When you are burned out, it also affects the soul level. You may have a dormant need for meaning, especially if you are an HSP. It may be necessary to ask yourself what the point of your burnout is. If you examine how it could have come to this, you can start to experience meaning in your life again.
Highly sensitive, soul and meaning
You are burned out on a physical, emotional, and mental level. You are out of balance on all these aspects. In a previous article, I already described the seven steps that are necessary for your recovery at different levels. Here I go deeper into what burnout really wants to teach us, at the soul level. That is the level at that we as an HSP can have dormant needs. Sometimes burnout is necessary to really open up to it.
What is the message of your burnout?
When we take our deeper desires and needs seriously, we experience more meaning. We are going to see the meaning of why we sat home exhausted. If we pay attention to what our body wants to tell us, namely that we need rest, we can start to recover. But then we can suddenly feel emotional.
If we allow and dare to feel our emotions, a world opens up for us. Our inner world. If we also learn to watch our thoughts, we can see where we are negative about ourselves. Or how we pressure ourselves with thoughts like ‘I have to’. This is essential for permanent recovery and to prevent new failures.
Burnout means: starting feeling again
Burnout is essentially an invitation to feel and be so true to yourself, instead of wanting to live up to expectations. Burnout often arises because we have gone on for far too long. We are in our heads and let ourselves be guided by ‘what must’. Meanwhile, we don’t feel our limits. That’s how we get out of balance.
To restore balance, it is important to be aware of what you feel in your body. The more you can focus on yourself, with your own feelings and needs, the less energy you lose.
Stand still and listen to whatever need, or impulse comes to mind and practice acting on it. Do you want to sleep? Then you go to sleep. Would you like to go for a walk? Then you go for a walk. Do you want to mess around in the house or in the garden? Go ahead! Do it for as long as you feel like it, and no longer.
Being in the now restores the balance
Reflecting on what is now, and not thinking about what needs to be done later, allows you to relax. Only when you are relaxed can you become aware of your inner world. Then you can feel what you feel like. If you start doing what you feel like, you can learn to enjoy it again.
What helps is meditation. That doesn’t mean you have to sit still for long. What matters is to be still for a moment and turn your attention inward. That’s how you come to yourself. Taking a few deep breaths in and blowing out slowly brings you into the now. What also works well is consciously relaxing your body, by mentally walking along your body from your feet to your head. Relax your legs, your arms, your back and stomach, your head, and your face. This brings you into a deep rest.
Meditating helps restore balance for HSPs
Meditating can be difficult. Not just for people who can’t sit still. For them, a movement meditation such as walking, dancing, yoga, or tai chi can be helpful. You may also have to face unpleasant feelings that arise when you are quiet. They are now asking for recognition and the best thing you can do is give them your full attention.
These are often emotions that we have suppressed for a long time. We once tucked them away because we couldn’t process them at the time. Maybe we were still kids and we didn’t know what to do with the situation. Or is it an event not so long ago that hit me very hard. As HSP, we experience such things deeply.
So stand still and turn your attention inward. Because if you keep running away from painful emotions, you won’t get to your feelings either. Then you will not discover what your limits and your needs are. Every time you experience restlessness or have lost a lot of energy, stop for a moment and make contact with your inner world. In this way you become aware of what lives in you and you can become friends with it.
From negative thoughts to peace in your head
You can also encounter negative thoughts during the period when you are exhausted at home. It’s like they’ve been waiting for this moment. You can’t run anymore. Use this time to examine your thoughts. What’s going on in your head? You may encounter the idea that you have failed. That is not nice. I recommend that you ask yourself where these thoughts come from.
As an HSP, you may have experienced little understanding of who you are in the past and have therefore started to doubt yourself. From that came the idea that you were doing something wrong. Meditating and seeking silence can therefore be unpleasant in the beginning. But if you persevere and accept what there is in thoughts, feelings, and emotions, then all the discomfort will dissolve. And underneath you find rest, peace, and joy.
The transformation from negative to positive
In practice, this is not as easily done as said. This change can be a process of transformation that takes time. That can be quite a long time, in our minds. Because something in us thinks we need to recover quickly, get back to work quickly, or meet other expectations. We like to be useful, and sitting at home tired is not suitable for that.
Still, it is sometimes impossible to be productive again if you have not yet properly processed a painful experience. As long as you still encounter a negative self-image, self-examination is important. Every time you go through a layer of pain in yourself, by accepting and feeling it, you restore the balance. Your mind is getting a little lighter and you’re going to see that you haven’t done anything wrong at all. You only thought so. This realization is healing.
HSP, do what you feel like
If all goes well, you will see life differently after a while. You have become more aware. Then you can come to feel what you really desire deep inside, where your inspiration lies. Then a new direction in your life or work can become visible. Maybe you want to do other work, work that gives you energy again. Or do you want to work less. Or take up a creative hobby.
During your further life journey, remember the lessons of burnout: regularly stop to feel whether you are still on the right track. Be still and ask yourself: what am I in the mood for? Which (small) step can and do I want to take now? This way you can give your life more meaning step by step.