I’ve been burning the candle at both ends. I actively took steps to alleviate stress, engage in self-care, and utilize my support system. However, it might have been too little too late.
To no one’s surprise (including my own), I am burnt the fuck out. Between a promotion, a second part-time job, and a new relationship, it is a lot. My one job alone possesses five or six different duties. Literally everyone around me told me that I am doing too much and that no average person can handle this workload. Throw in managing my fibromyalgia symptoms that stress exacerbates, and my burnout threshold lowers even more.
Whenever my stress levels break through this threshold, I feel it like a motherfucker. I saw this infographic in a Facebook group a few weeks back, and, oh boy, did it ring true.
I would say that ALL ten of these signs snuck up on me at some point. I woke up irritable most days. I constantly felt tension stretch across my scalp or exhausted for no reason. However, there was one on this list that stuck out.
I never though about that as a sign of burnout, but it made sense. During a time when you already feel down on yourself, apathetic, or scattered, the first thing out the window would be the basic necessities. On the contrary, these daily self-care activities might be the one thing keeping you afloat during your burnout. Someone stops doing those and begins to feel worse. As they feel worse, they aren’t following through on these basics. Here in lies the vicious cycle that can fuel burnout further.
Seeing the comments underneath this infographic and knowing I was not alone felt good to see. This also meant that there were ways to work on it.
In talking to my therapist and health guide this week, I brainstormed ways to help me stick to my guns and engage in daily self-care. A lot of it came down to slowing myself down. By removing the rushed feeling and tapping into rational thinking, I could take my time. By taking my time, I can make my well-informed decisions and go one step at a time. This way I can make that vicious cycle turn back around.
-The Caring Counselor