The real cause of your burnout is not the long-term stress, but the way you deal with yourself, your environment and tension.
One in seven people has complaints that are related to burnout, or that can lead to burnout. Simply put, that could mean that two of your 15 colleagues have gone way beyond their limits. Their stress bucket is overflowing and they suffer from various complaints: continuous fatigue, a very short fuse, gloom, anxiety, or perhaps depression. Or are you one of the colleagues who recognize these complaints in themselves?
How does burnout arise?
Everyone has stress from time to time. A deadline that you may not be able to meet, the birthday you have to go to now, the food that burns. But stress can (fortunately) also be positive. For example, when you are nervous on the day of an important tennis match. Positive stress is important to keep things in balance. But if you are exposed to negative stress for a longer period of time and you can no longer take a breather for relaxation or a portion of positivity, the accumulated tension can lead to burnout. If you act now, there is a good chance that you will recover.
Where do the complaints come from?
You can examine yourself holistically. This means that you look at what is happening to you on all levels, from an open and critical attitude. This way you can discover where your complaints really come from and then how you can tackle them. In fact, the real cause of your burnout is not the long-term stress, but the way you deal with yourself, your environment, and tensions.
Treating the cause has a much higher chance of recovery than just treating the symptoms. Difficult? Yes, really seeing yourself is often not easy. But to really feel healthy and happy (again), it is essential that you know and loves yourself. I would like to give you some tips to examine yourself holistically so that you can find and tackle the cause of burnout.
Physical level: feeling your body
Burnout can lead to all kinds of physical complaints. Headaches, tense shoulders, unexplained pain, intestinal complaints… Check with yourself what you feel in your body. What symptoms do you have and where are they located in your body? Feeling your body, being aware of everything that goes on there, is an important step in treating your burnout.
This meditation helps you to feel your body:
Mentally: send your thoughts (away)
At the mental level, you can think of mood swings, poor concentration, little interest, and bad dreams. What predominates on a mental level are your thoughts. Thoughts largely determine how you feel and behave. When you have burnout or are facing it, it is mainly negative thoughts that keep returning. The danger is that you will start to believe in this yourself! By constantly thinking that you can’t do anything, you can convince yourself that this is indeed the case. And that can have consequences such as low self-esteem, little to no self-confidence, and sadness.
Take a look at what recurring thoughts you have. Realize that you control what thoughts you want to have. Try to influence the thoughts that are negative: send them away and make room in your head to think positively. Your negative thoughts do not serve you, but only get in your way. Imagine a cloud passing by. Post your negative thoughts on this and let them drift away with the wind.
Emotional: what makes you happy?
In burnout, fear, sadness, despair, and lack of self-love can play a major role. Just like on the physical level, it is important to feel your emotions. When you realize that you have them, and therefore aren’t, it becomes a lot easier to just let them in. By letting them in, you can also let them go. Here too, you create space: for more self-love and for emotions such as joy, happiness, and being relaxed!
Make a list of simple things that make you happy. Try to let go of your negative thoughts and feel from your heart what makes you happy. When the list is ready, you can start working on it. Does that delicious dish make you happy? Then make it. Or do the birds in the trees make you happy? Go outside and observe them.
Energetic: charge your battery
When you have burnout, you are usually tired. You have little or no energy to do anything and you feel exhausted. On an energetic level, this means that you have given away a lot, perhaps all of your energy and that you are no longer replenishing it.
Energy replenishment is just so important to get back into balance. Think about what is draining the energy from you right now. Is it your job? Your private life? The pressure to perform? Or maybe your chaotic agenda? So if you know where your energy is leaking, you can change it. It is important to get and keep your energy balance in balance. With this exercise you will learn how to charge your battery:
Spiritual: who you really are
The spiritual level is the level of your deepest wishes and desires. This is who you really are, essentially. Exploring the spiritual level can be difficult if you have no experience with it. Some simple questions will help you discover yourself at this level:
• What made you happy as a small child?
• What can you do to get that feeling back?
• What is your purpose in life? What do you need to achieve that?
• Are you true to yourself? Do you love yourself? What can you do to love yourself?
If you find it difficult to answer this question, try to let go of your thoughts and not think about performance. You don’t have to perform to love yourself, to discover and shape your life mission, to be happy.
Back in balance
Maybe it was not easy for you to follow all the tips or answer the questions. But the fact that you did it means you are aware of it. You realize that the complaints are coming from somewhere in your entire system. Setting boundaries is very important to get yourself back in balance. You are aware of your body, of your thoughts, emotions, and energy system, of what you feel and experience. By setting very clear boundaries for yourself, you say Yes to yourself. You say Yes to what is important to you to be healthy and happy. Because of that awareness, you have really taken steps to get back in balance!