Burnout & Me
In 2012 the full force of burnout consumed me like an avalanche, buried me deep and left me feeling utterly helpless. The physical, mental and emotional strain was so extreme I could no longer function. My body said “no more” and I instantly knew I had to change if I was to recover and ever thrive again.
I spent a long time angry at myself for allowing this to happen, for not being strong enough, for letting people down, for constantly wearing the “mask” that others preferred to see, and for not living my own life.
With the wonderful benefit of health, happiness, and hindsight I often wonder what I really needed to hear at the time of my burnout…..
My Letter To Myself With Burnout
I understand how you’re feeling and it’s awful. A level of exhaustion that never eases, your body aching all over, struggling to think clearly or remember the most basic things, and that extreme sense of loneliness.
I know you feel isolated, angry, lost, powerless and confused. I know you want to be thriving again, but don’t know how. I know you can’t see a way through this and fear this is it, forever.
I want you to trust me. I want you to let me guide you. Because whilst you feel that there is no hope right now, I know with absolute certainty that you will come through this.
It won’t be a return to who you were, but a journey to a you that thrives, excels, smiles and laughs in all areas of your life. You will be content and fulfilled. Please believe me.
You are a strong, driven and independent woman who has achieved so much. You give so much to others, always helping in whatever way you can, keen never to let anyone down. You are admired and cherished by more people than you realise.
And now it’s time for you to look after yourself like you do everybody else, and to receive the love and support from all those who are waiting in the wings to offer it.
I know this won’t come easy to you. To share your vulnerabilities and ask for help, but doing so is simply you demonstrating the strength and courage that you are already so well known for.
Much of the journey ahead you’ll need to explore for yourself, but you don’t have to do any of it alone. You have a whole choice of people who will be by your side the whole way, supporting you, and responding with compassion to your needs. And know that I am waiting for you, smiling and ready for the fun and laughter you crave so much.
Here’s what I need you to do. Five things that will make an enormous difference right now.
- Tell the people you love how you are feeling. Tell them you don’t know what you need and they don’t need to solve it for you, but you need them to be firmly by your side. They may not understand what’s going on for you, but they won’t judge you and they’ll do whatever you ask of them.
- Consciously and deliberately make the choice to rest, recuperate and nourish. Right now that means allowing yourself to sleep whenever you need to, getting some fresh air frequently, and asking a friend to make you some nourishing food.
- Allow yourself to experience whatever emotion comes up. It’s OK to be happy, joyful, sad, angry, frustrated, tearful – all emotions are valid and part of the journey. You don’t need to lock them away for anyone.
- Actively experience the joy in every day. Ask a friend to pop in, read books that transport you to another dimension, look at the sky, and laugh with friends.
- You come first. Plough all of that love and care for others into yourself and allow others to help you whenever they can. You deserve it.
That’s all you need to need to think about right now. The rest will follow and you will find your own way. Trust your intuition – I promise you it will take you in the right direction.
You’re already on your way to something better. You may not be able to see it right now, but you will, very soon.
It’s time to rest.
Thank you for allowing me to be the person I’ve become.
With all my love and gratitude,
Sharing My Guidance With You
As you can imagine, that was emotional and therapeutic to write, but wonderfully comforting to receive. My journey since burnout has been a winding path but has ultimately led me to a place where I’ve been able to purposefully share my experience, professional training, insights, and guidance through coaching, workshops, and my book ‘Have It All Without Burning Out’.