You’re in this loop, where you start doing more and more each day. Its’ almost as you’re looking for more to do, even though your plate is already overflowing and your to-do-list is a mile long. You keep thinking that you could fit one more thing in – it won’t take that long… The problem is that there isn’t just one more thing – you keep taking on more things on a daily basis, and at the beginning you’re feeling really good about doing this, because it makes you feel like a great person! You are a super-woman who has endless of energy and is always there to help your friends and colleagues. You are getting a lot of attention and recognition from other people, and that makes you feel better about yourself. But eventually you run out of steam…
When we grow up not feeling loved for who we are, but only for what we do, we become over-achievers. We learn to focus on DOING instead of BEING. We learn to focus on other people’s needs instead of our own. We learn that we have to achieve something to get attention, and we start to confuse attention with love. We learn to disrespect ourselves and our own needs, and to push through regardless of how tired we are. We actually don’t feel how tired we are, because we’re so out of touch with our own feelings. No one has ever taught us to listen to them, because we’ve been surrounded with other people who also didn’t know how to listen to their feelings.
All babies are in awe of themselves. If you’ve seen a baby look at its feet, you know this. They admire every part of themselves, naturally. But at some point they stop doing that, if they pick up from the environment that this is wrong. Small children use their feelings all the time to understand life, and they use their intuition to listen to what’s going on inside their parents. Unfortunately they think that all that their parents are going through is because of them. So when our parents are unhappy, we think we did something that made them unhappy. We start to blame ourselves for all that’s going on outside of ourselves, and in worst case our parents agree with us and blame us too.
When our parents don’t love themselves, they can’t teach us to love ourselves either. They simply don’t know how to. Instead we copy their way of dealing with lack of love – we start to notice that if we’re really clever or work really hard and get good grades and help out at home, we get a lot of attention and recognition, which makes us feel a little bit better. We end up believing that this is how love feels, and we go on an often life-long pursue for attention.
Since we’re not made to work all the time, and actually need breaks to refuel, we eventually end up running into the wall and get burnt out. When that happens, this has been going on for a very long time. We are now completely depleted of every ounce of energy, so even getting out of bed might now become a struggle.
This also happens because we have no idea how to set boundaries for ourselves or other people. We are scared to say no to people, and we have lost touch with our bodies, so we actually don’t know when we’re tired and need to rest. We don’t know where our boundaries should be. This is not our fault – no one ever taught us how to know this, and instead they often taught us how to violate our boundaries, even on a daily basis.
To recover from burnout, we need to get in touch with our feelings and our bodies, to know what’s going on inside of us. We need to learn how to say no. We need to learn how to set boundaries for ourselves and other people. And we need to learn how to love and accept ourselves, just as we are. Last but not least, we need to learn to BE more and DO less.
Are you struggling with burnout? Let’s talk about how healing can help you! Send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org