I was talking on the phone with a family member the other day. We were sharing our busy schedules with each another. All of a sudden, I heard myself say, “I think I am burned out!” We both laughed and shortly after we hung up I asked myself, what does it mean to feel burned out? I hear people say it often, but what does it really mean?
I looked it up and came across Wikipedia’s definition of Burnout Syndrome:
Burnout is long-term exhaustion and diminished interest. It can be related to job, health and depression. It may affect memory, attention span, create headaches, Insomnia, irritability, fatigue, worry, guilt, stress and grief. Over time it weakens the immune system and becomes a trigger to CFS, Chronic fatigue Syndrome.
As I read the definitions and symptoms, I could relate with many of them. Most I have dealt with over the last several years and some still currently affect my life today. I thought of the seriousness of the outcome of Chronic fatigue Syndrome. It was a strong reminder of the importance of Self-Care that is needed to be functional and healthy.
Self-Care is very individualized from person to person. For me I love to walk, jog, hike, ride my bike, shop, cook, take spiritual time and socialize with my family. I have always eaten relatively healthy, jogged most every day of my life and even completed a Marathon only a few years before becoming ill with cancer. After my recovery I try even harder to be more aware of my emotional needs and listen to my body’s physical needs.
Many people currently use alcohol and drugs as relievers for the stresses of life and ignore self-care. In the Life Skills Course I offer for my community, I help others choose better coping skills and self-care methods. Each person is to come up with other healthy solutions and activities that work for them as positive coping skills, in place of the drugs and alcohol.
Life can be a challenge for each of us, sometimes easier and more enjoyable than other times. But we all have times of struggle. If anyone looks like they are having it any easier, then maybe we just don’t know them well enough.