Raise your hand if you have ever felt burnout. Now you can put your hand down. If you are reading a blog like this, you have probably felt exhausted, overwhelmed and burnt out. When we do our best to live an amazing life, we can tackle too many things. Juggling, work, parenting, social obligations, family and friend obligations and maybe if we are lucky, throw in a little self-care. Does this sound familiar? As a high achiever, we are all guilty of this at one time or another.
The quote above highlights a good reason why. By doing so, it also gives us the key to getting out of these feelings. The part of the quote that I am referring to is the part about your soul departing. How many times have you been pursuing a passion and you just felt totally overwhelmed? I would say that is a rare moment. When we are doing something we are truly called to, we could be without sleep, haven’t ate in 2 days and barely drinking any water. That is why pursuing a passion is one key element to avoid burn out. You may be thinking, “I already have too much to do! That is why I am feeling burned out.” That leads us to our second, and very important, tool to eliminate burn out.
The second thing you should do is to question the why behind what it is you are doing. Are you doing something because you would feel guilty if you did not? Stop it. Are you doing it just to please someone else? Stop it. This can be a very difficult process for a lot of people. We can find ourselves doing so many things that do not serve us in any way. That is not to say you cannot help or do something for someone else. If helping your neighbor move would make you feel good because he is always doing things for you, then go right ahead. If going to grocery store for your spouse even though you are dead tired would make you feel good because you feel it would demonstrate how much you care, then go ahead.
Here is the tricky thing, if your neighbor has never spoke to you, or maybe you have a bad back, then feel free to say “No”. If you feel that driving to the store would be unsafe because you are too tired do not do it. If you are only going because you feel your spouse would be mad, don’t go. Saying “No” and standing up for ourselves can be one of the most difficult things we have to do. The payoff, however, is having the energy to do what we should be.
Have you ever felt like you are doing everything right and still nothing good seems to be coming of it? It may be that you are doing everything right, but you are not doing the right things. Remember saying “No” does not have to be mean. It does not make you a mean person. When we take control of our own physical, mental and spiritual well-being, we have more energy to bring to the items that stir our soul. This is far from easy, and may have to be done several times. Personally, after a long day working at the post office, I am so tired, it is hard to have the energy to write. Honore de Balzac once said, “Were it not for coffee one could not write, which is to say one could not live.” He also used to drink 50 cups of coffee a day. I am working on my third as I sit at Starbucks typing this very post. This is not the best health regimen. However, writing is my passion. Looking forward to this allows me to have the energy to make it through my 10 hour day at the post office. It also allowed me to say “No” to an additional 2 hours that were offered to me.
We must also look at the payoff of the actions we choose. Had I accepted the additional 2 hours, it would have been some nice money. This is good as Margie and I are planning to go on vacation soon. It would, however, leave me feeling to exhausted to get any writing done. This would not only leave me tired, but frustrated. Not having the energy to pursue my passion and purpose. Make sure this weekend you only say “Yes” to what you have a good why for.