Sometimes its hard to figure out what you want and how to achieve it. Instead of sitting down, being patient and giving yourself the time and space to learn, progress and reach your goals, you tend to get stressed, panic and worrying till you no longer have the motivation and energy to progress.
Burn out has hit me on so many levels during my life, throughout my school life, I had a 100% attendance then suddenly some issues arose just before my GCSEs and all of that hard work caused me to have a breakdown. Since then burn out has become a topic that I am fully aware about and know I need to work on. If I had taken the correct amount of time and learnt about myself maybe I would’ve dealt with my issues in school appropriately. I cant change what happened in the past so instead I must find ways to ensure it does not repeat itself. I am trying my hardest to improve my self-awareness and encourage myself to learn how I work and think so that I can reduce burn out and ensure I stay level.
I want to talk about cognitive behaviour therapy in a future post as I think it is a subject that everyone should be aware about due to the impact it can have on our own lives and how we can influence others. This can be a positive subject to include in our lives, if we don’t know how to be ourselves then we will not only internally suffer but we will also cause pain externally. Its hard and it will take years of practice and experience but I believe we can each take control over ourselves and our actions to help us achieve our own goals and how to support others to do so as well.
What is burnout?
Burnouts are different for everyone and each of us may choose to deal with them in different ways. However, there are a few signs that you can look out for that may indicate that you’re suffering from burnout:
Feeling drain and fatigued-
The first sign that really hits a lot of people is feeling exhaustion and drained, this can cause all sorts of problems especially in other areas of your life such as lack of self care, common stress problems such as anxiety may also become more prevalent and sneak up on you more often.
Lack of motivation-
Lack of motivation can swoop in easily especially if you’re feeling drained or fatigued. You may lose interest in hobbies or things that would normally interest you. You may feel dissatisfied with your job and may notice you begin to lack motivation to complete tasks as you would do normally. Losing interest in things may cause forgetfulness which can then impact both your personal and work life.
Feeling anger, becoming more irritable/frustrated and even more chronic behavioural changes. Feeling more cynical and sad will creep up on you and make sure you have no motivation or energy to comprehend feeling a positive emotion. These negative emotions can affect you in both personal and work relationships.
Problems with attention, executive functions and memory will become apparent.
You don’t feel satisfied and may feel as though you are getting nowhere. You feel less happy about your career or with home life.
Other problems may occur that I may have not mentioned such as stomach problems, migraines/headaches, sleeping problems, change of appetite, lack of social life and many more.
A perfect summary for burn out to me is ‘Burnout is the loss of meaning in one’s work, coupled with mental, emotional, or physical exhaustion as the result of long-term, unresolved stress.’ which I found on a website called ‘Calmer’ – https://www.thisiscalmer.com/blog/5-stages-of-burnout
I really enjoyed this blog as I really felt it captured what its like to reach burnout and what the process feels like in 5 easy to understand stages.
What can you do when suffering burnout?
Try to learn or take up different relaxation methods and create a self-care routine, this is help you find ways to create a less stressful environment and know when enough is enough. I chose things like yoga and mediation and even reading or listening to music to help me relax.
Try to escape work once the working day is over, overthinking and working on work related areas while you’re meant to be at home or relaxing is not healthy. Your work will begin to bleed into your personal life and you may struggle to decipher between hobbies, personal life and work. I personally took up writing as a ‘outside of work’ hobby, I enjoy waffling on about subjects of interest and then sharing them with others…I also find it relaxing and freeing as I feel I am being honest with both myself and others around me. But you don’t have to choose writing, other good ‘outside of work’ hobbies that you could take up can range from sports and exercise to arts and crafts, whatever relaxes you and makes you feel happy.
Reducing social media and electronics, now I am aware some people find scrolling through social media and gaming, relaxing but you have to remember this can effect your mental health and you may not even be aware of this. Use it wisely and remember what you see on social media may not be real and to try not to get too caught up in it all. I personally don’t enjoy many platforms of social media as I find I feel more negatively about myself and the world after spending too much time scrolling through other peoples lives. Gaming can be relaxing however, again I feel very tense and over stimulated after a hour or so, playing with electronics can also affect your sleep, so try to do everything in moderation.
