Friday, January 10, 2020

Healing Burnout

Burn out is a special kind of exhaustion. It surpasses physical, mental, emotional, or spiritual exhaustion. It encompasses all of them at once and then adds in some special extra dimension that's a little like a million tiny kitten claws climbing your nerves all the time. You're so tired you could cry, except you can't cry. Nor can you sleep.

What to do?

Anything. Anything that's not in front of a screen. Get out and get your hands in the dirt - plenty of scientific articles talk about the benefits of microbes in the soil, especially for the treatment of depressive issues.

Get bored. Go on a screen fast just to sit in the sunshine and watch the clouds go by. Does anything sound like fun? Do that thing. If nothing does, do nothing.

For me, the issue is that burn out is a progressive state that creeps up on you. It isn't something most of us notice until we're so deep in the choke hold that it feels like it's going to take moving to a new country under a new name to solve. I suggest you can untangle the skein if you're willing to rest long enough to reset your central nervous system. When I managed to trip and give myself a concussion, the doctor said, "Aim for zero sensory input. It allows your brain tissues to heal." Burn out is very much the same. Turn down the input. Hibernate if you have to. Anything to remember how to relax, to sink into the grass or the floor or a chair. Anything to let the noise of your mind drain, quiet, and finally drift to silence. Is it easy? No. Especially not with the demands of families and work. But very much like airplanes. You do have to put on your mask before you can help anyone else with theirs.


  1. Did I know you got a concussion?? But amen to zero sensory input!

    1. The whole world knew I feel like, cause it was so embarrassing. That and I posted to FB once the silence was lifted. :) Rolled a 1 on a dex check. Me versus propane tank.