Coping with burnout (how to get your spark back)

coping-with-burn-out

Hey friends!

Last week was a little bit of a rough one. I was all excited about my brother’s graduation and getting to see my parents but after they left I drooped into a bit of a mess. Everything suddenly felt too much for me to handle and I winded up getting sick.

Something I’m pretty proud of is the fact that I hardly ever get sick. There are only two times in the past year I can recall being really sick. Like flat-on-my-back-bring-me-a-cold-flannel kinda sick. The first was earlier this year at the most inconvenient time when I was supposed to be hosting this special brunch I’d spent ages planning and the second was just last week.

While I was lying on my bed binge watching Gilmore Girls and feeling sorry for myself I was thinking about both of these occasions and trying to come up with a link between them.

And I think I got it… both of these times I was utterly and completely burnt out.

Related: Are you sick of hustling hard and getting nowhere?

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I’m a strong, independent gal and somehow I’ve led myself to believe that I am invincible. I’ve been going and going and going and the stress has been piling on. My anxiety has been through the roof and more often than I care to admit I’ve found myself spontaneously bursting into tears.

And I’ve realized that I have been pushing myself way too hard. I’ve been acting like I was bitten by a radioactive spider and have superhuman strength which enables me to DO IT ALL.

But I very quickly realized that I cannot do it all and everything came to a crashing halt.

You are strong...but you aren't invincible. You need to make time for rest. Click To Tweet

I don’t know if you’ve been there before but in case you are unsure, here’s a few ways to tell if you’re burnt out and in serious need of some R&R. 

Signs you might be burnt out: getting sick, losing interest in the things you love, feeling exhausted, difficulty sleeping, losing your appetite or feeling emotionally drained and on the verge of tears.

So with all that being said, I wanna talk a little bit about coping with burnout. What do you do when it sneaks up on you and how do you get the pep back in your step?

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Coping with burnout (how to get your spark back):

Stop everything

Or at very least drop all the unnecessary things. Scheduling a hair appointment, shopping for groceries, going to that exercise class etc. Give yourself a day free from as many commitments as possible. 

Even the things that are fun can become a little too much sometimes. 

I set myself some pretty lofty goals for my blog this year and I’ve been hustling hard to make them happen. And as much as I love writing, creating and connecting with you on social media…I was feeling exhausted from being online ALL THE TIME. So I took a break and it did me a world of good.   

Do whatever it is that you crave. Be it lying on the couch watching terrible daytime TV (downsize my pet and what not) or whether you take the time to clean up the house. Allow yourself some time to rest and find your joy again. 

Related: How to find rest if you are anxious all the time

Eat like you mean it

Which I’m pretty sure is the Carls Jr slogan so please note that I’m not recommending or endorsing them in anyway 😉 

I fully believe that sometimes we’ve gotta eat to satisfy more than just our appetite. There are days that call for serious comfort food and feeling all burnt out is definitely one of those days.

So in the midst of my bad week I went and bought a frozen pizza which I cooked for dinner and it was absolutely wonderful.

Believe me, I am not that girl. I don’t buy sad, frozen meals and call them dinner. I’d rather eat sad boiled eggs on sad dry toast than get greasy takeaways…but pizza I was craving, so pizza I had.

There is a time and a place for chocolate chip, cookie dough ice cream and my friend, this is the time.

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Give yourself some grace

I’m a go-getter, goal-setter, make-it-happen kind of girl so in the past I have believed that slowing down is a sign of weakness and should be avoided at all costs. You know what they say..if you slow down, you die.

Well ‘they’ are wrong. Slowing down doesn’t make you weak and it certainly won’t be the death of you (unless you are being chased by a lion in which case…RUN.) If anything, slowing down is essential for our survival. We crave rest like we do oxygen. Sleep is the very proof of that. 

So you should never ever feel guilty for taking time to rest. Be gentle with yourself, remember that you are doing the best you can.

Reconnect with what you love

Maybe as you’ve got busier you have dropped old hobbies that you used to love. I know my mum gave up sewing to look after us kids (love you mum.) Picking those things back up again can be just the thing that you need to set yourself straight again.

Or maybe you never gave up on your passion but it just doesn’t feel fun anymore. I have certainly felt that way about blogging and what always helps to bring me outta that funk is to remember why I started in the first place.

Often we get so caught up in being “successful” at whatever it is we do, that we loose sight of what’s really important.

Ask yourself this: What was it that first made you love what you do? Reconnect with the real reason you love blogging/designing/teaching because I bet you it’s about more than just fame and fortune.


And lastly I think it’s important to add that you are not alone in feeling this way. Don’t be afraid to share your struggle with a friend. It’s a beautiful thing to be vulnerable and fearlessly show your weaknesses.

Let’s be honest with ourselves and each other. It’s okay to not be okay all the time.

I have little breakdowns all the time so if you’re in need of support, don’t hesitate to reach out to me!

Pin it for later:

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Now tell me…

What does coping with burnout look like for you?

What food do you really crave on bad days?

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9 Comments

  1. Such an important topic to discusss. I think a lot of us just go go go and when we start to burn out it’s too late. So important to take time for yourself and not let everything consume you. Great post!

  2. I totally crave ice cream or a warm cozy bowl of oats on a day when I’m feeling particularly tired/burnt out. I love that you went and got pizza, because I totally have those pizza craving days too. <3

    Giving ourselves grace is tough especially when it seems like the world will go on without us and leave us behind, but it's so true that God made us human and that we need to rest.

  3. For me, coping with burnout involves lots of sleep, eating food I love, and really long showers. Your advice is really useful, and is something more people should keep in mind. Burnout is a very real problem for so many people – it’s important to know how to deal with it!

  4. I am so guilty of thinking I can do it all, and I know burn-out well! These are wonderful strategies for getting through those times. A little bit of self-care on a routine basis is essential for keeping the fires burning so you can keep on keepin’ on!

  5. Oh yes, this definitely happens. I find that if I don’t get enough sleep (because of stress or being busy) then I get physically sick and that’s always a sign I need to take it easy for a bit. My comfort food is probably something chocolate!!

    -Lauren

  6. I can totally relate to feeling burnt out… in fact I’ve been feeling a little exhausted this week in particular. Coping with burnout for me usually means taking a step back and having a day where I allow myself to do nothing except read books, watch TV, and decompress.I usually feel refreshed and newly motivated after a day of rest.

  7. 1) Not related to this post, but I love the dress you’re wearing in these pictures! It’s really, really lovely!
    2) Unplugging/taking a break when you feel burned out (if you can) is so important. Stepping away from blogging last year when school got really intense was so good for me! These are all great tips.
    3) On bad days, I tend to crave either donuts, pizza, or Chipotle 😛

  8. like you said, I need to give myself grace when I’m feeling burnt out. Do some self care activities, rest up, get connected back with myself. When I feel rested and taken care of, usually I regain some energy… I like doing the things i know I love too- reading, tumblr, music, etc. this can give me some drive and motivation.

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