Burnout by Any Other Name

rest burnoutI’ve been thinking a lot about rest lately.

I suspect it’s because I stopped thinking about it long enough to finally get some.

On the cusp of a big transition about a year ago, I blocked out time for some R & R before diving headlong in to my next big thing. I figured it would take a week, maybe two, before I was refreshed and ready to hit the ground running.

Right.

In one of those you don’t even know what you don’t know kind of experiences, I realized that I had worn too busy and so tired like twin badges of honor for so long, I had no clue how truly burned out I was.

Emotional exhaustion. Physical Fatigue. Cognitive weariness.

The clinical characteristics of burnout, sound a tad more significant than “I’m so busy and tired,” don’t they?

Imagine working with a colleague, or with a team, suffering from emotional exhaustion.

Spending time with a friend or partner who was run down by physical fatigue.

Sharing the highway with drivers in the grip of cognitive weariness.

That’s what I made the people around me do every day. For years.

Never again.

Then I stopped. I rested. For a long time at first. Now in small, frequent doses. In between working hard and playing hard.

And feeling better than I remember feeling in a long, long time.

What about you? Your colleagues, family, community? Are you showing up for them emotionally exhausted, physically fatigued and cognitively weary? Is that what you want for them? For yourself?

Start with five minutes of doing nothing, just being. Hide in the bathroom if you have to.

You might decide to quit the cult of busy, too.

 

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