Spread Your Wings… Write Your Book!
The Truth About BurnOut!
Glenna Mageau, Award Winning Author, Speaker, The Write Success Coach
Burnout is one of those things that pretty much everyone feels at some time or another in their life. It’s basically when you get to that point of “I’ve had enough! I can’t (don’t want to) keep doing this _______ (thing) anymore.”
I think women tend to feel this a lot more than men do. Why? Because women tend to take on a lot more. We multitask and do whatever needs to be done. And we are always thinking about how to do for others. So we tend to have a lot going on. No wonder we get to that point of ‘I can’t and won’t do this any more’.
Burnout is really a bigger sign than just “I can’t or won’t do this…” it is telling you, actually it really is screaming at you that you need to stop… everything and take stock of where you are at and what you are doing. But most of all, what do you want?
Do you feel lost?
Too often we tend to charge into life, generally with something to prove. We are going to fix the wrongs, make a difference and have fun doing it. Only… some of that gets lost along the way. We get lost along the way. We soon find ourselves slugging through stuff that we have time and again. It feels like there is no end. That we’ll never find our way out—it can be a career, a relationship, a lifestyle… We just tend to find ourselves stuck and feel like there is no where to turn and no one who gets what we’re going through.
I know for a long time I ignored my burnout, I just my head down and kept moving forward. What else was there for me? I had responsibilities—a family, a home, an ailing mother-in-law…
We feel like we are alone in how we feel!
Burnout isn’t a negative.
Even though burnout is a difficult thing to accept and acknowledge, it really isn’t a negative. I know it can feel like that. It can feel like your world is caving in and you can’t figure out what you did wrong.
The problem is that you didn’t do anything wrong… except forget to stop and take time for you.
Burnout is really the gift that says, ‘hey you haven’t been taking care of you, time to stop doing everything for everyone else and take me time’.
It took me a while to see it as a positive, I thought I had just failed because I couldn’t do everything any more.
“Burnout is the hip check that is meant to
knock you off your current course.”
Are you listening!
Many people look at burnout as being something that can easily be fixed by a vacation or a change for a short period of time. Don’t get me wrong vacation, doing me time stuff, is really important but burnout means that something big needs to change in your life.
It means it is time to take stock of what has meaning for you? What do you need to ‘feel’ again? What will rejuvenate and regenerate your soul?
Taking care of yourself is key.
Taking care of yourself might be simply making sure that you are doing some self care—yoga, meditation, learning a new skill, music, painting, writing, walks in nature… Or it might mean that it is time to make some changes to that part of your life that isn’t working for you, that isn’t fulfilling you.
It truly was the best decision I made. I quit my job… again. It took me 3 different times to quit the same job before I made it stick. It was then that I really started to take care of myself. Writing had always been my go to, to escape life and responsibility and overwhelm… But now writing became so much more because I really started looking at who I was and what I needed. I started to take care of me for a change.
It’s time to put Me First!
Questions to ask yourself.
If you are feeling burnout, it means that you really need to step back from all that is going on in your life and really look at it:
What parts of my life do I like?
What parts of my life are soul-sucking?
What would I really like to do? Do I know?
Am I living my life with passion and purpose? Am I reaching for my dream?
Am I feeling disconnected?
What is burnout really keeping me from achieving?
What do I really want?
Pushing ahead is not the answer. Believe me I did that for a long time. I had a lot to prove, I could do it all—be educated, work in management, work a lot of hours, have a family and be there for them… It didn’t work well for my health or my sanity.
Understanding what you need and want is so important. You’re worth it!
Get in touch with your creative side.
We are all born creative but somewhere along the way we often let it go—we don’t have time, it’s too expensive, we don’t feel we’re any good at it, life gets in the way, it didn’t take you where you thought it would… So we stop writing, painting, drawing, sculpting, singing, dancing, playing, creating… But all of this is key to who we truly are.
Our creativity is what feeds our soul and is why it is so important that we step back into that creativity. It is the best way to discover the true essence of ourselves and to regain that part of us that we often feel like we lose as we go through life.
Creativity is so much more than an outlet, it is expression, it is playful, it is energizing, it is freeing, it is soul connecting, it is community building, it inspires others… It is yours to discover. And it might be the best cure for burnout!
What is your creative talent?