A heart can only take so much


Coming to a grinding halt, with nothing but yourself is an exhausting realisation that actually I am tired of the bombastic series of events going in around me.

I know when I’m emotionally exhausted when metaphorically; I’m on the floor, exhausted, feel nothing and am desperately reaching out for a coffee.

Emotional exhaustion to me means entering a state of complete ignorance. A shut down. A way of blocking everything out. A pair of dark tinted sunglasses to the world. Goodbye! Let me throw some shade.

Overcoming Emotional Exhaustion

When I enter such a state the first thing I need to do is reconnect to my core values. And remind myself of what I see as purpose, and take small actions to act on those values.

It’s to turn off social media, turn off the news, stop reading newspapers, drop anything negative or draining.

I reach for the ice cream, food and cooking. Small acts of self care and compassion bring back a routine to remind me that it’s okay to comfort eat.

It means popping to the bakery and getting a sandwich or cake I like.

It means ignoring what I perceive to be the demands of others, and walking away from anything stressing me out to provide temporary reprieve. Yes! That means taking a break and checking-out when I need to. And not giving a fuck about it.

In the long run, it means reducing, reframing and avoiding the emotional stressors. It means converting those feelings of anger and annoyance into an energy of passion.

It means finding the people that are responsive and compassionate, emotionally available and aware, to come back into my life.

It means only prioritising what is important, not to others, but to me.

And if the source of emotional burnout is a series of tragic events, it is allowing time to mourn, grieve, flow through the different emotions of that process. The Jewish tradition of shiva, gives seven days to mourn and process the loss of a loved one. I love the principles of physically, metaphorically and emotionally signifying grief. For any emotion we can follow the principles of physically and metaphorically recognising it’s meaning.

The source of emotional burnout is often deep emotions and they need to come out. Sometimes we need to move, change, go somewhere quiet, reflect, write, pray, visit somewhere or someone to find that release.

Bringing your rituals to life in a time of crisis can help reestablish emotional boundaries and release.

Body, Mind and Soul

Our bodies tend to recover much more quickly to trauma events, than the mind and soul. But there is often no bandage, therapy, pill to help us change these.

Throughout all time, humans have developed hundreds, thousands of rituals to express everything from joy to grief, justice to reward. We are systemically and socially programmed to respond to such ceremonies.

We already know that the best response to processing emotional trauma is in our rituals, in our beliefs, in something that is greater than our very physical nature.

We treat emotional trauma with the very thing that causes it. Our emotions. And whatever the price, we need to refill ourselves with our emotions when we fall into emotional burnout. However that suits us best.