The Art of Burning Out
How do you write an article about being burned out, while being burned out .. and not wanting to do anything, but be burned out, and advocating for allowing yourself to be burned out? - Like this ..
First, you attempt to write the article at a cafe near your home .. you sit their for hours listening to melancholic classical music while fantasizing about walking back home and throwing the covers over your head. There is nothing you want to do more than to do nothing at all.
You find yourself waking up in the morning with no motivation. Your imagination is lacking, and what you once found inspiring feels rather bland and you begin to worry if you'll ever feel anything again - you describe this state as a neutral grey. Nothing seems to matter, and so you conclude that you're feeling a little bit burned out - off balanced, uninspired and unmotivated. You've been here before, but it doesn't get easier.
The arch of your feet feel less inclined to touch the floor, the rest of your feet feel rather uninterested in rolling over and off the bed. You stay staring at the ceiling, before closing your eyes again. You wonder if you're depressed, but the truth is .. you neither feel happy, nor sad - you recall this state as the neutral grey. You remind yourself, you've been here before, but it still doesn't get easier.
Eventually your friend, another writer, texts you to join him at a cafe. You take the L train into Manhattan - it's Sunday and the Autumn chills have began to settle in between the buildings and the streets. Everywhere you go there are no tables available to share or otherwise inhabit as a duo work station, so you finally find refuge at a cafe in a yoga studio. You sit there with your pot of Jasmine Green Tea, while wondering why the service at a yoga cafe is so terrible .. enough so that your zen may be in jeopardy. You are too tired to feel angry, so you drag your lethargic body slowly over to the table, you smile at the cashier - the smile is rather forced.
Your friend eventually joins you. As he walks behind you to take his seat, he rests his head on your shoulder as a means of saying, 'hello'. You find this strangely calming and appropriate, and you reciprocate by placing your hand at the back of his head, as to say back, "I acknowledge your presence, welcome to this super chill yoga studio with a really cool cafe." He takes a seat, you split the pot of tea and you begin your small talk. You both eventually find your flow, and begin to write - but this is short lived - you look up and in unison proclaim your writer's block. Neither of you have written anything substantial in the last 40 minutes - way to go.
I Just Can't:
The term, "I Just Can't" feels all too relevant, so you strike up a conversation. You both close your laptop and the dialogue moves from life to love to creativity - you ask him, "How do you write an article about being burned out, while being burned out .. and not wanting to do anything, but be burned out, and advocating for allowing yourself to be burned out?"
You're not actually looking for an answer. Perhaps, because you all ready know how it's going to go down. You tell yourself over and over again, you've been here before, but this time around, it feels somewhat more like sleep paralysis - your awake, or at least you think your conscious, having been here before, you would assume you know how to deal with yourself in a situation just like this, feeling an overwhelming pressure to pull yourself up by the boots and the pants and start taking some steps forward again - all while not being able to do anything about it. Being burned out .. feels a lot like feeling hungry, but having no appetite to eat, even your favorite dishes. After you're done feeling sorry for yourself, you share a bowl of soup with your friend, thank the universe for the wonderful people you've been lucky enough to surround yourself with, you count your blessings, and you ..
Give it time. Give it time. Give it time, love and sleep.
It's just like the seasonal cold, sometimes you avoid it, and sometimes you can feel it coming, you prepare for battle, but it still finds a way to settle into your body. What you need is rest, and food for thought, soul, and body. Give it time. Give it love. Give it sleep.
How about you? Have you ever felt burnt out? How have you deal with it? Feel free to comment below and share this article if you've ever felt the same way!