Right before my life shattered into a million pieces, I remember thinking that it must be easier to just collapse, be given mind numbing drugs and go slouch on a couch in a clinic somewhere.
I just needed a break.
A break from life.
A break from the pressure.
A break from feeling like nothing was ever going to go right again.
But the break didn’t come, the pressure didn’t ease, and life kept throwing demands at me from every corner.
Burnout wasn’t talked about and wasn’t considered a legitimate option. Mental health issues were talked about in whispers behind hands.
It wasn’t’ until you broke that it felt like something could be done about your situation.
But times have changed.
Stress, burnout and exhaustion are now on everyone’s radar and the pressure has been squarely put on the shoulders of organisations to sort the problem.
Why then, are we seeing a dramatic rise in mental health issues being experienced around the world?
The answer is partly that they were always there, we just didn’t talk about them. But the answer is also partly that because experiencing mental health is now an option on the table, people see it as an answer rather than searching for a solution that stops them from getting there in the first place.
In a lot of ways, there’s a real danger that burnout could become a copout.
Having experienced it myself, I in no means want to detract from the severity of it – I know first-hand how debilitating it is, and how intense the workload is to recover from it.
Instead, what I’m referring to here is the modern-day way of handing over our health & wellbeing to others and expecting them to:
- Work out what’s wrong with us; and
- Tell us what fixes our problems
We’ve had so many people using marketing techniques to brainwash us into needing the thing they’re selling for such a long period of time that we’ve forgotten how to take care of ourselves.
The art of self-care is a dying breed that is in desperate need of a resurgence.
We’ve been so thoroughly schooled to follow the direction of others that now the first place we look for our health & wellbeing solutions is to someone else.
We’ve started to believe that giving in to burnout is the solution to our problems
If we just give in, then everything will be OK … right?
But, it’s a broken promise to fall into burnout as a solution.
Despite the thought that it must be easier just to sink into oblivion, the fact is that it’s not easy to be at the bottom of the black hole and have to claw your way out. In fact, my experience was that it was easily the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do in my life. And it took a long time to get back to a ‘normal’ way of life.
What I learned from this experience is that it’s so much easier to choose to do simple, easy and practical things before you get to burnout than it is to try and recover from it.
It’s easier to be able to pick one or two areas of your life where you can make a simple change than it is to be thrown into the overwhelm of having everything broken and not know where to start.
It’s the simple things that make the biggest difference
We’ve been hoodwinked into believing that we have to throw everything out and start again for us to do things differently.
Well, I’ve been in the situation where I’ve had to build my life from scratch and I can tell you that there’s only a few things you choose not to keep in your life. For the most part, you make simple tweaks on some things and others stay exactly the same as they were before.
My experience taught me that it’s the simplest of changes that make a significant difference.
So, instead of pushing yourself to the point of no return and forcing yourself into years of recovery, consider doing small things that take less than 15 minutes a day but can have a significant impact on the way you live your life.
There is a very different way to live and you don’t have to break before you can easily incorporate it into your life.
If want some help to reduce your stress levels and beat burnout forever then dive into my free email series which you can get by clicking here. It’s full of 7 of my favourite steps to overcome overwhelm, reduce stress, take back control and keep things super simple.