A few years ago, I found myself trapped in an unending cycle of stress and exhaustion, resembling a hamster running endlessly on a wheel fuelled by work commitments and society’s relentless demands. Like many others, I was experiencing burnout, a state of chronic fatigue and emotional emptiness caused by the unyielding pressures of modern existence.
So, what did I do? I grew up in a working-class household, where my folks drilled in the mantra of soldiering on, plastering a smile on my face. We shared jokes and football news instead of how we were feeling. And you know what? It sort of works for a while. I mean, there are always people who are less fortunate than you and down on their luck, right? I felt lucky to have a job and never fancied myself as anything special.
But then, everything came crashing down: I lost my job, my friends, and nearly my family. Isn’t it funny how in the darkest of places is where we finally find ourselves open to advice? It was there that I discovered a secret word, a word so simple yet powerful: No.
Now, let’s look at two superpowers that can save you from the clutches of burnout: the mighty ‘no’ and the daring act of running away. Buckle up, folks, as we embark on this journey to preserve our sanity in a world gone mad.
In the realm of setting boundaries, saying ‘no’ is your ultimate weapon. It’s not a sign of weakness but an act of self-care that says, ‘Hey, I have limits, and I’m not afraid to protect my precious sanity.‘ So, assess your commitments and prioritise like a seasoned Tetris player. Learn to decline extra responsibilities that could tip your delicate balance into exhaustion land.
‘I’m not being a dick, it’s purely a survival tactic. Thanks for understanding!’
Articulating your ‘no’ is so important
By openly communicating your boundaries and limitations, you create a forcefield of understanding around you. Educate others about the importance of work-life balance and well-being, letting them know that when you say ‘no’, it’s not personal.
Nurture those relationships, and watch as mutual respect grows like a beautiful flower amidst the chaos.
Also, let’s talk about running away. No, I’m not talking about fleeing to a tropical island (though, wouldn’t that be nice?). I mean taking a well-deserved break to restore your inner balance. Step away from the madness and reconnect with yourself like a Zen master on a mountaintop. Engage in activities that bring you joy, peace, and a renewed sense of purpose. Find solace in hobbies, indulge in self-care, and let your soul breathe like a freed Chilean miner.
Hold + Forward + Back + Forward + Kick + Run
Remember, running away is not defeat!
It’s more like a last-second super combo that can save you when your mental energy bar is flashing red at zero. Run. Give yourself permission to seek rest and recovery.
There’s no letup. When you get back in, with constant connectivity and information overload, preserving our mental health is an act of rebellion. So, embrace the power of saying ‘no’ and running away when needed. Prioritise yourself, my friend, for you are the protagonist of your own survival story. You’ve got this.
Featured image: Andrea Piacquadio / Pexels