Burnout is an incredibly difficult thing to deal with and impacts your ability to connect with others. Trying to invest in any of your relationships while burnt out is like trying to drive a car that has no gas. You may get it started but it definitely isn’t going anywhere. I have had a lot of clients come in, both single and married, who have been talking about burn out and how exhausted they are. They point to work, family or any other driving factor as the explanation and then explain why it is not their fault.
While I believe there are many things that can happen in someone’s life that is out of their control, I have never been someone to encourage people to hold onto the belief that they are powerless. I don’t think it empowers people to make a better choice for themselves or to take responsibility for what they want. Instead it can leave them feeling helpless and prevent them from healing and getting well again. It also shifts the responsibility away from themselves and as soon as we make our struggles someone else’s responsibility we increase our chances of facing this exact problem again in the future.
If we wait for other people to do the work for us we will be waiting a long time. Instead focus on setting boundaries and making your well being a priority. Perhaps you need to tell your partner that you’re going to be taking 2 evenings a week for yourself and ask what he needs in return. Maybe it’s looking on groupon for simple ways to treat yourself. Perhaps it’s actually leaving work on time and taking the scenic room home while breathing. Or, if you have kids, giving yourself permission to plop them in front of a movie while you take a bath with a glass of wine.
Burnout doesn’t just get better on its own and it definitely doesn’t get better because other people make it better. Stop telling yourself you don’t have time or can’t make yourself better on your own accord (or until X,Y, and Z fall into place). Take yourself and your suffering seriously. If you’re out of sync honour what you need to get back in sync.
Tell me, when you’re burnt out, what do you do to recover and refill your tank. Post your ideas in the comment section below.