Breathing Through A Burnout

Too much, never enough

In a society that is constantly moving, it is no surprise that you might find yourself in trouble when it comes to keeping up with it all. Information hits you around the ears every time you so much as blink. You lose yourself in the chaos of our everyday lives much too easily. Lost in the feeling of it’s too much, the where should I start worries, and the never-ending question, when can I go to bed? Let this go on for too long, and you might just have a burnout on your hands.

Life has become more overwhelming than it ever has. There is no shame in admitting any of that. Still, it is quite the feat to actually make it known that you can’t do everything all at once. The same thing happened to me. I thought I was completely ready to take on the world when I finished university.  I would either get a job right away, or go study for a master’s degree. My path was completely laid out for me.

Admitting that a burnout is a thing

Of course, it didn’t go exactly as planned. Admitting that I have anxiety was one thing (can we take a moment to celebrate the world becoming more outspoken about mental health?), but now a whole other issue arose. Remember that whole feeling of being overwhelmed? Sometimes, it happens after you’ve got the worst stress behind you and have to decide what you do next. I had the fantastic plan to move to London… and then it fell through. After that, months of dragging my feet and being lost in all the choices I had followed for me to realise what was going on. The conclusion was a simple, yet painful, one: I was dealing with a burnout and had to dial it back for a bit.

I surely didn’t want to sit at home and dial it back when everyone around me was getting master’s degrees. It was either that, or moving in with their future spouses and getting the career of a lifetime. Meanwhile, I barely had the energy to get out of bed. Everyone else seemed to be able to go through life without having to admit everything was too much, so why couldn’t I? I wanted to prove to the world (but most of all, to myself), that I could do anything I put my mind to. Right now. Really, I was successful. Smart? Absolutely. I was going to be someone, just wait and see. Repeating all those things, while you bury your head underneath the blanket, becomes a contradiction in and of itself eventually. Until it gets harder and harder to be proud of yourself in those moments. And that’s okay.

Moving forward

None of those things are fun. In fact, they hurt, and it’s easy to beat yourself up over not being able to get anything done. It’s difficult. For me personally, it took me about a year to get back on track, which sucked, but it had to happen. Most of all, it is important to remember that you come first in this life of yours. If your body and your mind tell you that you need to stop and breathe, do so. If that moment takes longer than a week, so be it. If it means that you become a social recluse, let it happen for a bit.

You’re not alone in this. Life gets too much sometimes, and it won’t always go exactly the way you wanted it to. There will be hiccups on the road and obstacles to get past that you hadn’t foreseen. It is important to remember that none of those things make you a failure. Especially in a society that moves this fast, it is important to take breaks, and if those breathing moments take a little longer than usual? That’s just the way it is.

No matter how long the break, you’ll get where you want to be in the end. And so will I. We just have to fight a little harder than the rest of the world does.

Do you think you might be dealing with a burnout? Check out the symptoms here, and don’t hesitate to talk to a professional! You never know what good it does you.

Written by Amber Malik

would like my life to resemble a novel. it doesn’t, so i write about my imaginary life instead

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