Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Out of energy?

Burnout. Have you ever experienced it? I have had several clients who have, and I won't say it's epidemic. But I will say lots of people are experiencing it these days. Whatever word you want to use, it amounts to being depleted, fried, completely exhausted with absolutely few to no reserves left on which to draw. Are you irritable? Having no fun at all? Craving more sleep—and dreading morning when you have to get up and face the day?

If that describes you, please do something about it before you end up sick or in the hospital. Your car will not run when the gas tank is empty. You cannot draw water from a well that's gone dry. You are no different. When you are just dry inside and have nothing more to give, it's time for a refill. It's time for some restorative therapy. Way past time, actually!

In her book Fried: Why You Burn Out and How to Revive, Joan Borysenko describes her own descent into burnout and gives practical steps that she used to recover. I highly recommend this book.

One of the things she advises is to reach out for social support, which, she says "strengthens immunity, releases feel-good hormones, helps protect cardiovascular health, and keeps the ship of life afloat." Using whatever methods you can, she advises learning to be compassionate to yourself. Kristin Neff has done work on self-compassion, and Borysenko also has done a CD Meditations for Courage and Compassion.  She has also set up a Facebook page on burnout where several people gather to discuss their experience of it and what they've done to recover.

Love yourself. Put yourself first for a change. Try meditation, yoga, exercise, more sleep, healthy eating or whatever things will feed and nurture you. Learn how to say "no" and engage in self-care. Find whatever works for you, knowing that each of us is unique and responds to different therapy. I invite you, too, to contact me should you wish to discuss this.

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