There’s a lot of talk these days at work and in other spaces about burn out, what it is, how to deal with it and how prevent it from happening in the first place. I’m somebody that has been on the burn out continuum more or less consistently for the last ten years from a little burnt out to complete flame out. I think I’m feeling it again. I’m tired. I’m cranky. I get annoyed at small irritants at work. I lack patience for myself and others.
When my perfectionism meets taking on too much or feeling really stressed, I get angry and resentful at having to deal with the complications of life, both big and small. I lose my compassion and ability to see that everyone is just trying to do their best. My best isn’t good enough either.
This is the insidious thing about burn out, it often just creeps up on me. I can sometimes see it coming and try to do things that help stave it off a bit – exercise, eat right, sleep more, practice patience and gratitude. But at the end of the day, if I’m showing up at work every day feeling frustrated and annoyed, I know it’s time to take a break. This is the only thing that really works for me after so many years of flaming out over and over again. And that’s ok. It’s not a sign that I’m broken or incapable of handling stress. It’s a sign that I’m human and taking a break from a stressful job is a good idea.
Recognizing and respecting my limits is hard for me. I was raised to push myself. My dad’s favourite piece of feedback to me was, “don’t rest on your laurels”. Well laurels or not, I’d like to lie down now please. Because I’m tired and because I’m allowed. And so are you. xo Janet