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Oftentimes, when we hear the word “burnout,” we automatically associate it with frontline workers, physicians, nurses, first responders, et cetera. And, therefore, we dismiss that anyone else experiences it.
By definition, burnout is described as:
“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.”
During the ongoing pandemic, this feeling of overwhelm has not only tightened but blurred the line between professional and personal lives due to more people working and/or attending classes from home.
Burnout already existed in pre-pandemic times, but having to completely revamp our daily routines certainly has exacerbated the feeling of overload.
Nowadays, we find ourselves dealing with overcoming challenges, conflicts, and disagreements not only with work or school-related situations but simultaneously with personal interactions. Our partners and children are right there next to us, possibly causing distractions, spilling their complaints, dissatisfactions, and disagreements.
We now have to wear these hats at all times. We’re their peers, friends, coworkers, problem-solvers, and a sounding board—all the while dealing with our own circumstances.
No matter the job, it is easy to become engulfed in the tragedy of the daily grind, being swooped up by the vortex of ever-changing demands, personal and professional.
All we really want to do is find a space where we can “zone out,” find our voice, become centered—go back to the baseline.
However, this becomes more and more challenging due to the constant interchanging of roles. We are becoming beings with split personalities—addressing professional tasks and then, in a matter of seconds, we become a parent, a counselor, a teacher, a mediator, and then back to our professional role. It’s a hamster wheel with doors that open and close at any given moment.
Where do we go to center ourselves?
Are we allowed to be selfish and put ourselves in a time-out, or will society raise an eyebrow? Even though we spend so much time together (which is great), we still feel guilty when we want to step outside of the small circle and just be alone.
While we are alone, we often yearn to be with people, and when we are with them, we want to be by ourselves. It’s absolutely bonkers. We are trapping ourselves, physically and mentally.
I’m here to give you permission to escape for 30 to 60 minutes each day and just do what makes you feel happy and alive.
Take a walk, sweat it out in a workout, call your BFF or your favorite person, listen to your favorite music and dance your heart out, jam out on the guitar or drums, paint, bake, garden, watch your favorite show on the telly or just take a nap.
It is not only okay but absolutely necessary to do something for yourself every single day without guilt. Our mental health and well-being depend on it.
It’s not about validation from the outside anymore or having to please other people; it’s about you!
When you give, consult, problem-solve, assist, respond, and are going through your day with constant stop-and-go, it is essential to pause, slow it down and recharge. Do your best and then leave it at that.
We all try to be superhuman and live up to our own and other peoples’ expectations, and it is draining us of everything!
I hereby challenge you to be utterly selfish for 30 to 60 minutes each day; find your inner child again without a care in the world.
Will you accept this challenge?