From Burning Passion to Burn Out- 5 Steps to Re-kindle that Fire
You did it you found your passion, you have made it your career and you are living the dream "If you do what you love you will never work a day in your life" until one day it starts to feel like work. That passion that fueled you to jump outta bed in the morning is now that dream that has you asleep before you hit your pillow at night and possibly even mid-day. This sadly becomes a reality for many who hit their new found passion with all their energy and forget to keep their own inner fire burning.
I recently hit my burn out and as an educated human I jumped right into the world of google as all our problems can be solved there. First and most common recommendation was to cut back on your work hours or in my case as a yoga teacher to teach less classes or fully leave your passion and find a job in a different field for awhile. Cutting back your work hours or teaching less classes would have benefits but there are very few of us out there that can financially take that kind of hit. The thought of FULLY leaving my classes made my heart hurt and gave me instant anxiety. I may be burnt out but the happiest times of my day is when I am with my students. Okay, maybe second happiest I can't forget my pups. Why to ease my burn out would I choose to remove the one thing that makes me happy when the alternative of finding a JOB makes me want to die inside.
When you remove option one from the list what do you still have to conquer burn out?
Here are my 5 personal take-aways of how I turned around from burned out to refueling my passions and lighting my inner fire.
Stoke the Fire
What made you fall in love with your passion in the beginning? Go back to your roots.
For myself this required me to carve out time in my busy schedule to add more mat time as the student not the teacher. Finding at least ONE class a week that I could attend as a participant. Time spent playing on your yoga mat or downloading one of the many yoga practices available on-line. Going back to your roots to remind yourself of why this become your passion in the beginning.
Meditation and Gangsta' Napper
Your schedule is already crazy full, you are behind on everything and the list continues but guess what? I don't care and neither does your physical body or mental state. If you don't allow yourself time now you are going to find yourself sick or in some more extreme cases possibly even breaking down. In the BIG picture allowing yourself FULL permission to enjoy 10-15 mins of meditation isn't all that crazy yet very few of us allow ourselves this so called luxury. I scheduled myself a time slot to return to my passion of reading and if it lead to an accidental nap it was all part of the program. Giving yourself permission for that time off will give you energy to push through the first part of your day knowing that quiet time is coming up in your schedule and it provides you with the energy for the final push through the day. Please don't skip this step.
Early to bed and ditch the electronics
You have been going hard all day and now finally you can CHILL so you dive into the latest series to come onto Netflix or fall into that vortex known as social media losing hours of your life and hours of much needed sleep. This is a tough one but find that magic hour of day that you must stow away the electronics and turn off the TV. Creating an evening routine to really chill out. Having a bath, drinking a sleepy time tea, reading a book or enjoying an evening sleep mediation. Ensuring that you are getting in those 7-9 hours. With full on burnout the recommended time is closer to 10 hours with up to two 15 min naps so take that as your cue as sleep is key.
Fueling the Body
Burning the candle on both ends combined with a hectic schedule traditionally leads to poor nutritional choices. Without a consistent fuel source for our bodies we reach out for those quick hits of sugary carbs or requiring coffee to keep us going through our day and in many cases impeding that much needed sleep when the time arises later in the evening. It's time to get back to basics- find a breakfast that will fuel you and keep you going. Packing healthy on the go snacks with plenty of that amazing life source called water. Prepping lunches ahead of time, hauling out your slow cooker for dinner or having meals frozen in the ready for those evening. This requires planning and prep so keep it simple; salad in a jar, creating multiple meals at one time, single pot meals, its all about sustenance at this point.
Saying NO is okay
Your schedule is already FULL. You are exhausted, you are living in permanent mind fog so why oh why add more. If an opportunity, an invitation comes across your lap ask yourself does this fill your cup or take more away? If it is taking more away from you the answer is quite simple "no" and added tip and trick you don't actually have to provide a reason. In case you are not ready for that simple "no but thanks for thinking of me" you can let people know that "Unfortunately I have a previous commitment at that time so I am unable to attend, help.... " That 'commitment' can in actual fact be time that you have slotted YOU in your own calendar. I assure giving yourself permission to be an important part of your own schedule is a very empowering process.... go for it and give it a try! This may be more effective for those introverts. For extroverts maybe you need to be sure to leave time in your schedule so you can spend time to re-connect with those individuals who fill your cup and spark your soul in your case say "yes" to more social and "no" to those things that suck time away from you.
Burning out is real and the sooner you can catch yourself the better. I hope these tips that I pieced together can be of help to someone else as in a few short weeks they have managed to changed my life immensely. If this article was of interest to you be on the watch out as I have made some changes involving nutrition and lifestyle choices that I also believe have made an impact on this quick turn around from permanent exhaustion to excited to do more and ready for the world.