Burn-out is a real thing in every profession. Behind every burned-out person is someone who has forgotten the importance of maintaining their own personal lives.
You may instantly think, “I’m not there yet, that’s not me.” Maybe your highly refined daily routine incorporates a healthy breakfast, a quick jog with your dog, scheduled dinner at the family table with the kids, and then there’s the weekly activities with a church service, a call to check on your elderly parents, a grocery store trip, meeting with your mentor, and a slew of other things.
But then one day you come across something that sounds like a TON of fun or just so relaxing, but there’s just no room in your schedule. You are doing the same-old, overly-scheduled routine of things that don’t contribute to your soul. You’ve gotten so busy or overwhelmed with “Important” things to do, and you ignore all of the best UNimportant things around you. You are now yearning for adventure, missing the fun spontaneity of your youthful days.
And, often times, we dramatize the dilemma of how the beautiful fun things around us were what we started working so hard for in the first place! This is when we realize that with every thing we say yes to, we prevent ourselves from saying yes to something else.
Let’s pause to recognize that your personal self is a complex detailed combination of many things including exercise choices, food preferences, go-to comfort zones, relationships, hobbies and future plans. You cannot be put in a box and told exactly what will make you feel better every time. But as you make more effort to find those things that repair your soul and brain, take note of them.
- Maybe in the past, it was that extra hour you spent reading to your children and answering their silly unexpected questions, unhindered by any worries of projects awaiting you at work.
- It could have happened in the crazy weekend break you took last month to drive a few hours, visit family and play games.
- Maybe, right now, you are remembering that extra bit of chicken noodle soup from your grandmother’s recipe that you keep frozen for “just in case.”
- Or maybe your go-to stress reliever is the classic beer with friends at your favorite pub after work on Friday.
It is in all of these things that we will become our most balanced selves, while properly managing our business of choice. Our business requires our brains to be strong and adaptive and creative and engaged. We are not robots; we are complex problem-solving individuals and when the pressure is on for extended time, like a candle, we eventually burn out. We cannot revolve our lives fully around our business if we want it to be the best it can be. We must remember to build-in time for the personal projects that interest us, the hobbies, the exercise, the family, and the other things that make you, you.
We must take time and make effort to just be happy.