I am perpetually tired. And being tired all the time is downright exhausting. Even in the moments in which I am trying to relax and decompress I am mulling over a long list of things to do. I’ve taken actions such as putting my phone on Do Not Disturb after 10 pm, leaving my cell phone in the living room at night, and not working/bringing my laptop to bed so that my body knows that the bedroom is for relaxing. I still get no peace. I can’t quiet my mind. I can’t stop thinking. Anyone else has this problem?
And because I am tired all the time, I am not as productive with my day as I’d like. I have low energy to tackle my tasks and then I end up not doing anything yet constantly thinking about the thing I am supposed to do. I then proceed to berate myself for being lazy. But I recently discovered that laziness is not the problem. I’m burnt out. And it’s not just from my 9-5, it’s every facet that constructs my life and the day-to-day.
Burn out by definition is a sense of exhaustion or depletion, mental distance from or negativity or cynicism about work/tasks, and decreased performance and effectiveness. For me, it feels like I am driving a car on E but I won’t pull into the nearest gas station. I’m just praying that I make it to the next destination (i.e. my next task). If not addressed burnout and chronic stress can lead to other emotional and physical symptoms that can have a huge detriment to our bodies.
Running on full cylinders isn’t sustainable and the hustle and grind culture are partly to blame for this mentality. You have celebrities like Sean Combs, Steve Harvey, and others telling you to sleep when you are dead. The problem with this mentality is that eventually your body will shut down. People are starting to make a shift from this perspective now because we were physically forced to take a pause during stay-at-home orders. It was during this time that folks realized that taking breaks from the grind is imperative.
For me, I have been grinding it out since elementary school. However, since 2017 I upped the ante. In the early part of 2017, I lost my job and I spent two years without full-time employment. I spent every moment in those years stressed, anxiety-ridden, physically exhausted from putting in as many hours I could in a manual labor job, and mentally exhausted from applying to hundreds of jobs, going on interviews, and still getting nowhere. In addition to all this, I started the blog and took on other personal endeavors in an effort to not feel like a total loser. When I found employment I limited my fun and relaxation in order to save as much money as I could and tackle debt. I was trying to play catch up with my finances. On top of all of that, I am getting older and I am feeling like I am losing time. Causing me to stress and worry about everything and all of the things I still need to do before an arbitrary age.
But enough is enough damnit! I am sick and tired of being sick and tired. I am challenging myself to relieve this self-imposed pressure. I don’t have a solution yet, but I know change starts in the mind. So I created these affirmations to repeat and help remind me that I have the power to do something about my stress levels and I won’t let burnout get the best of me.
I am more than my productivity level.
I will prioritize relaxation and self-care.
I am allowed to take a step back when I feel overwhelmed.
I know that my value and worth are not determined by how much I can accomplish in a day, week, month, or lifetime.
I will not compare my efficiency to others.
I am gentle with myself and grant myself grace daily.
I set the tone of my day and am allowed to switch gears whenever necessary.
How do you handle burnout? What do you do to decompress?