“In dealing with those who are undergoing great suffering, if you feel “burnout” setting in, if you feel demoralized and exhausted, it is best, for the sake of everyone, to withdraw and restore yourself. The point is to have a long-term perspective.” – Dalai Lama
Have you reached a point where the things that you once looked forward to have become a chore and no longer excite you? Are activities that at one time recharged you battery now failing you at your time of need? Are you more easily exhausted, frustrated and annoyed with yourself and others? Is your patience wearing thin?
If any of the above describes how you are feeling more than you used to, I know how you feel. It is one that I lived in for many years and still meet up with once in a while. This is a type of burnout that affects our work, relationships, sleep, eating, sex lives and attitudes. As a Rabbi and Addictions/Spiritual Counselor, I experience burnout with frequency. I no longer worry about it as today I have tools to restore myself in the face of exhaustion.
There is a way out and I offer some suggestions to help you and me cope with these times whenever they occur.
- Regroup your social life and get together for brunch, coffee, bowling, phone chats, walks or whatever activity you like with people you have stopped seeing. Reconnect you to you and see the need for downtime in your life.
- As we meet up with burnout, we literally stop “burning off” and start pounding on. We give up exercise for cookies and cream, the sofa and remote control. Get your butt up and burnout taking care of your body, not ignoring it. There is something you can do! That is the key, do something!
- Find a way to share your time giving to others. Find an organization, cause or issue that drives your passion and join others in making your slice of life a better place for you and those you help.
- Create a manuscript of what you truly want from your life. We all lose track of time and even worse, what gives us joy. Refocus and renew the vision you once had for a happy and fulfilling life. It is within your reach one eye opening moment at a time.
- Let some one who loves you know you are suffering and could use their help. I know how prideful we can be when it comes to letting others know we are not okay, but they already know. They just don’t know how to help. They want to. Ask for help. You deserve to feel better.
- Find reasons to laugh as laughter reduces tension faster than just about anything. It would be ideal if you could be the source of the laughter so you could renew your self image as a fun loving and joyful person.
- Whose fault is it today? When we reach the burnout state of mind, we have reached the stage of blaming everyone in sight. Stop that right now and hold yourself accountable for where you are. You will feel worse for the moment and better within minutes as you are now back in control.
This is your life, your burnout and your choice to feel better. There are many other strategies to cope with and rise from burnout. Try these and add your own that help you along the way, but do something. You are way too valuable to sit this one out and let your life go by.
My prayer for you today is that you see the need for you to be vigilant every day to take better care of yourself and avoid the pain of burnout.
Continue your journey toward spiritual and emotional wellness by contacting me today. You may reach me via phone at 954-755-3764 or email Rabbi Mitch.