This month I’d been asked to present locally to two different groups on the topics of Burn-out Prevention, and Caring for the Caregiver. Eagerly, I said “Yes, I love these topics!” I have done lots of previous reading and research; and I thoroughly believe in spreading the word on these topics through supportive dialogue.
So, I began gathering my data, writing my outlines, and working hard. I mean really working hard in several different areas of life at the same time. Business ventures, family needs, work, and in the treasured time with my clients as well. It was great, and then as several deadlines came to a head at the same time I started to feel it…..the dreaded momentum slump, avoidance, fatigue, and worry. Worry about weird stuff, irrelevant stuff, and constant distraction. It was here, and what was I going to do about it this time? Oh, yeah, and what exactly was it that I was coming down with? An oncoming flu, cold, or could it be…burnout?
No, way I thought, “I’ve been studying this for years, I have a handle on that one, I can see burnout coming from a mile away!” But as I tracked my energy dropping and the wall of inactive-slow-motion forming, I could tell that if I was really honest with myself, I was entering delicate territory.
Through preparing for my presentations I was reminded of three important aspects in regards what could be going on (as indicated by my symptoms) :
- Worn-out, is being physically worn down. Note that this one can be remedied with rest and sleep.
- Stressed-out. This is mental and emotional fatigue, overly active anxious energy and constant thinking/worrying. De-stressing techniques are in order.
- Burned-out. This the biggie that includes physical, emotional, and mental fatigue or heaviness. All three aspects need attention and “rebooting”.
After taking a closer look, I could tell I was hovering somewhere between worn-out and stressed-out. Time to take action! Or in may case it was conscious non-action that was most needed. I packed up my jewelry booth where I was selling my wares at a local craft market. I went home and tucked myself in for a thorough rest. When I woke up, I rearranged my schedule, got a realistic picture of my energy levels and capacity to complete what I could actually accomplish and what it was that I needed to do. I patiently held through the stop-go, stop-go pace of the next bit of time until I was more rested and recovered from the overly-full past few weeks. This lesson came at the perfect time before my community presentations on the exact topic, and before burnout had fully entered. Life brings us just what we need, and the supports and resources are always within “arm’s reach”, (or right inside of ourselves as I find is more often the case).
Learning and observing the differences between worn-out, stressed-out, and burned-out can be valuable tools as you’re building your own wisdom bank of self-knowledge. Blessings to you in your discoveries!