Getting a good sleep cycle and becoming more organised can really help anyone feel better, sleeping more ensures your body has the time it needs to reset for the next day. Not getting enough sleep can effect someone both physically and mentally. Being more organised can help reduce the last minute ‘oh NO’s’ and forgetful moments of ‘Oh dear is that today?’. The more organised you are the more relaxed your mind can be, do you sometimes find yourself laying awake late at night or remembering that you needed to do something the next day but forgot and now its too late? Well becoming more organised can help to reduce this. If you’re ready for the tasks then you’re less likely to get things wrong and when you get things wrong this can impact your thoughts and you can begin to doubt your worth which can really lead to some negative thoughts.
Lastly, talk, find someone you trust and just be honest. Its hard, really hard but it will get easier. If you are struggling to find someone to trust then seek out a professional and you may even find that they can help with other problems you may be experiencing. A simple conversation can do wonders for the mind.
Do not judge people who get burnt out, this is a process and each of us should be able to gain the support and care from those around us or from a professional if needed. Don’t suffer alone, pick up the phone and speak to someone, its so very hard to do this, I know, but you can help reduce the risk of burnout by just being aware.
What was your experience with burnout? How do you cope living in a fast pace world?
Throughout life we are told not to be “too sensitive”, “over dramatic” or “too intense”. Some of us are ridiculed or judged for showing any of these traits. Maybe some of us have a sensitivity that you don’t feel and that’s ok as we are all different, nearly everything in life is a spectrum and our unique traits make us human.
This post is about being highly sensitive and how its ok to be, you can learn how to embrace who you are. The first paragraph is a bit of a intro to my personal thoughts, I will again pop some headers down so you can skip through and choose to read certain parts. Thank you for reading.
I personally felt that those around me made me feel abnormal for feeling so passionate, dramatic and sensitive, I always took things seriously and if someone acted like they didn’t care, especially when opening up, I would feel really alone. In reality I was probably overthinking a lot and each of us have different things that we love.
I felt as though no one could keep up with my mind, I wouldn’t ever say I’m smart at all but I do spend a large amount of time thinking. Sometimes when I try to let some of these thoughts out people turn their back or get offended because all the words come out wrong. At some points in my life I learnt to not say anything at all. I think a lot of people feel this way!
I feel and think on an extremely deep level and I know I am not alone but I cant understand why those of us who are sensitive are taught to be ashamed.
I began to only share my thoughts with my parents because everyone else would take it the wrong way and I began to feel guilty talking about myself or things I loved/believed in. I am very thankful to have such lovely parents and now a lovely partner who I feel I can open up to.
My parents are the most inspirational people I have ever met. I look up to them and they’re the type of people I hope to become one day when I am wise and strong enough. Just a list of a few traits I believe they have; open minded, peaceful, supportive, sensitive, kind, funny, wise, positive, strong and smart. They work so so hard, much harder than anyone else I know, (in my opinion) they each have their own problems and they pushed through and became successful humans. They are constantly underestimated and those around us cant always see how much they do for everyone, how much they have done for me. I hope one day they will know how incredible they are.
What is HSP?
HSP stands for highly sensitive person, this is a genetic trait that is found in about 15 to 20% of the population, it enables you to feel and think incredibly deeply however can cause you to feel overstimulated and or misunderstood. Elaine Aron is a researcher in high sensitivity and sensory processing sensitivity. It was used in order to keep us safe but due to modern times it has become a burden to some of us due to the vast amount of stimuli that is to be processed so regularly if not all the time.
Someone with HSP can be either introverted, extroverted or somewhere in-between. While we each feel we may experience some of the signs I will be discussing in my next paragraph, it doesn’t mean you are a HSP, maybe you might even find you have it mildly, however, a HSP will be very likely to feel “too” much and deeply compared to those around them.
Preston has shown some excellent categories which are as followed;
Sensitivity about oneself
Sensitivity about others
Sensitivity about ones environment
The signs of being HSP
I will be including Preston’s way of categorising these signs as I think it is very easy to understand and follow without missing much!
Sensitivity about oneself –
This is a category that reflects what you may feel in regards to yourself;
Trouble letting go of negative thoughts and or emotions
Get minor to aggressive physical symptoms in reaction to things that happen during the day eg headaches
Affects eating and sleeping habits in a negative way due to something that has happened during the day
Anxiety is very common
You are your worst critic and beat yourself up
Rejection is a harsh and scary reality even in minor situations
Almost always compares oneself to others and feels very unhappy from these negative social comparisons
Anger or resentment about situations in life or in society which seem unjust, aggravating or simply annoying.
