After having such a rough first half of the year, including a mental meltdown in front of my boss, I had to take a major step back from my life. I had to learn to listen to my body and take care of myself. I had to learn to speak out for myself.
Steps for recovering from burnout:
- Went to my doctor and tried some different medications.
- Started seeing a counselor each week. I began to learn that how I interpreted the expectations placed on me created real physical stress for me.
- I cutoff all ties from my job, no phone, no email.
- I stayed at home most of the time. I learned that I could not go to the store on my own without a panic attack.
- I spent a lot of time reading, writing, praying, sleeping.
- My husband would take me out of the house several evenings a week to keep me from being too housebound.
- He actually sent me off to Savannah, GA for a week. He drove me down there and got me settled in. I had a little apartment, time to read, rest, and walk on the beach.
- Once I returned, I actually started cleaning my house again, and doing laundry. I even began cooking again.
You see, I had been working so much for the past 2 years, I didn’t even know what a schedule for real people looked like. I learned the flow of eating regular meals, taking a shower, housework, rest, spending time with family, all things I really did not do much of for the previous 2 years.
What matters most
I began to remember the important things in life. Time to think, time to spend with my husband, time to dream, time to relax, time to spend with friends and family. Time to volunteer for those less fortunate.
I realized that there was more to life than money, than recognition. That if I didn’t have my health, my faith, or my family, what good was anything else I had? I learned that I had to devote time to developing who *I* was as a person.
I learned to search my soul for what my passion was, what I was meant to do in my life. I have realized that the passion I had in my job to help others with their lives was very important to me and that I wanted to use that further. And I realized that I loved to write!
Learned my limits
I also have learned that I have limits. I actually think I thought that I was invincible. I like to tease that I finally learned that there is a God, and it isn’t me! I think He is much better at it than I am, lol!
I do best if I am not around large groups for long periods of time. I need a balance of time alone versus time with others. As much as I thought I was a people person, I have learned that I love to be around groups for a short time, but then I have to be alone to recharge.
Even though this year was one of the toughest in my life, I am grateful for the lessons I have learned about life and about myself. I hope that I will live a lot longer because of it and that I will be healthier and happier!