On the Other Side of Burn-Out: The Process of Healing
We all reach our breaking point sooner or later, and with today’s hustle culture, I think we’re all closer than we think. I for one didn’t see it coming when the tiredness came on at a level I had never experienced. The adult acne consumed my face. And everything that I used to love slowly didn’t matter. My life was about making it through the day, hitting the couch and tuning out to something on Netflix. An escape from a life that felt overwhelming and all-consuming.
I could give you a list or reasons why my job at the time was the problem, but this wasn’t the first job that lead to burn-out (and to a degree it wouldn’t be the last job). I could also blame it on the pandemic happening, because really, who saw that coming? But again, this was building up long before we ever heard the word COVID.
Burn-out is engraved into our society. It’s not only seen as something normal but something to be prized. But when you’re living through it or trying to recover from it, its anything but a prize.
So after the storm, when shit literally hits the fan, and you’re left numb and like a deer in the headlights, where do you go? How do you start the process to coming back to your old self?
It didn’t happen over night.
It started with a lot of help from healers, therapists, and community. As they say, it takes a village, and it really does. Then it was a day-by-day healing. Learning new tools, using said tools, taking two steps forward. And then life happens and you forget what you’ve just learned, because we’re all really just 3-year olds, and you take one step back. It’s a dance over and over again. Learn, implement, stress, forget, repeat. Until, suddenly, more and more of these tools become second nature to you. Then you begin to use them without thinking. And slowly, the acne goes away, the energy comes back, and you begin to feel like your old self, but better. It’s a rebirth and you’ve made it to the other side.
One of the simplest tools that gave me support in my healing, was having a physical space that felt calming and welcoming. For me, that was the house we had bought right before COVID. It became a creative outlet as I came back to myself and as each room was finished, it became a space I could really come home to–physically and spiritually.
Having a calm home, from a spot in a room, to an entire room, to now a whole home, has allowed me to decompress and think. It became a joy to sit in silence, to stare out the window, to meditate or cuddle with my puppy. The calming space gave me room to rest which in turn gave me the energy to start the hard work or healing.
A room isn’t magic in itself. You are the one that turns it into magic.
The way you organize it, the way you fill it, but most importantly what you do in that space, is the everyday magic I’m always talking about.
In my interview with the Tillage Podcast we talk all things burn-out. How I got there, how I dealt with it, and how almost 3 years later I finally feel like I’m coming out on the other side (With a few more tools that are on the “learn, implement, stress, forget, repeat” process. But I’m only human.)
Of course, we also talk about the messiness of choosing to transition career paths in the middle of all this. But recognizing that being in the wrong job can be one of the many reasons you’re burnt-out in the first place.
It’s a fun conversation and one I think we all need to be reminded of in this fast paced, hustle-focused society we live in.
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