Sitting in my therapist’s office, I realized I had hit the danger zone. The wear and tear of my recent whirlwind of trips, hopping between three states, navigating three different airports, and running through every terminal in DFW, was finally catching up with me.
As I tried to hold myself together, my therapist looked at me and said,
“You don’t look okay.”
I sat there a little taken back (She doesn’t come out and say things like that!?) But as soon as the words crossed her lips, I knew it was true.
The fatigue, the exhaustion, and the strain were showing up in my body, and I could feel it.
That was the moment I knew I had to take a hard stop. This was all feeling a little TOO familiar…
The Go-Go-Go Cycle and Its Pitfalls
One of the main reasons burnout sneaks up on us even when we know better is the relentless pursuit of keeping up with everyone else.
In a world where FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out) is a powerful motivator, we push ourselves to ‘be and see everything,’ even when our energy is waning.
We convince ourselves that we can handle it all, only to crash later. The go-go-go cycle, fueled by our desire to fit in and not miss out, ramps up our adrenaline.
This rush can mask the signals our body sends when it’s screaming for a break. And that’s exactly what was happening to me…
It wasn’t until I got home that I ‘crashed’ – the fatigue was deep in my bones – I was mentally and physically exhausted.
The Deceptive Allure of Mixing Business with Pleasure
My recent trips were a mix of business and pleasure, a tempting combination that can blur the boundaries between work and relaxation.
Everyone always thinks it’s sexy, cool, and exciting to travel for work… spoiler alert, it’s not.
There are bad flights, crummy food, not sleeping in your own bed, and living out of a suitcase.
Regardless of the purpose of traveling or vacation, the toll on the body remains the same.
Balancing work commitments and personal enjoyment is tricky, and the lines often blur, leading us to overextend ourselves without realizing it.
We end up multitasking, thinking we’re efficient, but in reality, we’re draining our energy reserves even further…
The Power of Self-Compassion and the Struggle to Slow Down
The hardest part of this realization was convincing myself that it was okay to take a day or two just for me.
In a society that glorifies busyness, the idea of slowing down feels counterintuitive. I had to battle my inner critic, the voice that told me I was slacking off or falling behind.
However, once I allowed myself to take a break, my body rebelled. I felt the heat and inflammation spread across me, a physical manifestation of the stress I had been ignoring.
Sometimes when we finally let ourselves relax, we feel worse before we feel better. But I continued to protect my energy for the next several days, and I felt like a new person after!
The Wrap: We Are All at Risk
As someone who writes about burnout and advocates for self-care, I want to emphasize that I am not an expert or immune to its effects.
None of us are.
We are all vulnerable to burnout, regardless of our knowledge or awareness. It’s a reminder that we need to be kinder to ourselves, listen to our bodies, and recognize our limits.
Taking care of ourselves isn’t just about bubble baths and spa days; it’s about setting boundaries, saying no when necessary, and giving ourselves permission to rest.
Burnout doesn’t discriminate; it can affect anyone, even those who preach self-care.
In sharing my story, I hope to remind you that it’s okay to slow down, to take a break, and to prioritize your well-being. Remember, you are worthy of love, care, and rest.
Take care of yourselves, my friends!
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