Picture this: You are in your routine every single day, putting forth the utmost effort into your work, workouts, social life, and family time. Things are going well and you are consistently staying organized. You are working at optimal rates and you are firing on all cylinders, so to speak. And you sustain this energy for an extended period of time.
Then it hits you like a freight train – you have zero energy left and you are exhausted beyond belief. All the work you’ve done seems irrelevant, and your brain and body are reaching the dreaded word we all loathe: burnout.
The energy depletion is the culmination of multiple months of high functioning anxiety and constant goal-reaching and seeking. Or at least, that’s the case for me most of the time. It may be different for you, of course. Society tells us to keep going and that rest won’t get us anywhere. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t use that mentality often. Usually it works, but then I hit a plateau and it makes me slow down and smell the roses. Which also makes me turn to the pages of this blog, and in that regard, I’m SO thankful for it.
I rely on staying active and “up” 99% of the time. I try my best to live a healthy lifestyle and to obtain a positive mindset. But that 1%, man, it gets me in my feels and makes me wonder what it’s all for. I know it’s the A.N.T.S. talking (therapist speak for Automatic Negative Thoughts), but it doesn’t make it any less disheartening.
I start to question my worth, this life, my relationships with others, and even my relationship with myself. Admittedly, sometimes I don’t have the best self-vision. I’ve struggled with how I think of myself versus what others see for many years, and it’s masked behind a social disposition and a need to make people happy.
It leaves me feeling unfulfilled and anxious, but yet it’s all too alluring to keep the peace regardless of what I actually think. Things can be in chaos around me and I try to seemingly stay in my own world. Perhaps it’s a coping mechanism because I don’t want want to face harsh reality. It frightens me to my core at times to think that’s this is all there is. There has to be MORE.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m a Christian and a believer, and I have a relationship with Jesus. I know in the grand scheme that this life is not our ending. I tell myself this often when I’m having an internal battle. But what about the turmoil this life brings? How do we deal with having more questions than answers?
The answer is there is no answer. And for someone who likes to know things, I’m convinced this will forever be a battle within my mind. But I think that’s the point. As He said, we will face struggles on Earth. The point is to grow us closer to Him.
There are many moments in the thick of it where I downright don’t feel like growing closer. In fact, I feel like rebelling and getting angry, which I’m aware is the exact opposite reaction He wants, but it’s me being real with myself. It would be disingenuous to tell myself that I feel any differently at those points in time.
So I need the chance to decompress, see the good again, put away the social media, take a work break, pet the dog, and write a blog post about it while the summer bugs buzz outside me at night. It’s oddly comforting to know we can embrace the silence and still know we are not alone, even in our ambivalence.
Perhaps tomorrow I’ll feel the same way as I do now, or maybe I won’t. Full transparency and total side note: I’ve also been on a weight-loss journey the past few months. And let me tell you, it’s been HARD. I never realized how much emotionality and joy I was putting into the food I ate or things I drank. I still love a good cup of coffee, some chocolate, and a glass or two of wine, but I feel differently now and am more focused on health than I was before. I run more as well, and that’s an even bigger mental game.
Along with this journey, though, I’ve realized how difficult it is for me to take rest days in general. The gym helps me process what’s going on, and when I hit the point where my body is beyond sore and tired, I definitely struggle more. However, I’ve slowly realized it’s OK to take a break. You are human and God is the only one who can take on the problems of the world; it’s not on your shoulders. And you certainly won’t solve all the world’s issues in one gym session, (although you can try). * insert powerful cardio session here * 🙂
The world is heavy right now with so much political turmoil and hate-filled arguments. We turn against each other on a dime and forget that it’s okay to agree to disagree in a healthy way. Our country needs as many prayers as it can get, but it’s not going to happen through hate. Only love can heal our hearts and minds. I genuinely believe it’s all happening because it’s supposed to and history repeats itself, but it doesn’t make it any easier to watch the news outlets or media. It’s downright sickening, but don’t let yourself get absorbed into it. As I alluded to before: take a few moments to reflect on your truth, & yours alone.
Maybe you are burnt out at work. Trust me, I get it. We are short staffed right now, like most of the companies in a COVID world. As they say, be kind to those who showed up. They most likely are carrying the weight of 3-4 employees because no one wants to work. If you are frustrated at things beyond your control, know He’s in control and He has a divine plan for your life. Even if you are a nonbeliever, there is strength in knowing there is a higher power beyond yourself.
Take the time to genuinely reflect on where you’re at emotionally, mentally, and physically. Don’t allow yourself to reach a point of burnout without recognizing your need to rest. I’ll have to take my own advice on this one, because I know I have moments of overwhelm and don’t always have the appropriate response to the high levels of frustration I feel at times.
It’s all too easy to try to rush through the pain, but I’m challenging myself to grow through it instead. Remember to mentally stimulate your brain outside of work – it’s part of the work-life balance we all strive for. Don’t give up on yourself in the process. Your worth is so much more than daily metrics, numbers on a scale, calories, lofty goals, or dilute opinions. Tell yourself that the next time you’re feeling helpless or exhausted, and I’ll be sure to do the same. ❤️