Author Topic: How do you recover from burnout? ALL advice and compassion appreciated  (Read 24188 times)


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Re: How do you recover from burnout? ALL advice and compassion appreciated
« Reply #150 on: September 19, 2019, 07:31:46 AM »
Burnout update: I have some energy! I can leave the house and go some place where there are people, noises, commotion and so on for a few hours. Not everyday but say once a week. I can leave and go somewhere quiet but still public and chat to a friend for a few hours, a few times a week.

I've started meditating and I'm not going to say it has changed my life or had any significant impact. It just is very nice to sit still, let my thoughts get organised, feel the emotions, pay attention to my breath and then come out of it feeling a bit more calm. It feels nice to give my brain a break.

The main takeaway of my burnout reflections so far is this: we put a lot of value on cognitive skills, on being a smart cookie, on having brainpower, on being book smart. Yes, that's important but it does not make a life. It's like building a table with two legs; it migh stay standing but any little tremor and it won't stay up.

Here are MMM land, who are the people we love to hate? The ones who never look at their bank statement! They have no idea of what is happening to their money! They don't have any strategy to manage it! They close their eyes shut very hard, say they don't have any options and there is nothing they can do better, they are just doomed to fail.

I've been like that my whole life, with the emotional stuff. I just knew the situation was bad. But I didn't want to know how bad. Was it the equivalent of 10k in debt or was it more like 100k debt at 30% interest rates? Why face it when I had no idea how to address it? Why think about it when it got me so depressed? It seemed all trouble and very little reward.

I'm struggling big time to accept that I'm changing, that I will have a "new" personality. That the way I work will change. That I will ask for my needs to be met by the people whose needs I aim to fulfill. That I will meditate and talk about all that woo woo self-care stuff. That I will prioritise my wellbeing and say no other things (practical example is drinking alcohol; I enjoy going to the pub with my colleagues on a friday, I enjoy going out dancing with friends, but my enjoyable alcohol limit is 2 glasses which is very party-pooper and I will get much pushback on it).

A big part of who I am is to be very diplomatic, accomodating and passive. But some extent of that will change. My big burnout struggle is not so much deciding what needs to go, what needs to change, it's a lot to do with accepting who I am, accepting the limits, facing reality that I can't achieve everything I set my mind to.

This is awesome!  Your self reflection really worked and it looks like you are emerging.  Congratulations!!!


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Re: How do you recover from burnout? ALL advice and compassion appreciated
« Reply #151 on: September 21, 2019, 03:58:50 AM »
Iím glad you have more energy and can do a few hours with friends, thatís great!


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Re: How do you recover from burnout? ALL advice and compassion appreciated
« Reply #152 on: September 22, 2019, 04:00:40 PM »
We are slowly recovering. It is super hard on everyone when hubby travels. We are both exhausted. And on top of the dead car battery, turns out it was actually the starter. Then our fridge legit died yesterday. Ice cream melting when I woke up in the morning.

It has been an expensive month, but that is how MMM has helped. I booked two trips (thanksgiving in Sequoia and Hawaii for next summer, my 50th). We fixed the car. We bought a new fridge. Did not even blink.  It will take another few weeks though to really become normal.

I have offloaded, I think, the biggest crappy work project. A thankless job.
« Last Edit: September 22, 2019, 08:43:07 PM by mm1970 »


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Re: How do you recover from burnout? ALL advice and compassion appreciated
« Reply #153 on: March 08, 2020, 11:07:41 AM »
Life (kind of) after burnout!

It has been many months since I came for you all for help and I wanted to write down what it feels like to be on the other side of burnout. If it gives someone some hope, even better!

Because my body pretty much stopped, I am now much more aware of it.
I didn't understand my physical limits before, I didn't give myself enough sleep, I over scheduled fun activities, I put too much emphasis on "doing", "accomplishing", "producing". The result was that I couldn't eat, I woke up with nausea, I had pain in my stomach and I lost 10% of my body weight in a month. I couldn't walk for long and had no strength. I also had zero, zero, zero libido, it was as strange and alarming as having nausea all day.

Nowadays I can do very gentle yoga. I can walk 20 minutes to the tube station. But still cannot exercise harder than that. And it's ok. Sometimes I have something planned and I have to cancel because I'm tired. Last week, when my work asked me to travel to France for two days, I asked for a day off the previous Friday, I needed the rest to be able to do the travel. A couple of months ago I went back to my home country, I flew direct even if it was more expensive and I did not move around like mad.
Regarding the bad tummy, I have been seeing a nutritional therapist who gave me a paleo style diet and many supplements to take. We're continuing treatment and it made a clear positive impact on my body.

All in all, my body needs attention, my body literally gives me many signs of being tired, tight or unwell. Nowadays I pay attention to it and it rewards me back.

My mind has recuperated, somewhat.
One aspect of burnout is that your cognitive abilities simply stop. I could not make simple decisions, I could not read an article, let alone a book. TV series were too hard for me too follow.
This has improved in the past six months. I can now work and my brain is functioning. But burnout taught me to be selective with how I spend my brain power. I read waaaaay less than I used to read. I do waaaay less work at work. And I allow myself plenty of "no thinking time" so I don't have to be focused any more than needed.

I'm a bit bummed I don't have the super brain I used to have but it will do.

Emotional problems need emotional solutions.
Having burnout was so devastating, I could not believe I had failed so badly. I ate well, I exercised, I was pleasant to people, I didn't have crazy toxic relationships, I nurtured my friends, I seeked challenging work. How come I ended up in such a bad state?

But nowadays I'm thankful because one of the first things I thought when the doctor gave me my sick leave was that "everything can stay the same, I don't need to aim for a single improvement, a single change in my life. I will just allow myself to be a breathing creature, failure or no failure, I'm alive and that is all. I am just going to exist. Everything I did up to now is enough. I can just be from now on".

Plus I had a massive heartbreak. I cried for five months over someone I went out with for four weeks. (now, bloody seven months later, I still can't talk to the guy for three minutes without breaking down in tears later). So I needed help, not to tell myself I was being unreasonable and illogical. I went to a psychologist in London and when twice a month sessions didnít feel like enough, I got in touch with a psychoanalyst from my birth country and we are having a session every week now.
Now I see the guy had only little to contribute to all the tears, it was all past trauma, old, ignored pain.

My point here is that reaching burnout is a long process and it probably has emotional aspects to it. Once I was out of the deepest physical and mental burnout, the best thing I did was to consider what emotional wounds and warped thinking led me there. And that is the advice I would give everyone, be gentle and kind to yourself. Allow yourself to have a breakdown and let go of the paradigm that got you to burnout.

« Last Edit: March 08, 2020, 11:13:58 AM by brunetteUK »

Life in Balance

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Re: How do you recover from burnout? ALL advice and compassion appreciated
« Reply #154 on: March 08, 2020, 05:18:59 PM »
Thank you for sharing your update!  It sounds like you're doing much better. 


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Re: How do you recover from burnout? ALL advice and compassion appreciated
« Reply #155 on: March 09, 2020, 06:23:27 PM »
i was wondering how you were! Thank you so much for sharing and updating.