Sensitivity about others-
This category reflects what you may feel and react when it comes to others;
Over worries or thinks about what others are thinking
Takes things rather personally
Even if something may seem like “nothing” they feel it is difficult to just “let it go”
Gets and feels hurt easily
Usually hides any negative feelings or due to the amount of “drama” in their life they tend to discuss negative emotions with others
Even if feedback is meant to be constructive they often don’t take it very well
Feels as though people are being judgemental even without lots of evidence
Overreacts to real or perceived slights and provocations
Cant be themselves in group situations
Self-conscious in intimate situations (worries about partner’s approval and unreasonably scared of being judged or rejected)
Sensitivity about one’s environment-
Large public crowds or rooms full of people talking, or when too many things are occurring simultaneously are a nightmare
Uncomfortable when in and around bright lights, loud sounds, or certain scents
Startles easily at sudden noises
Easily triggered by violence, violent movies, hates seeing fights or acts of cruelty
Feels unhappy following people’s posts (social media)
Functioning with little or no sleep is very hard, more sleep may be needed than the average person due to how intensely they feel
Emotional exhaustion is very real, some days can be an emotional roller-coaster, you are able to feel more than a few emotions in one day
Hard to move on from previous trauma for example a breakup, an insult or being backstabbed by someone 6 years ago can still linger
Navigating new environments can be hard
Conflicts hurt deeply and finds it hard to forgive oneself
Doesn’t like to be rushed
Sometimes boundaries are easily crossed due to struggling to say no and instead says yes to things they don’t particular like to do or feel comfortable doing
Requires alone time to recharge
Feels misunderstood and lonely, sometimes believes “no one seems to relate to me” this is a trait not a choice
Can be introverted
More likely to be emotionally reactive
Prone to anxiety and depression – due to past experiences
Picks up on emotions even if they’re not accurate – moods rub off on you a lot more
Fixates on body, tone of voice or facial expressions and then obsessing about it even when told “it didn’t mean anything” taking things too seriously
Can see when someone is lying and it sucks because people don’t always want to feel exposed
Neglects self care, making other peoples problems their own
Even if something doesn’t seem serious to you it may be very serious to some one who is highly sensitive
People are quick to assume something like being a HSP is negative but there are so many reasons that make being highly sensitive worth it!
The strengths of being a HSP
A much deeper level of understanding, a more powerful connection to ones emotions
Bonds that are made with other people are loyal and honest – some people take advantage but it’s the risk you take
Can read situations and see details others may miss, attention to environment – more likely to notice things such as a stain on the rug or nail colour changes
Self aware – deeper thinker, often misjudged as an overthinker and can sometimes lead to worrying about things that cannot be changed
Tearing up around other when speaking or listening to something emotional – even if they hide their vulnerable emotions they will relate and once close be a great support
Can be great listeners and also great talkers
Avoids negative friendships etc due to being taken advantage of so are more likely to know if you’re a good or bad person
Creative – negative and positive emotions are felt on a very deep level which can make it easier to appreciate or make art/write/talk
Very passionate – looks like overreacting – daydreamer – can put their heart and soul into everything they do so it’s the best and genuine
Uncomfortable with injustice – want to make sure values integrity
Sensitive people will often have a deeper connection with animals and nature
Would rather do it the right way
Vivid dreams which can enrich the inner world for the HSP’s
They’re not all shy and anxious – when the correct environment and needs are met they can thrive
Things that can help you if you believe you may be a HSP-
Some of the things I will be mentioning may help just about anyone really as they’re essential to even those who don’t identify with being a HSP or having a form of Autism.
I learnt a few things that I found suited me and my personal life, some of these things I have only just implemented within the last few months but I feel have helped me already!
My anxiety is much more controlled and I can now see what may trigger any negative behaviours and find ways to reduce it before it even happens. Of course there are moments in life where mental health takes a toll and everyone has to learn how to ensure they are meeting the right requirements in order to achieve their full potential. I still get anxiety, depressive thoughts and many other side affects of being sensitive but I now know that this is not something to be ashamed of but something I must realise and learn how to embrace. There are some days where I am more sleep deprived or I know I have had too much caffeine and I am aware that this may cause negative reactions but I am more aware which enables me to change things about my day to accommodate and to reduce a spiral.
