Here are my top tips for taking care of yourself when you feel emotionally burnt out.
Hi friends! Welcome back to Riding the Wave <3
So, I don’t know if you noticed but I didn’t post a blog post last week.
The reason being is that I have been feeling so emotionally burnt out all the time recently. I don’t know if it is the lockdown or the fact I have been trying to push out blog posts but I am mentally exhausted at the moment.
I did have a whole different post planned for this week but hey ho, it is was it is!
Today I am going to share with you some of my tips and tricks I like to use to take care of myself when I am feeling burnt out and depressed.
What does feeling burnt out mean?
The term “Burnt Out” comes from American psychologist Herbert Freudenberger in the 1970s and according to helpguide.org they describe a burnout to be,
A burnout is completely normal and stress is inevitable, especially if you are me!
But, what we don’t want is for a burnout or stress to become too much to cope with and put your mental health at risk. So it is important to recognise the signs that you are experiencing a burnout.
What are the signs of being burnt out?
You’re feeling fatigued – There is a massive difference between being tired and fatigue. Tiredness will go away with a good rest and a bit of self-love, but fatigue is more enduring. For example, when I feel emotionally burnt out, no amount of food, rest or self-love can stop me from feeling drained and exhausted all the time.
You are not taking care of yourself – I know I am guilty of this! When I am experiencing a burnout my eating habits and sleeping pattern goes completely out of the window and sometimes when I am really bad I will stop showering. These changes are usually the first and most prominent signs of a burnout. Please be aware of any loss of appetite and restful sleep because it can affect your mental health.
Your performance is declining – Whether it is work, your relationship or just something you do in your spare time. If you are noticing that your productiveness or quality of work is declining, it may because you are burnout. Remember burnouts are gradually and it can be hard to pinpoint when things started to decline, look at things from a long perspective so you can figure out if and why you are emotionally burnt out.
You are emotionally volatile – My boyfriend has definitely had to put up with my temper tantrums! It’s harder for your brain to function when you are feeling emotionally burnt out, this may lead to you having a bit of a short fuse and being volatile with the people around you. It’s okay! You are just more sensitive during this time. Feelings of frustration, guilt, pessimism and anger are very common.
You feel down – When you are feeling down most of the time your brain is telling you that there is a problem. Don’t be hard on yourself though! Be mindful of your low moods, depression and anxiety can worsen if the problem goes untreated.
You are being less social – If you don’t have the energy to take care of yourself, it’s no surprise that you don’t have the energy to be social with friends and family. When you are emotionally burnt out, you may find that you have no desire to speak to friends or family and that you are pushing them away without meaning to. Social withdrawal is one of the worst consequences of poor mental health. Don’t suffer in silence.
Feeling hopeless – We live in a culture that values achievement and success, so during a burnout it is easy to spend all of the energy you have on everything you need to do to be successful. Thus, leaving yourself with no energy to take care of yourself and giving way to feelings of despair and hopelessness. You don’t have to push yourself all the time, there comes a point where you have to draw the line and put your emotional needs first.
A burnout is an easy trap to fall into and a very difficult one to get out of.
It is important to know the signs so you can help yourself and others.
What can I do when I feel burnt out?
Well, you can try the “Three R” approach:
Recognize. Watch for the warning signs of burnout.
Reverse. Undo the damage by seeking support and managing stress.
Resilience. Build your resilience to stress by taking care of your physical and emotional health.
This method works really well for some people, but in my experience apart from Recognize, the “Three R” approach doesn’t really help me, so, I have my own coping mechanisms for when I feel burnt out.
My own coping mechanisms for when I am burnt out
Now, I don’t always cope in situations the best, as a highly sensitive person sometimes I just need to switch off because I am just too emotionally drained and I am not a mental health professional, this is just me very briefly explaining what helps me when I am feeling emotionally burnt out.
Listen – For me this is the most important! I listen to what my body is telling me. If I am too exhausted to take a shower, I’ll have a bath instead so I can save my energy for the things I have to do. I am not going to push myself to do things that I don’t have the energy to do. If you want to order McDonald’s and spend the day pigging out then do it! You can feel when your body is not up for doing something, you just have to listen to it.
Rest – Don’t feel guilty about spending the day in bed at the weekend, if you need to do that then do it! You need to rest to recover. If you can maybe take a day off work, sometimes I will book off a half-day and spend the afternoon sleeping or in bed watching Drag Race on Netflix, why not! Taking time off to take care of your mental health is important! There is no shame in resting and giving into what you need in that moment.
Talk – Talk to anyone! Obviously, I think it’s best to speak to a professional if you are able, there is lots of help out there, please see my resources page! But, if you feel like you can’t do that, speak to a friend or family member, you don’t even have to fully tell them what’s going on. Sometimes getting on the phone and chatting s**t or gossiping with someone you love makes a massive difference. If you are feeling burnt out because of work, maybe if you feel comfortable enough speak to your boss and let them know how you are feeling.
I hope that if you are feeling emotionally burnt out that you are taking care of yourself and at the end of the day, you will know what is best for you! The things that help me might not help someone else, we all cope with these things differently.
Sometimes keeping your head above water is the best that you can do and that is perfectly okay!
Give yourself a break and please be kind to yourself <3
Dear future em!
I am currently so done with these past few weeks! Life gets like this for us, I hope that you have learnt from my past mistakes of how I used to deal with life when I am burnt out.
Hopefully, you are taking much better care of yourself now and not just telling yourself that you will take care of yourself lol! We don’t cope well with being stressed or burnt out so fingers crossed you have recognised the warning signs and help yourself early on!
Love past em x