trying to survive burnout

2022, mental health

Hello,

This past couple of weeks have been a bit of a challenge – the commute to work is feeling harder for some reason, I’ve had lots of evening and weekend plans and it’s been hard to sleep well with these heat waves, which has all added up to feeling like I’m running on empty and wow burnout is exhausting.

But do I have time to rest and recover? Not really – even if I have a weekend with no plans, I’ve got lots of wedding stuff to be doing or errands to run or my mental health takes such a nose dive that I can’t bring myself to get out of bed. Both are pretty inconvenient honestly.

Although I have basically no energy all the time, there are a few things that I’m doing to try and make day to day easier so I thought I’d make the most of being burnt out and get some #content out of it.

  • I choose my outfit for work the night before

I usually do this anyway, but it makes such a difference when getting out of bed is so hard that I can just get dressed without thinking, pack my lunch, get in the car and go. The perks of the warm weather is that generally I just wear a dress and I don’t need a jacket of anything.

If I’m planning on going to the gym and I know I’ll look for any excuse not to go, sometimes I’ll wear my gym wear to work because we don’t have a dress code, it’s very comfortable and I feel like I can’t not go to the gym, because it would be a waste of wearing the clothes to not exercise.

  • plan easy dinners that don’t take too much work

The thought of cooking when you’re burnt out and there’s a heatwave? It’s not the one, in any way.

But I’m also super tight with money and trying to eat healthily, so I’m not ordering takeout every time I can’t be arsed to cook.

Here are three of my favourite easy options:

👉 Microwave rice and frozen vegetables – make the most of your microwave and your freezer – you can get frozen veg that takes two and a half minutes in the microwave, another two minutes for some rice, bish bash bosh! You can add some seasoning or some sauce, have it plain if you really don’t have the energy – easy peasy.

👉 Sausage, mash and peas – sausages in the oven for half an hour – easy. Microwave mash – easy. Microwave frozen peas – easy. If you’re feeling it, you can make some gravy. Low effort, really filling and there’s still some greens on your plate!

👉 Batchelor’s Cheese and Broccoli pasta – basically, I like anything I can cook in the microwave. All you’ve got to do is add water, milk and butter and you have a decent meal – it’s not the healthiest, but it’s not the worst and it’s filling so you won’t feel like you need to fill up on snacks.

  • at work, I write down the most urgent tasks on a post it note to make sure they get done

Being productive when you have nothing to give is so hard but I’m huge for planning out my day and assigning time blocks to all my tasks so if I’m behind or feel really overwhelmed, I’ll look at what I need to do and evaluate what needs to be done before I leave for the day. Prioritising that means I know that it’ll be less stressful for my future work days and being able to tick something off is such a good feeling when you don’t feel like you’ve achieved anything. Then even if you get nothing else done, you’ve done the most important thing and the other tasks will get done when you’re (hopefully) in a better mindset.

Being burnt out is so hard to navigate, especially with how it feels like every headline is piling bad news up to the sky and the thought of giving yourself some time to recover feels impossible. But it will pass and things will feel easier again – be gentle and kind to yourself.

Maybe one day I’ll take my own advice.

Thank you for reading,

Sophie xx

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