What is burnout?

Initially, in 1974, the term “burnout” was defined as “the extinction of motivation or incentive, especially where one’s devotion to a cause or relationship fails to produce the desired results.”

After facing personally, I’d simplify it to the word “devastation”. The battery dies and you are no more able to do anything. It’s hardly possible to explain this condition to others, because your body can still try to do things by inertion, maybe for others you just look as if you don’t care about them, and that’s it.

Unfortunately, burnout today is not something that’s officially diagnosed. When you come home and put a piece of paper with a diagnosis and a stamp on the table, it’s taken more seriously, with burnout you only have, perhaps, the ability to communicate, and… lack of strength even for that. In fact, it’s officially recognized by WHO since May 2019, but only in the context of job (classified as “a syndrome conceptualized as resulting from chronic workplace stress that has not been successfully managed,” in the WHO’s International Classification of Diseases (ICD-11) under “Problems associated with employment or unemployment.”)

Symptoms and causes of burnout

Alienation, exhaustion, forgetfulness, irritability, headaches, intestinal problems – these are just some of the possible symptoms of burnout. My brain began to shut down right in the middle of the conversation, erasing whole chunks of someone’s speech or my own thought right in the middle of the sentence. (My partner laughed at that, because that’s how his brain works under normal circumstances 🙄). This is not depression, depression leaves a room for at least negative thoughts, even cultivates them, when burnout just erases you, blows out the candle.

It seems to me that burnout rarely happens for one particular reason, but as a result of a number of them. It can be summarized like this: excessive stress and the inability to identify or eliminate the main problem, or to properly allocate priorities and energy.

Here are some of the causes of burnout, partly borrowed from the marathon dedicated to it (it wasn’t dedicated to mother’s burnout, but at that point I was at the initial stage of it: “realized that the energy is over, and I’m trying to do something about it”, so I grabbed literally anything):

Burnout problem number 1: complete helplessness. You are at zero: no thoughts, no desires, no strength. It’s almost impossible to operate in this mode. And to reach out to others, most likely, too. People continue to function as usual, habitually expecting the same from you. They are talking to you, while you experience a short circuit in your head.

You may simply not have time to process the information. Usually our brain works like “bzzzzz: run there, do that, don’t forget this, bzz, bzz, bzz.” If you are burned out, it more of “now I will get up and go… stop, where will I go? eee… eee .. to the kitchen… Wait, where was I going to go? 🤔”.

What to do with burnout?

Your number one resource is sleep. A good night’s sleep should provide at least 1° of energy, and it should be spent on a clear list of actions. Manageable ones. It’s idea is not to tire the brain by trying to solve everyday dilemmas that it can no longer do: here are clear instructions. It might look like this:

Hang it somewhere in a prominent place, perhaps by the bed. You can add ticks next to each of them every day: done. This is an example of economy mode, which allows you to gain minimal strength. There is no room for self-gnawing. Cartoons for children, self-sufficiency for the rest of the family, at the moment you just have to survive, and there is nothing more important in the world than that. Once you feel better – listen to yourself and give yourself something else, for example, some sports. (Only if you feel this urge!) Respond only to what appeared inside, move in tiny steps.

What did I do with it

Finally, during the marathon, I gave up breastfeeding, which had caused me serious physical discomfort for several weeks. I kept waiting for the discomfort to pass, but it didn’t pass. And I mare a decision. Unfortunately, as is often the case with breastfeeding, daytime sleep was lost – my only chance for privacy for three years. It’s been a month and a half, and we are still rebuilding. But this step was the right one, and I was relieved to get rid of the physical discomfort. I said goodbye to breastfeeding imperfectly, but tolerably, my baby and I remained friends 😌.

The whole thing took me half a year, and I’m still on my way out. “Its getting better all the time”.

Basic principles of survival during burnout

Exhaustion means a decrease in sensitivity to our own body, we stop hearing ourselves, the inner voice no longer speaks. No appetite, no ideas, just emptiness.

Here are 4 basic principles of further survival (it may take a little more effort):

And let the whole world wait.

Залишити коментар

Your email address will not be published.