Burnout happens when we give so much of ourselves to others—our work, our families, our friends, our colleagues—for long periods of time. In other words, it happens when we’ve spread ourselves thin.
Experiencing burnout is something we want to pull ourselves out of, so here are some things to keep in mind.
- You don’t need to neglect yourself.
Today’s society venerates people who work themselves to the bone. And if you’re a woman, you’re not only expected to do that, you’re expected to look a certain way too. All this is an archaic and flawed standard, which you don’t need to participate in. You need to be okay with yourself and your life to avoid passing on oppressive ideas.
- You’re the advocate of your own body, rights, and feelings.
Assert yourself when things don’t feel right. No one else will do it for you, because no one else knows your exact misgivings, worries, and limits. Just be respectful and kind when you do so. This seems scary, but the consequences of not standing up for yourself will be much worse than the consequences of putting up with things that don’t sit right with you.
- Money and status don’t make you who you are.
Having money and status might be your ambition. If that’s the case, it’s good for you to know why these are your goals. Are they something you absorbed from the people around you? Or perhaps you think money and status are a means to your real goal, like ensuring you and your loved ones can live comfortably.
Whichever the case, know that money and status are not everything. If in the process of working for them, you end up being unhappy with yourself and falling out with people you love, there’s no shame in taking a different path.
- Establish boundaries.
This is difficult for many of us Filipinos, because we are generous with ourselves. But contrary to what we may initially feel about them, boundaries help everyone. They help other people understand us and be on the same page as us. At the same time, they protect us from being abused, manipulated, and taken advantage of, so we can more easily sustain our generosity and warmth, and be our best selves. Another way to look at boundaries is: they keep the wrong things and people out, and keep the right ones within reach.
Your boundaries are entirely up to you. They could constitute: not answering work calls past a certain time; telling someone they’ve crossed a line and offended you; not associating with people who intentionally hurt you; not being responsible for other people’s feelings. What matters is that you have your boundaries and you stick to them. If you don’t respect your boundaries, no one else will.
- Don’t feel sorry for having needs.
It’s okay to need a break, to need someone to talk to, to need time for yourself, or time to sort things out. As living beings, we have needs—we need to accept and embrace this so we can properly care for ourselves.
If you’re having issues related to mental health and want professional help, you can easily and safely seek counseling or advice through Maxicare. Maxicare has 24/7 teleconsult with doctors that can give basic counseling, as well as psychiatrists in its primary care clinics.