Burnout is weird man!
Last week, I had an objectively great week…
- We finally closed on the old property
- I was super productive at work. I checked off a lot on my list and even had time to start looking into an exciting new project to help motivate online learning kids
- I’m on possibly the best track I’ve been in in my business at Embracing Intensity w/ my Neurodivergent Plannersclub
- And I had an interview that’s one of my personal top guests, catieosaurus
And while I’ve been mentally excited about all these things, it’s hard to feel it physically.
I’ve always been prone to end of school year burnout. Since the pandemic it feels like I’ve never quite recovered. Adding a stressful surprise double move last summer that made it hard to rest. So I’ve felt like I’m just barely pushing through.
Burnout is a state of physical, emotional, and mental exhaustion caused by prolonged stress, especially common in neurodivergents and overachievers. It is often the result of too much energy output and not enough fuel to keep going. This can lead to great suffering and a feeling of being stuck in a never-ending cycle of stress and exhaustion. However, it’s important to remember that you are not alone in your struggles. There are ways to overcome burnout.
There has been a greater awareness of Gifted Kid Burnout and Autistic Burnout in the media recently. But another type of burnout that often affects neurodivergent folks is Executive Functioning Burnout. Those of us who are dependent on urgency to get anything done, often experience Executive Functioning Burnout. We also tend to exert more effort on the “so called” basic things in life.
Quotes for Understanding Burnout
The following burnout quotes offer insight into the nature of burnout and the importance of understanding its root causes:
- “I have a theory that burnout is about resentment. And you beat it by knowing what it is you’re giving up that makes you resentful.” – Marissa Mayer
- “Burnout is nature’s way of telling you, you’ve been going through the motions your soul has departed; you’re a zombies, a member of the walking dead, a sleepwalker. False optimism is like administrating stimulants to an exhausted nervous system.” – Sam Keen
- “While burnout obviously has something to do with stress, overdoing things, not being centred, and not listening to yourself or your body, one of the deepest contributors to burnout, I believe, is the deep disappointment of not living up to your true calling, which is to help.”― Jenn Bruer
- “The No. 1 cause of burnout is doing the same thing over and over again and not seeing results.” – Steve Kaczmarski
- “But what happens when you work hard at something unfulfilling? It drains your spirit. It robs you of your life force. You end up depleted, depressed and angry.” – Oprah Winfrey
Dealing with Burnout
I used to try to deal with my burnout and fatigue by forcing myself into healthier habits I couldn’t maintain. Until I read Lucie MontPetit’s book “Breaking Free From Persistent Fatigue.” I started examining how I spent my time in terms of whether it was energizing or draining. This made me realize that focusing first on health habits, it’s hard to make lasting change. I must first look at reducing draining activities and replacing them with things that bring meaning, purpose and joy.
Self-care is crucial when dealing with burnout. This includes recognizing when you need to take a break and rest, and making sure to prioritize activities that bring you joy and energy. Setting boundaries are crucial in finding balance. This means recognizing when you’re taking on too much and learning to say no to demands and activities that leave you with no time for yourself.
Quotes for Dealing with Burnout
The following inspirational quotes are good reminders of how to get through the tough times of burnout, including a focus on self-care, rest and rejuvenation:
- “Self-care is your fuel…Whatever the road ahead or the path you’ve taken, self-care is what keeps your motor running and your wheels turning.”― Melissa Steginus
- “In dealing with those who are undergoing great suffering, if you feel “burnout” setting in, if you feel demoralized and exhausted, it is best, for the sake of everyone, to withdraw and restore yourself. The point is to have a long-term perspective.” — Dalai Lama XIV
- “Just because you take breaks doesn’t mean you’re broken.” ― Curtis Tyrone Jones
- “You cannot burn out until you catch on fire.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson
- “Learn to say no to demands, requests, invitations, and activities that leave you with no time for yourself. Until I learned to say no, and mean it, I was always overloaded by stress.”― Holly Mosier
To really overcome burnout, we must not only learn to rest and be more mindful of our time, we must also consider the power of meaning and purpose in our everyday lives. It can be hard to think of adding more to our plate, but once we’ve managed to limit some of the things draining our energy, it’s important to include things that inspire us!
It’s crucial to stay connected with our bodies and take time to check in on how we feel both physically and emotionally. We often get caught up in our heads to avoid uncomfortable sensations, but without feeling them, we can’t process them, and they can lead to burnout and fatigue if they become stuck.
