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EP.05: Breaking Through Burnout in Quarantine

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Welcome back to another episode. We’re going to be diving deep today and I’m going to avoid ranting too much. My goal here in this episode is to illuminate ways in which you might be burnt out and not even know it.

And as I’m recording this, I’m still in quarantine. There’s still a shelter in place happening and you might be wondering, is it even possible to be burnt out and be working from home or maybe not be working at all? And the answer is yes.

Burnout comes in many different forms and there is an underlying issue that causes burnout that we’ll be uncovering today. So right now the world is undoubtedly struggling. Our society, our existence was built on this hustle and bustle mentality. And primarily it’s to avoid self-reflection. And as Americans we favor this instant gratification. So as long as Netflix is around and Amazon prime is around, we can order things and go shopping online.

All those things are still available and anyone can numb out on these things, right? It’s the saturation right now with zoom calls and online events and FaceTiming and scrolling. I mean, you could spend your whole day from start to finish scheduled out and some people are just less focused on cultivating their inward looking selves.

They’re more focused on the exterior. We talked about that in the last episode with creating your world from the inside out, how it’s backwards and most of humanity, most of society is creating a world outwardly to then hope it’s going to change inwardly our experience, but we can’t expect everyone during this time to go through this spiritual awakening.

Not everyone is ready to face themselves, but there are people out there and if you’re listening to this podcast, most likely you are that person. It’s during these challenging situations that you can choose to lean in to some things that you haven’t wanted to look at or you could find ways to stay busy, but I’ll warn you that this way of being hinders your path towards this full actualization because in challenging times like these, if you can push beyond your routine, if you can look more broadly at your world and ask yourself, what is my role in community?

What are the resources I need to nurse and care for so that I can be of use in the world? When that time comes, your purpose is your gifts. It’s your passions. It’s the way that you perceive the world and can articulate it or show it in some way that reminds others and brings through solutions that we desperately need and when we’re burnt out or too tired, we can’t think creatively. We’re not going to take risks, and also we don’t have the capabilities to reach and to stay consistent with our efforts, which is what really leads to creating a movement.

What leads to sustaining a business and and providing opportunities for others. It just depends on what your, what your aim is. But again, if you’re listening to this podcast, then you most likely want to make a meaningful impact in the world. A long lasting impact.

You don’t want it to just be a flash in the pan and then gone. You know? That’s just, that’s just seeking attention or seeking some kind of fame, but that’s not what’s going to necessarily change the world. So getting back to burnout, what are signs of burnout? What are some experiences that someone might be having if they were going through this?

Well, they might just be tired, feeling apathetic, so it’s usually that I don’t care attitude and you just may not feel any desire to have routine, to have structure. You might even feel rebellious towards it. It’s nothing really seems worth it. That’s one of the first things that usually happens when you’ve been giving too much or showing up in a way that goes beyond the level of what you could really give and you weren’t bringing yourself with you and you were doing so much output, but not enough input.

Another behavior that I find shows up in people or pattern is that there’s a lack of creativity and it’s really hard to come up with ideas or it takes a long time to do a task because that way that our brain works when we’re in a relaxed state and we’re feeling full isn’t the same when our well has run dry, right?

So just takes a long time to do like a very simple task. And another pattern and behavior that usually comes up for people is that they don’t have patience and it really causes problems in their relationship. Now, the patient’s piece is so important because when we don’t have that sense of compassion and warmth with the people in our lives and we’re short tempered and you know, just kind of edgy, feeling edgy and not emotionally secure and things could be triggered very easily, it can cause a lot of problems longterm.

Because by not taking care of ourselves and letting burnout become the norm in our lives, we never truly charge up. So if you think of yourself like an iPhone and you’re constantly running on 10%, right? It’s like you charge your phone up to get it to 10%, so it’ll work. But it’s, you’re never charging it overnight where you can have long conversations and have all these different apps running so you’re not accessing the fullness of your potential when you’re burnt out. And when you’re in a state of burnout, you’re essentially playing this like Russian roulette.

