14 Feb Trusting the Message of Burnout
How to forget what everyone else says and listen to your inner wisdom.
Anne Helen Peterson describes burnout as the contemporary condition amongst millennials.
Tiana Clark describes burnout as “the steady state of black people in this country for hundreds of years.”
Shannon Palus describes burnout as “the condition of being human in a capitalist society.”
Peterson’s article “How Millenials Become the Burnout Generation” raises many questions about our society’s view on how to heal burnout. The concern lies in the fact that her approach to burnout is applicable only to a certain white, privileged demographic.
As a response to the article, Clark and Palus talk about how difficult it can be to remedy burnout when you lack said privileges. For example, if you don’t have the resources to perform self-care rituals, or if you don’t have time to focus on what you really want because of overwhelming responsibilities.
Although Clark and Palus make valid points, I’m here to make a gentle reminder that a simple change in perspective can help people see burnout as an opportunity to move through the world in a balanced way. A way that’s based on who they truly are; not the values and expectations that have been imposed on them by society or circumstance.
Although partaking in therapy, buying a gym membership, and using expensive bath products are one way to view self-care, there is a lot to be found in simple and free tasks like breathing, meditating, making art, getting enough sleep, and at-home yoga.
Dr. Surakshit Goswami, the first person to earn their PhD in yoga, says, “If we just concentrate on our breath whenever we can remember it, no matter what we are doing – whether eating, talking on the phone, or working in the office – if we just bring our attention to our breath, our mind will immediately start to relax.”
Redefine what self-care is to you and search for various possibilities.
Listen to Yourself
Place trust in your inner wisdom instead of the constant chatter of the media, both traditional and social.
This brings us back to our first point – although social media depicts self-care with bath bombs and manicures, listening to your inner wisdom can shed some authenticity on what you really need. And often, what you really need is just some time sitting alone in silence to find your clarity.
Reducing your time spent on social media can help you find freedom from stories and beliefs that hold you back from being your best self. This time can help you find your center to reveal meaning and fulfillment in your day-to-day, even when work and other responsibilities are feeling lackluster.
Focus on living life instead of optimizing it. Productivity is heavily valued in our capitalist society, but if we don’t stop to smell the roses, our minds will be in a constant state of “go, go, go.” This mentality is what triggers anxiety and sleep disorders – and eventually, burnout.
Accept who you are instead of trying to fit into a model that’s not suited for you. Acceptance is the key to living your purpose without judgment.
This also means letting go of the idea that you’re superhuman and you have to do it all. Wherever you are in your journey, it’s important to stop the comparisons and accept where you are here and now.
Let Go of Guilt
What we can ultimately learn from Peterson, Clark, and Palus is that burnout can be experienced by anyone, regardless of their circumstances. I’m here to remind you that burnout is not your fault. And listening to your body, mind, soul, and your heart’s desire during a time of burnout is a chance to write your own rules, create alignment with your personal values, and find clarity in your inner truth.
Another gentle reminder that breathing, meditation, a good night’s sleep, and exercise are simple, immediate, and affordable ways to prevent and heal burnout.
If your inner wisdom is saying that you need some help healing your burnout, click here to find out what my services can do for you.