One day in January 2016, I sat down at my computer and could not do anything. I had difficulties to read, think and concentrate. Next day, I tried again and the same happened. After few days like that, I simply gave up and took a month break to focus on myself.
What was my remedy?
By giving myself a freedom not to work, I removed the pressure from myself. I was simply living without any expectations on myself.
I followed a book on Mindfulness and consistently meditated twice a day for half an hour. I was paying more attention to routine activities like eating a small piece of chocolate, brushing my teeth or going for a walk. When I became more connected to myself, my thoughts, my senses and the world around me, I finally started noticing all those little beautiful things around me.
When I was deciding what to do (if anything), I always asked myself a question: “What would make me happy right now?” I shifted from „What I have to do“ to „What I would like to do“. I was not cheating, I really did activities that felt good for me. So I started cooking, having lunch with my friends, doing walks, sports, enjoying time with my daughter.
Every evening I was writing a list of my accomplishments. The accomplishments were often very simple like taking a relaxed candle bath or cooking a lovely lunch.
I was also having sessions with a psychologist. It was interesting self-learning experience and the opportunity to safely voice what was happening inside me.
When I look back, I had to connect to myself and to the world around me in a different way than before. In my case, the burnout was a real gift. I developed plenty of good habits that serve me very well in the present day.
Have you experienced a burnout? How did you cope?