart.

The thing about anxiety is that it slowly creeps up on you and before you know it, some of the smallest things too can set you off.

I knew I got to the point of burnout when I ended up crying over something at a hidden corner in the office. Not the single tear sort of thing, but ugly tears where you feel snot threatening to run down your face and you look nothing like those glamorous movie actresses. You become all puffy and red-eyed. Oh yes, it came to that. That was my limit and while I pulled myself back up and got back to work like nothing had happened and behaved normally, I felt nothing like normal inside.

With burnout, you may feel like you are worthless and whatever you put in is taken for granted. The first important step is to recognize when you have hit your lowest and to accept that it is alright to feel that way. It sure is difficult when you think you are worthless but there are things that have truly helped and have continued to help me during my difficult times.

  • Focus on the circumstances, not yourself – You could be wrong in a circumstance/situation, sure, but when you really feel low, it is important to not totally blame or hate yourself. You end up on a slippery slope of self-loathing and then you have an even more difficult time of climbing out of that rut. Be gentle with yourself when the world is not being gentle to you.
  • Talk to someone – Talk to those who really know you and/or genuinely care about you. I truly have been blessed for a good support system who understand my being a mama tiger/fierce “rottweiler” and they may not have fancy gestures etc, but they also help me be objective and more gentle with myself. I have rocks to lean myself upon who take care of me when I need to be taken care of. Don’t talk to negative people (at that time at least), talk to someone who inspires you.
  • Turn to God – I am guilty for not being so consistent, but I find that praying truly helps. To cry in sujood and believe in a higher power has helped me face my challenges better and become more patient. I find that when you are thankful for even the smallest things (or for the mere fact that things are not worse), God helps guide you through.
  • Laugh – Watch a silly video, read funny quotes. If you are busy searching for emotional quotes that explain your anger or depression, you sure as heck would not be feeling better faster. Call up an old friend or read positive things and you will feel at least a little bit better. Cuddle your little girl/boy and watch them play, their smiles and laughter makes it all worth it.
  • Learn more about yourself – It’s funny how you learn more about yourself during the hardest times of your life. You learn what you will or will not tolerate, what you can or cannot tolerate so you end up being able to do more things guilt-free. When you are trying to be the best version of yourself, you go through hard times that let you learn of the deadweight emotions/baggage in your life that you need to let go of. Many strong characters have not had easy pasts but they also learned a lot about themselves and what they can do for others.
  • Encourage someone else – When I feel really down sometimes, I rather focus on the good that others do and cheer them on. As a society, we tend to focus so much on the wrongs and shortcomings on others, but there is still good in the world and that’s where the light should be shone upon. You may feel like crap, but there’s no need to add to that crap in your system or give others crap. There is no need to compare and feel you are getting the short end of the stick. Spread love, spread positivity!

You could be going through worse circumstances than I was going through and you could be stronger than I am. However what we may have in common is that we should not quit at life. It would be easier to think something is not worth it and give up, it would be easy to become unethical or take advantage of others. It would be easy to become a sucky human being rather than to be proactive in doing things for yourself and others. Of course, it would give you gains in the short run but it would not be the case in the long run.

Which brings me to the last point:

  • Give yourself a break – Especially if you have been pushing hard for weeks or months. We may sometimes not know our limits. We let ourselves be taken for granted without caring about ourselves, we may work hard and hard not knowing when we should relax or let go. Life is not any easier as you grow older, but you would be surprised at the clarity you gain from just taking a break. You don’t have to quit. Keep yourself happy so that your loved ones would be happy. Don’t fall into the trap of letting all of that negativity go to your loved ones because they do not deserve it.

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Take a break once in a while. This long weekend could not have come at a better time for me. Time to be a couch potato and just colour with AK!

Sending love and happiness your way! xx

 

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