Quotes for Overcoming Burnout
These motivational quotes remind us of our natural cycles and the importance of connecting both to ourselves and greater meaning in life:
- “When you’re at peace with yourself and love your self, it is virtually impossible to do things to yourself that are destructive.”― Wayne Dyer
- “You will burn and you will burn out; you will be healed and come back again.”― Fyodor Dostoevsky
- “Relaxing brings weakness, when done by a muscle; but brings strength, when done by a person.”― Mokokoma Mokhonoana
- “Everything goes in cycles, to a degree.” – Herb Brooks
- “By refreshing our sense of belonging in the world, we widen the web of relationships that nourishes us and protects us from burnout.”― Joanna Macy & Chris Johnstone
The Culture of Burnout
It is important to recognize that burnout is not a personal failure but a byproduct of a dysfunctional work environment and a web of relationships that are not supportive. This is especially true for neurodivergent individuals. Many have had to be on alert from a very young age in order to meet society’s expectations.
It is even more complicated when our sense of purpose is tied to outward achievement. Once we can’t keep up with our own self-imposed standards, we may lose sight of what motivates us.
Quotes on the Culture of Burnout
The following quotes remind us that burnout isn’t about something we’ve done wrong, but abut how we adapt to a dysfunctional system:
- “Constantly scanning the world for the negative comes with a great cost. It undercuts our creativity, raises our stress levels, and lowers our motivation and ability to accomplish goals.” ― Shawn Achor
- “Burnout occurs when your body and mind can no longer keep up with the tasks you demand of them. Don’t try to force yourself to do the impossible.”― Del Suggs
- “Burnout is a war that must be won on two fronts.”― Jeanine Joy
- “Being overwhelmed means that your life or work is overpowering you. Regain control by clarifying your intentions, setting realistic expectations and focusing on your next step.”― Daphne Michaels
- “It’s not the load that breaks you down, it’s the way you carry it.” – Lou Holtz
Moving Forward from Burnout
To prevent a relapse of burnout, it is important to practice good time management, maintain healthy relationships, delegate tasks, take wise rest, and cultivate a positive mindset. Some experts suggest practicing self-care, using words of affirmation, and learning about the five love languages as ways to prevent burnout. Burnout has been called the black plague of the 21st century. It is important to take it seriously and take steps to prevent it from recurring.
In order to do this, we must stop viewing achievement at all costs as a badge of honor, and start prioritizing realistic but meaningful goals and active rest and self-care.
Quotes for Moving Forward from Burnout
These quotes serve as reminders to take steps to protect ourselves from burnout:
- “Give up the delusion that burnout is the inevitable cost of success”: Arianna Huffington
- “Learn to enjoy every minute of your life. Be happy now. Don’t wait for something outside of yourself to make you happy in the future. Think how really precious is the time you have to spend, whether it’s at work or with your family. Every minute should be enjoyed and savored” ― Earl Nightingale
- “Affirmations are our mental vitamins, providing the supplementary positive thoughts we need to balance the barrage of negative events and thoughts we experience daily.” ― Tia Walker
- “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.” – Wayne Gretzky
- “Time spent in nature is the most cost-effective and powerful way to counteract the burnout and sort of depression that we feel when we sit in front of a computer all day.” – Richard Louv
Self-Care is Essential!
Burnout is a state of physical, emotional, and mental exhaustion caused by prolonged stress. It can affect people differently, but it is especially common in neurodivergents and overachievers. Self-care is essential when dealing with burnout, including setting boundaries, taking a break, and prioritizing activities that bring joy and energize. Recognizing and reducing draining activities and replacing them with things that bring meaning, purpose, and joy is crucial in bringing back new energy. Remembering that you are not alone in your struggles and that there are ways to overcome burnout is important. I hope the quotes shared here can provide insight and inspiration on how to deal with burnout.
From Burnout to Brilliance: Conquer Burnout and Truly Thrive w/ Zarya Rubin, MD
Are you a smart, passionate person struggling with chronic stress and burnout? Do you have an endless to-do list, taking care of everyone’s needs but your own? Has your physical and mental health started to suffer to the point where you are constantly exhausted, irritable, not sleeping well, uninspired, and frazzled? Do you want to make a change in 2023 so you don’t keep falling back into the same cycle of burnout, take a short break that isn’t restorative, and back into burnout again? Join us for this free webinar with Dr. Zarya Rubin, MD!