Away from burnout: from having to feeling
The need is deeply ingrained in our society and in each of us. However, this is mainly an idea. We think it should. It’s a masculine approach, thinking about what needs to be done and then going. Sometimes this approach is necessary, but if you’re always in this mode, you’re really exhausting yourself. All that having to do gives a lot of stress, and continuous thinking gives a lot of unrest and busyness in your head.
If you are highly sensitive, you sense the expectations of others, even without them having expressed them. This is a quality, but also a pitfall. We tend to do things before the other person has asked for it. And then we go. It has become automatic. And it is exactly this pattern that leads to burnout.
Moving away from burnout, therefore, starts with stopping to comply with what you think you should. The challenge is to focus your attention on yourself, on your feelings. What do you want, what do you want? What do you need now? You can only know this by feeling in your body, instead of thinking about it. It is a feminine way, first, feel and then act.
Learning to feel again
To recover from burnout and prevent a new one, it is very important to be aware of what you feel in your body. The more you can focus on yourself, with your own desires and needs, the less energy you lose in company.
Stand still and listen to whatever need, 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 it for as long as you feel like it, and no longer. Otherwise it will become a necessity and that costs so much energy.
Regularly do a little tinkering at home, such as gardening or cleaning out a drawer. Let yourself be guided by what you encounter in and around the house, it does not have to lead to results. That may not sound very efficient or responsible, but it can be wonderful for the feeling of life and that is important for your energy level.
Watch your energy balance
Reflecting on what is now, and not focusing on what still needs to be done in the future, also means being able to relax and enjoy. And that is exactly what you need to restore the energy balance. Not only during the period when you are recovering from burnout, but also afterward.
To restore that energy balance, it is also good to ask yourself what gives you energy. What activities motivate you and what makes you happy? What ideals drive you? What do you want to achieve and mean to people? It’s about doing things that match your intrinsic motivation. So that you get energy from them and you can sustain them for a long time.
Feel and achieve your desires
If you can do this, your life will be different. You have become more aware of what you feel. Then you can pay attention to your greater desires. Goethe says, “Desires are premonitions of what we can actually achieve.” So we may cherish desires, but preferably without the all-consuming fire of desire and without wanting to move too fast. With small steps you also get where you want to be.
If you can feel what you deeply desire, you can look to the future again. Then a new direction in your life or work can become visible. During your further life journey, remember the lessons of burnout: stand still regularly and feel whether you are still on the right track. Always ask yourself: what step can and do I want to take now? This way you get to where you need to be without getting exhausted.