This is the second in a four-part series about our integrative reality, and some suggestions for how to deal with it, during the never-ending pandemic - burnout.
It’s overwhelming what we’ve gone through – there’s been so much we’ve all had to adjust to: working from home or working in a new physically present environment; childcare & education; vaccines; stay-at-home orders; precarious work; world events. It’s just overwhelming at the best of times. Throw in the natural stressors we all have regardless, and it’s no wonder so many of us are feeling completely burnt out.
Other than quitting your job or just walking away from it all, there isn’t a lot you can do *immediately* to change your reality, but what you can do is guide yourself back to what you can control. Try staying in the moment when you feel burnt out – focus inwards on what triggered that initial feeling. Was it an external task or an internal struggle? Was it another meeting request or a demand on your time? Was it something you’re putting off doing for whatever reason? Once you’ve determined that you’re on your way to the next process which is taking a seat back.
Literally, sit back in your chair, with good posture and a relaxed frame and breathe. In through the nose and out through the mouth. Start to focus on your breath, and your breath alone. Is it awkward? Stunted? Deep and full or shallow and narrow? Now close your eyes and focus on breathing in and out. Try and do this for as long as you can without your mind wandering. When it does, gently guide it back to the examination of your breath. Try and maintain this for 3-5 minutes to clear your mind and be immediately in the present.
Now, the issues don’t disappear of course, but it does provide an opportunity to clearly focus in on the now and or in the near future where you can impact change. It calms your mind from over-thinking and your adrenaline stressors from taking over. Examine how you feel after mindful meditation and try and replicate those circumstances the next time you need a reminder of mindfulness.
None of this is a replacement for a terrible situation, but daily instances of burnout can benefit from a gentle and time-boxed focus inward.
If you’d like, a calming essential oil like a lavender diffusor or a few drops on a cloth held up to the nose can help open the breathing pathways and provide calming energy during your short time-out.
Check out Integrative Reality workshops and sessions for individuals and teams and book a time to connect!
Photo credit: "time flies" by Robert Couse-Baker is licensed with CC BY 2.0.