Have you ever felt like life has drained all the energy and passion out of you? Well friend, I’ve been there. A few years ago, I was an overtrained Ironman athlete going full-speed into the next race.
And the next race.
And the next race….
Not to mention, my competitiveness crept into my career in tech marketing, and I worked like crazy climbing the corporate ladder. This season of life was busy, chaotic, and full of adrenaline…but it all caught up to me.
Yes, burnout knocked me flat on my back, leading to chronic disease and a deep loss of personal identity.
As I look back, my journey from that point was quite the rollercoaster, but it helped me discover ways to find that lost spark again and finally tune into who I really am.
So, how do you get that fire burning again?
Burnout Is Common (Here’s Why!)
Burnout feels like it’s become the universal language of the working world—seriously, it seems to be lurking around every corner, like a silent epidemic in today’s relentless hustle and bustle.
The World Health Organization has even given it a label, terming it an “occupational phenomenon.” Basically a fancy term for something that feels like you’re being sucked into a void…
I’ve been there, a whirlpool of pressures, deadlines, and demands that could drain the life out of even the most resilient among us.
I’ve felt the exhaustion seep into my bones, my passion for everything wane, and my enthusiasm for life dissolve, leaving behind a shell of my former self.
….and to be candid—it downright sucks.
The feeling of being lost and depleted is more common than we realize. It’s not just about being tired; it’s about being emotionally, mentally, and physically drained.
It’s like every ounce of your being is screaming for a break, for some semblance of balance and peace. It’s a mental and emotional exhaustion that no amount of sleep, puppy love or spa days can seem to cure.
How To Re-Spark Your Passion When You’re Burned Out
I’m also here to tell you that there’s light, there’s hope, and there’s a path that leads away from exhaustion and back to your true self.
My journey, the ups, the downs, the twists, and the turns, has taught me that there’s a way out – there’s a way to reclaim your passion, your joy, and your life.
I’m living to tell the story…here’s exactly what helped me find my way back. Let’s dig in 🙂
1. Move Your Body
Remember those good ol’ days when I was an Ironman athlete? Movement and exercise were my world, my antidote to everything stressful. The only problem: I was addicted.
Today, after a lot of therapy and inner work, I’ve learned to practice a more mindful approach to movement that works with me and not against me. It’s about listening to the signals my body is sending – listen when it needs a break and acknowledge when it needs some physical activity. (Just because something is on TrainingPeaks doesn’t mean you HAVE to do it!)
Read more about my workout plan post-burnout: THE EXACT WORKOUT PLAN I’M FOLLOWING TO AVOID BURNOUT (AGAIN)
When life begins to feel overwhelming, I totally get that there’s nothing like shaking it off with a short jog, a nature walk, or any form of exercise that brings you joy. But I learned that 5-hour bikes and 15-mile runs were more of an added stress than a stress reliever to my mind and body. But that’s me – and we’re all different!)
Today, I still find solace in the rhythmic movement of my running, losing myself in the pulse of my heartbeat and the cadence of my breath. There’s nothing I love more…I pray, I think, I prepare my mind and body for the day ahead… It’s my ‘me time’ 🙂
What’s that for you?
“Sometimes, we must lose ourselves to find ourselves.” – Sonny Long
During the height of my struggle with burnout, I finally came to understand how important it was to pause, to breathe, and to reconnect with what holds true value and meaning.
It was a time of introspection, of revisiting passions I had forgotten, and of reigniting relationships that had fallen by the wayside in the hustle of life. This included my family, my best friends, and my marriage… sadly, I had let things go far too long.
I realized that so much of my stress and worries were coming from a place of disconnection, not just with others but with myself as well.
Where had I gone?
What was I doing?
Who was this person in front of me living his life on autopilot?
As I begin putting my life back together, the most transformative connection I reestablished was my relationship with God. It was a time of spiritual awakening, a rediscovery of faith that shifted my perspective dramatically, helping me see beyond my pain, beyond my exhaustion.
This spiritual reconnection didn’t just alter my viewpoint; it laid the foundation for a journey of true healing and self-discovery. I learned the beauty of surrendering control, of allowing myself to be led by divine grace and leaning into His perfect timing.
When we don’t know where to even start, the easiest thing is to simply ‘look up’ …
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.”’ – Matthew 11:28
3. Learn From People Who Have Been There
I never envisioned myself as someone who would share lessons from my journey through severe burnout and chronic illness…
Yet, here I am, opening up my heart, a living testament to the resilience of the human spirit and the transformative power of faith.
Why? Because there’s transformative power in shared experiences.
When we realize that we’re not alone, we can find the potential for growth and renewal within each one of us again.
Throughout this journey, I’ve had the opportunity to connect with remarkable individuals who’ve navigated through their own storms of life. Their stories, rich with wisdom and resilience, were like beacons of light, guiding me through my darkest times. (This was first level connections or even things like youtubes and podcasts!)
The journey through burnout, as painful as it was, became a catalyst for learning, for evolving, and for becoming a better, wiser version of myself.
And for that, I’m thankful ….
“Learn from the mistakes of others. You can’t live long enough to make them all yourself.” – Eleanor Roosevelt
4. Do Something For Someone Else
Even in the thick of my toughest days, I found a surprising bit of brightness by being there for others. Sometimes, this was reaching out to other chronic illness warriors, or friends who needed an extra bit of encouragement, when I was able, volunteering with run groups or church.
Making a positive impact on the lives of others, especially when you don’t have the energy to do so for yourself, can be incredibly transformative. It’s a reminder that life is still beautiful and full of meaning despite the difficult times you may be going through.
It can also lead to some amazing connections and a renewed feeling of belonging. It’s almost like when you’re focused on lighting up someone else’s day, your own problems seem a bit lighter.
So do something for someone else – it can be as small as sending a text or making a kind gesture.
What can you do today for someone else?
“I have found that among its other benefits, giving liberates the soul of the giver.” — Maya Angelou
5. Take A Step Back, Look At The Big Picture
Living through burnout, for me, was like seeing the world through a different lens—it changed my perspective on life completely.
Suddenly, the things I valued and chased after seemed less significant, and I was forced to reassess what truly mattered. And here’s a little nugget of wisdom I discovered along the way: when life gets overwhelming, taking a step back and looking at the bigger picture can be incredibly helpful.
Will this matter in 10 minutes?
This simple 10-10-10 reflection can put things into perspective and make navigating through life’s chaos much more manageable.
Sometimes, life’s unexpected detours, its ups, and downs, are what lead us to find our true path and passion.
So next time you feel lost in the daily grind, take a moment to reflect on the bigger picture, to realign your goals with your true self, and to remember what really matters.
Because, at the end of the day, it’s loving what we do and staying true to who we are that brings true fulfillment and happiness.
The Wrap – Finding Your Passion in the Midst of Burnout
Absolutely, my journey has its own nuances, its individual moments of pain and realization, but the core experience—navigating burnout—is something many of you can relate to.
And the road to rediscovering ourselves might be fraught with hurdles, but it’s these very challenges that bring forth learning and growth.
By moving your body, reconnecting with your inner self and others, seeking wisdom from those who have walked the path, and looking at the bigger picture, you’re on the right path.
So, here’s to embracing change, to finding joy in the little things, and to reigniting the flame within….
I’m cheering you on!
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