Ask The Guides: I Have Been Signed Off Work For Burnout
Our Ask The Guides series is a weekly dose of support. We put your questions to them, whereby they can offer up their own insights to help you with whatever challenges you are facing.
Our Ask The Guides series is a weekly dose of support. We put your questions to our incredible guides, whereby they can offer up their own insights to help you with whatever challenges you are facing.
Shamanic Healer Andréa Ararê and meditation and mindfulness coach, Neil Seligman offer their wisdom.
I have been signed off work for burnout, I need to take this time to focus on myself, but where do I start?
The times we live in are very demanding times and sadly do not respect our natural rhythms.
It is culturally common and acceptable for us to give more than we have and to push ourselves beyond our limits. The result is exhaustion, depletion, and usually a sense of failure for not achieving a target - which was actually not feasible.
To remedy this imbalance, we can start by bringing consciousness to those rhythms, respecting our most basic bodily needs -- like excellent sleep and a healthy diet -- and nurturing the needs of the soul -- like safe connections and time to pause and reflect. Take inspiration from traditional native cultures who use artistic expressions with music, dance, rituals, and ceremonies to continuously heal themselves through a preventive mental health approach. Therefore finding one or a few gentle practices that can help you to feel even just a little better, is also a good tool for your recovery journey.
Burnout can often leave people feeling unmotivated and despondent so it is great that you are being proactive and seeking help, as you focus more keenly on your wellbeing at this time. I recommend that the best place to start is with a little contemplation - listen to yourself and tune into the ingredients of the present moment. As you settle into the expanse of time that you have been gifted - can you look back on what brought you here? Can you gently and without judgment notice some of the outcomes of your choices and circumstances? As you reflect, can you see what you were missing as your burnout crept closer? Make a list.
Now start giving yourself those things. Perhaps it is healthy nourishing food, perhaps it is exercise that slipped away, or the ever elusive me-time? Start re-introducing the things that allow you to feel strong and well. I always encourage clients to reinvigorate a childhood creative practice too - start drawing - knitting or it may be taking pictures.
And if you need extra help, take recommendations from friends and find a life coach, therapist or personal trainer who can lend a helping hand. You don’t need to do this alone.
To contact Neil and Andrea and learn more about the work that they do, take a look at their Otherness profiles.
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