Have you ever suffered from mental and physical exhaustion? Emotional unbalance and unhealthy relationship with your work?
I surely did..
When I was 22 years old I was working as a events coordinator in a Sales&Marketing Department for a luxury hotellerie company in Florence.
I was fresh from University, very young and I considered myself as a hard working person.
The Events Department began to grow with me, something that I was really proud of, but at the same time I had more and more papers, meetings, clients appointments and events to take care of in person – from breakfast in the morning to birthday parties in the night.
The more I was working like a crazy person, the more I was emotionally drained, physically exhausted and mentally in overload.
I didn’t have any ideas what boundaries were and refused to think that I was in a position to ask for them or for help. I thought: “well, this is the working environment. The more they ask, the more I need to show that I can do this”.
Until of course I exploded and I couldn’t do that anymore.
My system was in overload and stopped functioning.
I didn’t even know the word “burnout” but if I look back I was suffering from it.
After I decided to quit my job it took me months before I could consider myself rested physically and mentally and emotionally stable.
10 years have passed and if I observe my approach to the way I work, I realise that I still have burnout tendencies. I learned that the container might change (different job place of type of work) but if I don’t work on the way I approach my work and my core beliefs – burnout tendencies will still be there.
What’s the difference between me 10 years ago and now?
Well, I have a big box of Yoga Tools!In this specific case, meditation.
Having a regular meditation practice (static or dynamic) helps me in increasing my awareness and presence with what is happening inside or outside myself.
Now I am able to observe and recognize when my system (mind, emotions and body) is reaching a point of saturation and an overload of information and stop there.
I learned to stop before the process of burning out.
And sometimes it’s really on the last second :)
If you imagine yourself in a stressful situation like a ball of energy, the more we work, push and receive information, the more the ball will grow, become tense, crack and explode one day.
We are in “fight or flight” mode: to make it simple is an ancient surviving mechanism to give us a boost of adrenaline and energy to run away from a danger. It’s supposed to be short and effective, but nowadays for the way we work we are constantly in this state. Bad news: our system can tolerate only up to a certain point.
Check out this Harvard article in how the brain reacts to stress (yes, I am nerd with a deep love for neuroscience)
But if I am able to see the red flags during this process, I can lose the grip, release tensions and deflate the ball of energy.
(Spoiler Alert: at the end of the Blog you can download a 10 minutes guided meditation to use as a rescue kit in stressful time)
I have 5 strategies:
1 – Space. I move away physically from the place I am working. I need to create distance between me and the source of stress at that moment. Sometimes only this helps me to distract my mind and exhale my emotions/stress out.
2 –Distract my mind. I sit in a comfortable position, close my eyes and land my focus on my breath. It’s like breaking the pedal, slowing down and being in my body again. Allowing my emotions and tensions to rise and leave. Sometimes I cry, for a deeper release.
3-Laying down. If I can, I lay down, take a deep and long exhale – enjoying the deflating process and release tensions to the ground and.
4- Dance. Turn up the volume, move my body to shake out emotions.
5- Asking for help– that’s a big one for me. Allowing myself to receive support is THE lesson of my time here on earth.
Did you suffer or still suffer from burnout tendencies?
Do you have secret practice to deflate the balloon?
I am always inspired by other stories, and I am here for you if you want to share <3
Taking a walk, being in nature or with animals are also great ways to hit the braking pedal and relax.
I prepared a 10 minutes guided meditation that you can download and listen to anytime you need a break, at work, at home or wherever you need it.
I often meditate on my lunch break (before I eat) to reset my system and take a pause in the middle of the day. To keep the energetic balloon small.
I strongly believe that we can do something everyday for ourselves, to bring balance and lightness in our life. To bloom like a Garden.
I wish you a beautiful rest of the day,