You just never know when the phone is going to die. You never know when you’re going to get too hungry or grumpy. Triggered where you’re going to get stuck in a pattern gets stuck in taking action from a feeling, from a thought, and really just stay stuck instead of growing.

Instead of progressing you, you ended up staying stuck. No one likes to feel stuck. No one wants to not be in that place where things are in flow and, and that there’s grace and there’s more ease. So we’re doing this to ourselves and we don’t even know it. When we’re in a place of burnout. We do have choice. And sometimes it’s hard to see that we’re just choosing the wrong things that are constantly contributing to more burnout that aren’t charging up our phones. So if we were a phone, what are the things that are draining our battery? This is a great moment to stop, reflect and write this down. If you’re not driving, grab a piece of paper or put this in your notes in your phone. What are the things that you’re aware of at this time that’s draining you?

It is possible to feel joy. Joy is a state of a liveliness. Joy is this elevated state of a liveliness that allows you to feel a sense of connection to something greater than yourself. And it’s through being in a place of joy that even allows us to feel purposeful joy and purpose. They’re meshed for me. When I’m in my joy, I can serve, I can give. It feels like I’m not even pulling from my own reserves. It’s coming from some other place and I get even more amplified with energy from doing the thing that lifts me up. I feel more creative. I feel so compassionate what? I’m in that space. So how do we resist that space? Cause what if it’s more about you resisting joy than it is you trying to figure out how to get there? What are the ways in which you’re blocking joy from entering?

Joy is the medicine that’s going to offset this burnout piece. The burnout is coming from a lot of beliefs around your worth. It’s a belief that you aren’t enough and so you have to prove yourself, need to prove that you’re a good friend, so you need to call everybody up and make sure they’re doing okay. You need to prove that you’re a good daughter or mother need to prove that you are a good employee. You need to prove that you’re a good wife or husband. Whatever role that you’re stuck in, this is an issue around your identity. This is an issue around how you’ve molded out your life. And while society has had an impact on this sculpting, you are now an adult and it’s time to choose if you’re going to continue to believe what you’re being sold or start to step away from that.

And create the joy and create the flow and start to make boundaries in your life so that piece can exist. That is what you’re in charge of. You need to protect that piece once you find it and find the pieces of your life that are causing leaks, that’s causing you to feel drained. And when you start to take a hold of your life in that way, you may not feel the same amount of uncertainty and fear and anxiousness regardless of what’s going on in the world right now because you will, you will look at what you are capable of doing even in a time where there feels like you have no control. You do have a lot of choice in how you’re spending your time and how you can ask for help, how you can state where the line is. If someone is overstepping it or you know certain relationships aren’t working out or there’s a level of work that you are putting on yourself, a pressure to produce that you might just have to have boundaries with your, just talk to yourself and look at yourself in the mirror and say, you know, I’m not going to try to do all of this in one day or one week or even in quarantine and start to look at doing less and making it more meaningful.

I do a talk called ditch burnout, heal your hustle. And one of the most important pieces I find in that talk is something I want to share here in this episode, which is the difference between self care and self- indulgence and with self-indulgence, we might believe that we’re trying to take care of ourselves, but really it’s not truly supporting us. Connecting with our higher self self care will always bring us back to that alive newness while self-indulgence gives us temporary comfort, but it most likely feeds into a lot of strange coping mechanisms that we have so that we don’t have to feel the intensity of that alive newness. But that alive, this is what we need and burnout. That apathy is something that we as a society have gotten used to, so it’s the norm and feeling fully alive and connected and in charge is something that seems odd or unattainable.

