Odds are your friends notice long before you do. Cranky, snarky, flat and often distant, you’re ready to bail. Your sunny disposition darkens with cynicism. Sleep deprived, you’re hyper-sensitive and criticize with random precision. Job burnout and study burnout are unique phenomena that both result from emotional exhaustion. Despite how isolated you feel, you have more company than you’d guess. The culprit is chronic stress. Still, there’s a path to reverse the tsunami, and restore a healthy, happy connection to life.
Social connections fortify, but often they’re the first to go when we push full throttle into studies, or muscle up the corporate ladder. Unaware, we create vulnerability and intensify stress. There’s no release valve on our emotional pressure cooker. Truth is, we’re not designed to go it alone. Contrary to some beliefs, asking for help is a sign of intelligence, not weakness. An extra set of eyes and ears, like fresh batteries for your flashlight, improves the view.
Our culture drives us to expect immediate relief, immediate gratification. From headache meds to network connectivity, we demand immediate and reliable results. No wonder we expect the same from ourselves. Honestly, none of us arrive at burnout without benefit of a lengthy process. It’s bound to take time to ameliorate the symptoms. Many of life’s great lessons and accomplishments unfold gradually. Time is a crucial ingredient. Patience cultivates inner peace. Inner peace restores True North on your intuitive compass.
Did you choose a career or course of study contrary to your talents? Have you betrayed a heartfelt desire? Living a lie is a core contributor to burnout. We typically do more in order to feel less, with disastrous consequences. Conversely, stripping away the veneer, the false pursuits, liberates us from personal fraud. We restore integrity, our headwaters of strength, courage, kindness and love.
We all have limits. Respect for personal limits is empowering. Oddly, it also reveals limitless choice. Turns out, we’re responsible for our own expectations and pressures. What if we let go of those, and quit trying to push the river? What if we practice “No thank you”, along with “Sure” ? When we let go, we open up. Rather than “have to”, we “get to”. We restore our natural curiosity and sense of wonder.
Emotional exhaustion can be an impetus to your best life. Trust yourself, keep good company. Back from the brink, the air is sweet.