Taking time out and relaxing/doing something I love is the perfect way to recharge from a draining situation, you may fall into the “but I don’t have time” well that’s an excuse to me. We all fall into that sometimes but if you make excuses like this about things then you were never really going to try to change. Sometimes we just need the push but I know I tend to make that excuse when I need to study or learn something to achieve something and I realised that if I am serious then I will make sure I have time even if it is just for 10 minutes. Imagine how much time you spend on social media, spend 10 minutes of that reading, learning or trying something you’ve always wanted to do instead and you’ll be surprised about how much you can do 🙂
Ensure you have enough sleep
Of course as you age you’ll find the right amount of sleep that suits you, try and create a sleep schedule to help reduce exhaustion.
Try and eat a healthier and varied diet
We all fall for fast food sometimes and as a treat that’s ok but try and eat healthier on a regular basis, ensure you are getting the required amount of vitamins and minerals to aid brain development and mood to be much more positive and productive.
Schedule time out and recharge time
Sometimes life can be very hectic for anyone, make sure you take time out to recharge especially after intense or known trigger environments for example if you know you have an event you have to attend ensure you have given yourself the time afterwards whether that’s a few hours or days to ensure you are feeling yourself again.
Taking extra time or space to get things done
This can help reduce the feeling of urgency and stress, I know sometimes this is hard and some things cannot wait so maybe attempt to plan things in advance and try and keep a schedule so you can keep on top of those tasks before they become urgent. Remember to relax and recharge afterwards you deserve it!
Limit or reduce caffeine
I know I am a sucker for caffeine, I try and limit myself to a maximum of two caffeinated drinks a day, I got into decaf a lot too as I found hot drinks were very comforting to me but the caffeine made me very shaky and anxious. As individuals we can each handle different levels of caffeine so try and find your happy amount 🙂
Reduce bright lighting
I for one hate bright lights, I opt for warm lighting and if possible I wear tinted glasses with yellow lenses to just reduce the brightness a bit to make it more comfortable.
Pick off-peak times to do things
I am not a fan of doing shopping, too many colours and people, however I know that certain times of the day mean its less crowded and I’m less likely to feel the pressure. So try and find out what times are less congested or maybe your shops or events you like to attend have special times to help you.
Surround yourself with a positive and natural environment
Sensitive people are more likely to be drawn to nature and animals, a nice peaceful walk or quiet place can be perfect for you if you feel a bit overwhelmed or need to recharge. Don’t be ashamed if you don’t want to go to that party and you’d rather go for a walk and read a book or listen to some music, its ok to be yourself and embrace your hobbies and lifestyle as long as it doesn’t hurt others or yourself.
Surround yourself around positivity
I struggled with this myself, I was around negative people and situations almost daily. I was obsessed with social media and gained very negative relationships with the negative people around me which isn’t healthy! I now avoid people who I know have a certain negative outlook which of course we all go through and if you want to talk I will always be happy to listen. But sometimes we need to avoid the worlds negativity because I myself found I was becoming very negative and I hated bringing others down! I find peoples emotions rub off on me massively so if I am around lots of negative people I then become negative so instead I reduced the time I spend with the negative people and I left many platforms of social media. Even just simply reducing the amount of time you spend on social media can help you massively.
Lastly remember your worth
You are enough and you are worth it, overthinking is so easy and its ok. Remember you’re a deep and passionate thinker and you are very emotional and sensitive. If someone says you are “too sensitive/overreacting” or “you need to toughen up” or “stop taking it personally” or even the dreaded “why are you worrying, just forget about it” then I advice you tell this person to leave you alone haha…or maybe the more adult approach, attempt to teach them or advise them why those statements aren’t fair for people who are highly sensitive. Your emotions are worth the time, you are highly sensitive and kind and I know it may cause upset but you have to remember it’s a great thing being sensitive. People without this trait wont know quite how it feels to feel so deeply and that’s ok because one person at a time we can help everyone understand that we’re all different but we are all worthy.
I would love to hear what your thoughts and experiences are with being, knowing or learning about what a HSP is. Of course there are way more aspects to this trait so I am sorry if I missed things or you believe other things 🙂 I would like to hear your opinions! Thank you so much for reading and taking the time to try and understand those who are highly sensitive, you may even find out something new about yourself and learning is the best gift of all. ❤