My sister and I can use one simple word to communicate an entire state of being.
When those six little letters get spoken we instantly know the other is experiencing complete and utter burnout.
We are at the point where we just can’t take in one more thing, because the brain has stopped being able to process new information. We become emotional and tend to overreact to small things.
Mole hills have become mountains and we are clawing our way to the top of all of them. In reality, we just want to dig under the mountain and hide.
Does this sound familiar to you at all?
Unfortunately, being crispy is now a way of life in our go-go world. I believe the advent of smart phones, social media and a 24-hour news cycle has created a non-stop need for stimulation that, combined with the responsibilities of everyday life, is a formula for disaster. We fill our days with status updates and newsfeeds and whatever is trending and pretty soon, BOOM! Our brain is fried and our motivation to push through has been turned to a pile of ash.
This happened to me for many years while my children were small. I ignored the signs of burnout until I either made myself sick or self-medicated with my “drug” of choice: Food. But I finally realized burnout was something that could not be snubbed by just pretending it wasn’t there. It was coming whether I liked it or not—unless I figured out some healthier ways of managing it.
So that’s what I did.
In my quest for a healthier state of mind I discovered that burnout can be temporary. Maybe not as fleeting as the 24-hour stomach flu, but once I was able to take a step back and assess what was really happening I realized there was a way out for me.
I was finally able to put two and two together and conclude that taking the opportunity to “check out” every once in a while made all the difference in my fast-paced world. Everyone has different ways they like to unwind, but I thought I’d share a few of my favorites. Maybe it will give you something to add to your repertoire of burnout remedies!
TURN TO THE SMALL SCREEN
My go-to lifesaver is losing myself in Netflix or Amazon, even if just for an hour. There is something infinitely satisfying about being able to immerse yourself in the lives of so many unique characters and storylines. My current obsessions are Murdoch Mysteries, Roswell and Dr. Who!
Taking a day to completely disconnect from technology is so liberating. I go back to the time when the phone was used to simply get a hold of someone out of necessity (or, bonus, I seek people out in person!) I don’t look up news, or play games, or check social media. You may be surprised to realize your phone isn’t the lifeline we’ve all made it to be.
EXERCISE WITHOUT EXPECTATIONS
More often than not we may get on the treadmill or step in a class and become all-consumed with how many calories we’ve burned or how well we’ve performed. But that can be stressful too! To combat this, I like to just step outside and go for a walk with the kids. We just walk and talk, and take the time to stop and smell the proverbial roses. We don’t check our fitness trackers for distance or worry about duration. We simply enjoy being surrounded by each other and the great outdoors, and that is a wonderful place to be.
TAKE A ROAD TRIP
Now that we can see spring on the horizon there is no better way to recharge than with a mini road trip. About this time last year I loaded up the kids and we took off for day trips to nearby places like Hoover Dam, Lake Havasu and Kingston, AZ. While the destinations were cool, it was really more about getting out of the city to explore something new and spend quality time reconnecting with each other. Combine this with disconnecting from technology for the day and you have a double dose of recharging!
Do you ever experience complete burn out? What methods of recharging work for you? Share in the comments!