Balancing Passion and Self-Care: My Battle with Burnout

I loved what I was doing, until it took over my life.

People prone to burn-out usually share this wonderful quality of putting their best into what they are doing with full passion.

`I am good at what I am doing, my results far outrun others, I am rocking it!`

Probably they are right too.

Not long ago, my life took a weird turn. Loving what I do, I found myself commuting for long hours across the city for my sessions and classes; squeezing gazillions of chats and messages on the drive as I were the #lincolnlawyer. While doing that I was still stressing about not doing enough for the many projects on my plate.

My Battle with Burnout

I forced myself to do some gym-hours and meet-ups with friends here and there, but most of my days ended with ordering in and emptying my mind by binge-watching. 

After a few weeks like that, I noticed that my eye started twitching. That was the first warning sign. 

But all the coming weeks were already scheduled?!! 

So, I had to keep going

Then came the many many moments, when I would open up an app or a page on my laptop not knowing why I did that. I kept staring and staring and staring some more. Maybe after an awkward amount of time it would dawn on me. 

My mornings started with checking urgent messages and scheduling around meetings, sessions and all. I`d be all on board with my clients and participants but felt totally disconnected from my circle of friends and family. There was absolutely no desire in me to meet or even hear from anyone at the end of a work-day. I just wanted to check out

As humans we are pretty much like onions, you un-skin a layer, another one pops right underneath. The same goes for our tendencies. This hype of dedicated busy-bee dynamic most often has its own layers of shadows like unworthiness, compensation or avoidance when you dig deep. 

3 Mindful Ways to Recover from Burnout

However now I`d like to focus on one of the end-results; the FREEZE response of our nervous system. 

All that disconnection, numbing checking-out behavior, dreamy, yet-empty states of mind, dulled senses and dimmed-off life are the typical symptoms of a nervous system so challenged that it goes into freeze-mode. 

The strength I had to snap out of that level of dissociation within a matter of weeks rather than months and years as some go through, was meditation. Having cultivated an easy access to the state of witness consciousness, I was aware of what was going on and I knew what I needed to do:

  1. Stepping out of the cycle: I booked myself an unplanned trip that would be my `deadline` for this flow. Stepping out and being in another environment can widely change one's perspective and bring freshness. A lot changed after that breather in my reality. 
  1. Quality connection: At those moments, any `entangled` or demanding connection may make things worse. Who makes you feel good and grounded? Whose presence makes you feel lighter and more peaceful? Old friend, mentor, family or a bunch of strangers volunteering for the same cause and cleaning a beach together? Whoever it is for you, go for that. The right kind of connection heals; not the ones you feel the pressure of attending to.  
  1. Meditate: This is the time when our soul yearns for intimacy with the Self. The key that unlocks that door could be meditation.  

I`d love to hear your go-to's when frozen:)

Copyright © 2024 Inner Contemplation LLC. All rights reserved.
closechevron-downbars linkedin facebook pinterest youtube rss twitter instagram facebook-blank rss-blank linkedin-blank pinterest youtube twitter instagram