Self-Indulgence. Examples of it could be drinking a glass of wine every night before going to bed, smoking. It could be watching too many shows on Netflix in a way that doesn’t feel good like you. You don’t feel tired, you don’t feel ready to go to bed. You feel a little bit hungover the next day, even just from watching too much TV. It could be scrolling. It could be talking for too long on the phone and just not feeling any sense of real intimacy that you’re desiring right now. Self-Indulgence comes down to a very subtle or sometimes not so subtle ways to disconnect and be in a place of consumption when people weren’t in this isolation and needing to social distance. What I have found was that many people in a way to take care of themselves after working really hard and needing to have a little bit of alone time, they would go away to Napa or they would go on a vacation for a week or two weeks or a month.

Sometimes they would go for a few months because they had gotten to a point where they were just so exhausted. And you would think that by going away that that would be helpful. But again, that self- indulgence of like, well, what are you doing on that vacation? Are you really tapping into yourself or are you distracting yourself with drinking and partying and meeting other people and just kind of doing the same things that you would normally do as a way to cope from something that you don’t want to face, but it just isn’t a different place. Now that we’re in quarantine, you can still be burnt out and be in a place of indulgence. You know, like I said, eating, drinking, using drugs just codependent behavior. That’s probably the toughest one that people have a hard time seeing. Is that too much time? Trying to connect with others doesn’t lead to a deeper connection to self.

We, we can be so hungry for intimacy and want to mesh with somebody else, but it doesn’t give us that true a liveliness of, you know, just being alone in meditation can give and then going out in the world and meeting people at a different capacity at different level. Workaholics are, you know, having an interesting time right now because there’s even more reasons to be productive, right? It’s like, Oh, we have this time when we’re staying inside. And I know from experience because I definitely love to create, but that boundary with yourself, like I was saying before, if you don’t have it you can easily talk yourself into that. This behavior is, is okay. And that’s the number one thing that most people think about when they think of burnout is just working too much, too hard, too long, and then feeling hung over emotionally, mentally, and you just can’t produce in that sustainable way longterm.

But I would say that’s, that’s the indulgence that’s probably happening right now is this, this need to keep up, not wanting to be left behind, fears of abandonment, that you need to stay on top of things and constantly putting yourself out there. How do we practice true self care, right? If if Netflix and chocolate and working hard and producing is more indulgent, if you think about a room full of electrical outlets and what we’re really craving is connection, we are craving that feeling of alive newness. We’re craving that connection and when we’re indulging, we’re just trying to get that quick fix so that we don’t have to feel that uncomfortable sensation of emptiness.

When we’re practicing self care, we’re opening up to emptiness, we’re opening up to feeling raw, we’re opening up to feeling everything that’s stopping joy from coming in.

So self-care isn’t always sexy is what I say. Self care can feel strange and it may feel like you’re going against what is or what you would conceptualize as taking care of yourself.

It might feel like you’re, I have some people I’m thinking of right now that I’ve had conversations with during this time and they’re like, I feel like I’m torturing myself when I’m trying to take care of myself. Like I, I feel like I’m going crazy and when we’re changing behaviors and we’re changing patterns and something is so foreign to us, it may feel like, what the heck am I doing? This doesn’t feel good. Meditation was like that for me for awhile. I was like, why am I doing this to myself? Why am I sitting in a quiet room when my mind is so busy and I, I was not quote unquote good at meditation or good at sitting.

I had a very hard time sitting still is anything that I’m seeing feeling like a yes to you? Is this something that you have been struggling with or have struggled with in the past and if you’re working through this right now where you’re finding yourself digging those shortcuts and indulging, I’m not saying you should shame yourself. This isn’t about making yourself feel bad. I hope to give you perspective on the choices that are there for you and with these different analogies and metaphors. I hope that it brings you a sense of clarity that there’s going to be some activities that you’ll engage in during quarantine that will not increase your battery life, and there will be some things that might take a little bit more time to get a handle on if it’s new, but you will see the benefits at some point with enough practice. These are exercises can try at home.

Of course, if you’re needing more support, I’m always here for you. You can reach out. I am doing complimentary consults at this time. If you’re needing any distant healing work, one on one meditation or meditation classes, just know that I’m here during quarantine to support you and that you’re not alone.

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