Five unhelpful things I tell myself when under stress that lead to burnout!
There are lots of reasons why I feel stressed, exhausted and overwhelmed throughout my day and growing up with my sensitivities unrecognised, it is safe to say that I have developed some rather unhelpful ‘coping mechanisms’ that work against my self-care ethos. My internal voice can easily tell me that….
‘Being sensory sensitive is hard work!’
‘Being a sensory sensitive business owner is stressful!’
‘Being a sensory sensitive mother is exhausting!’
…and rather than using these feelings as an indicator to stop, I become so lost in the demands and responsibilities around me that instead of slowing down, I push myself harder. I loose myself to my children, I loose myself to my work and sometimes I loose myself to my anxiety and insomnia…I loose myself to everything around me until there is hardly any of ‘me’ left. When I am in this place of extreme stress I am acting from a place of survival rather than truly living my life.
We have all had periods within our life when this has happened to us, such as a job unexpectedly ending propelling us to a place of uncertainty. These types of events can place us under a level of prolonged stress that is not only detrimental to our emotional health but it can also dangerous for our physical health as well, leading to extreme exhaustion of mind and body, sometimes refereed to as burnout!
I have come to realise that as I am heading towards burnout my thoughts become increasingly narrow and I start lying to myself. These are some of the warning signs that I experience when I am heading towards burnout, are they the same for you?
1) I tell myself that I do not have time for self-care!
This is the biggest lie that anyone can ever tell themselves. I am ‘TOO BUSY’ to look after myself properly. Although this may feel like it is true when life is becoming overwhelming - the first time this thought ever pops into your head is your cue to stop whatever it is you are doing and immediately practice the loving actions that you need that day. Nobody is ever too busy for self-care.
2) I tell myself that I can use the time when I am not sleeping due to insomnia to catch up on work (really bad mistake).
This is a killer! Work all day….and then work all night! it just isn’t going to work for anyone. We all need a good amount of sleep to function and when running on empty, our brains and bodies do not work at their best. When we are fatigued we start to make silly mistakes and everyday tasks start taking twice as long as they usually would. This is why it is good to remember that working through the night really isn’t going to benefit you, your family or your work!
3) I tell myself to ‘push through’ my exhaustion and to just keep going…
This is another lie! Yes okay I regard myself as a strong independent woman, but I do not have superpowers by any stretch of the imagination. Living up to my sometimes impossible standards can have me drained to my core and then out of action for days, weeks or even months at a time. Pushing through your exhaustion does not benefit anyone!
4) I berate myself for my exhaustion…
Here is that voice in my head again, telling me that I am weak because I am not ‘pushing through’ telling me that I am weak because I cant keep on going on the three hours sleep. This is like my anti-care voice that pops into my head from time to time. It is punishing and it is relentless…it wants to see me in burnout. I must remember that whatever the punishing voice in my head appears I must not give into its criticism.
5) I promise myself I will have ‘me time’, tomorrow, next week, next month (but this time never comes).
This is the trickiest version of my anti-care voice because it actually promises me time for myself. It tells me to ‘trust myself’ but what it is actually doing is delaying my self-care to get me to work harder. It says I can stop…but not now. It suggests that I rest later, or tomorrow or next week, but this is another lie. When I start to delay my self-care it means that I need it now not later!
What tricks does your mind say to you when you are overworking yourself? Please share your experiences with me either in the comments or email email@example.com. Self-care is not something that we can just pick up and put down as and when we want. It is a daily promise to ourselves that we love ourselves and recognise our own worth,
Love to your sensory self,
Jess x x