Burnout & the cycle of four seasons: burnout is a winter phase in your life

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Burnout & the cycle of four seasons: burnout is a winter phase in your life

Over the past few weeks, I noticed a number of burnout symptoms in myself again. Instead of panicking and fearing relapse, I thought, ‘But of course, it’s just winter in my life again. ‘ I recognized that a cycle of four seasons had passed. Which took up the last five years of my life. I’ll take you through it briefly.

The past seasons

My burnout was the first winter phase of my life (at least the first I consciously went through). I turned inward, providing rest and relaxation. Nurtured my own roots and taught me to surrender to life in confidence.

Slowly but surely spring has arrived. I started a new job as a tour guide abroad. All kinds of fruitful ideas arose in my head, I finished my first book, met a new love, and started a study.

Then it became summer. My relationship was going well. My ideas became concrete, for example, I started organizing therapeutic surf weeks. As icing on the cake, I rented a house on the beautiful northern coast of Spain, which I had dreamed of living for so long.

I didn’t see autumn coming. On the one hand, there was the harvest, which translated into my business that started to run well and brought beautiful people on my path. Also in enjoying my new home at the Atlantic Ocean. On the other hand there was loss and withering. My relationship ended unexpectedly and very painfully. This ushered in a period of intense grief, deep grief, and emotional pain. Which eventually led to a return to Belgium.

Winter again

Burnout & the cycle of four seasons: burnout is a winter phase in your life

Before I realized that I’m just back in the winter, I went through a real hell. Which was purely caused by my own thoughts. I felt failed and back to square one because I was again all alone in Belgium. I was in a vicious circle of negative thoughts, little energy, no inspiration, and neither wanting nor enjoying anything. What a relief it was to suddenly recognize my own nature again! To surrender completely to the needs of the winter season. After all, I only have to look at nature to know what I can give myself in this phase.

I also realized that the many tears I had shed during the fall only served to make room for the new. Because of this I rediscovered meaning. And that makes a world of difference.

Winter needs

A tree in winter does not send its energy to its empty branches, no, it draws in its juice of life, deep into its roots. Just like we don’t have to look for the answers in our heads during a burnout or other winter phase. As we, unfortunately, try to do en masse. No, we need to feed our own roots. You need to find who you are and what makes you happy. Ask yourself the question: ‘What makes me me?’

I know that during my burnout I had to dig very deep to formulate answers. It was very confronting then how far I was from myself. Fortunately, I am much better in touch with myself now. So I know what I have to give myself at the moment and above all, do it effectively. So that the creative power in me, alias the juice of life, can start flowing again. (And I can write this blog, for example.)

Moreover, winter is a time of joyful anticipation. After all, staying in winter only means one thing: that spring is coming again! Even if you can’t see it yet, everything is happening beneath the surface.

Burnout & the cycle of four seasons: burnout is a winter phase in your life

Trusting nature

There is no one who does not trust that after winter comes spring.
No one goes mad in the fall because the leaves fall from the trees.
No one expects summer to last forever.
And yet that is exactly what we do in our own lives,
while we are part of the same natural creative force.

What if I trusted the natural creative power in my own life as much as in nature? I am nature after all! It’s something I invite myself to: to live in complete surrender. To be ordinary, just like nature.

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