Tricia Pyatt, MA, LPC
Self-Care & Burnout
Let’s talk about burnout for a minute. We’ve all heard the word and we’ve probably all used it before when we talk about being overwhelmed. Until the moment when we can no longer get out of bed, we ignore the signs our brain sends begging for a break. Those signs are so clear in hindsight; zoning out in meetings, dreading getting out of bed, procrastination, anger towards loved ones, not partaking in the hobby we once loved, and the list goes on and on. We tell ourselves lines like, “I can handle this” or “People are counting on me.” Inevitably, our body and our brains give out. The kind of life that never includes giving yourself a break, will break you eventually.
It is time to change the narrative. Rather than giving us the chance to become burnt out, lets focus on slowly recharging our minds and body every day. This means incorporating self-care into your daily routine. This means being okay with asking others for help when we need it. Finally, this means not ignoring your brain and your emotions.
So what is self-care? Self-care is taking time everyday to put yourself before anyone else. The metaphor that is often used is putting the oxygen mask on yourself before those around you. That should not just be a rule on a plane. It should be a day-to-day lesson that we practice and teach those around us. Self-care can be as simple as taking a bubble bath once a week or listening to your favorite song. It can also be as dynamic as seeing a counselor once a week to explore the inner workings of your mind. Self-care is the metaphorical medication that stops burnout in its tracks. The dosage of self-care might vary from day to day but the importance of it still stands. Taking care of ourselves makes it much easier to then help those around us.
So, remember it’s okay to put yourself first sometimes. It’s more than okay, it’s imperative for optimal mental health.