Are you suffering from burnout? Perhaps you are feeling overwhelmed? anxiety? tiredness? Just a few of the symptoms of doing too much. In my newsletter this week I discussed the importance of nurture in combating those feelings of burnout and I gave some strategies for noticing where in your life you are nurturing yourself and where you aren’t.
The importance of self-care, nurture and balance
If you follow this blog regularly then you will notice that I’ve been talking about the importance of self-care, nurture and balance with increasing regularity over the last year or so. I talk to so many friends and loved ones, business women and parents at the school gate who are feeling completely exhausted. In fact, a large proportion of my clients reach me displaying symptoms of burnout for a long time before they’ve taken the step to do work alongside a professional to do something about it.
We put up with the symptoms and warning signs of burnout and overwhelm for far too long before we do anything about it. Maybe we’re not aware what those signals are, perhaps we put a brave face on things, fearing that if we that we can’t handle the pace then we’ll get ‘found out’. Or, often we tell ourselves that we should toughen up. So many of us believe that we have to put up and shut up – I find that unless something dramatic happens that forces us to stop, or we get diagnosed with the physical or mental effects of nervous breakdown, then most people carry on regardless of just how bad, sad or mad we may be feeling.
Are you suffering from burnout right now?
Burnout displays itself as an indicator that you can’t handle it or that you feel you have failed in some way. Or that you are feeling extremely vulnerable. The truth is though that feeling this way shows you are a human being, with emotions, and feelings just like everyone else. You are doing the best that you can do with the information you have. You are enough. The thing is though, that you are probably focusing on everyone else first.
You don’t have to be collapsed in a heap on the floor or seeking therapy to be burnt out (though I would recommend getting professional support if it’s gone that far). Maybe you feel like you are just a little bit stressed out right now, a little tired from not sleeping or maybe you are sleeping more than normal. Perhaps you are finding it hard to concentrate or you’re getting panic attacks. There are many symptoms to stress and you can find out more on the mind website.
You cannot pour from an empty cup
Whether you describe it as refilling your cup or putting on your own oxygen mask it’s important that you look after yourself first. Although it may feel like we need to spend all of our time looking after others, it’s actually detrimental to both them and us. When our cup is full then we have more energy and capacity to serve those around us (and to serve ourselves).
Here are 7 questions designed to help you identify where and how you can take the time to avoid burnout and to refill your cup.
- In which area(s) of your life are you aware that you need to slow down?
- Who are you giving all your time and energy away to?
- What are those things that you wish you could more of / less of?
- What does self-care mean to you?
- What would you do to make yourself feel good/happy/relaxed/cared for if you had all the time and resources in the world?
- What does having fun mean to you?
- What can you do when you are at your absolute best?