Who are you?
Ana. 33. Portuguese roots, Amsterdammer at heart. I’m an actress / writer / blogger hybrid.
When did you understand that you were having a burn-out?
When I had a panic episode at work.
What helped and helps you?
I was already a fan of yoga before the burn-out. Then I added meditation into my dailylife, which has been playing a crucial role in my recovery. I also try to pay more attention to the quality of what I eat. More nutritious whole foods that support my psychological well-being, less junk that drags me down. The book “The Happiness Trap” (Dr Russ Harris) was a great recent discovery. Other than this, therapy and loved ones 🙂
What did you learn about yourself thanks to your burn-out?
A burn-out is a huge moment of confrontation with yourself. We live in a time where the pressure to perform and succeed in all fronts of one’s life is unbelievably high. Therefore, I was also one of those who used to set very high bars to herself. First of all, I have learned about my limitations and I have learned to accept and respect them. This is an ongoing and very challenging process. I had to let go of some work-related expectations. I also had to let go of the urge to always ‘be in control’. Furthermore, I have realized that my self-esteem was very dependent on my ‘performance’ and on ‘what I do’. As long as I could keep on going, keep on doing stuff, keep up with all the projects and people in my life, I was good. My current goal is to feel I am good enough even when I’m not racing. Even when I am doing nothing. Good enough, darling 😉
Could you share three tips?
1st: Definitely, therapy. If you find the right professional to help you, that is. It is very important that one feels a good empathy click with their therapist. If you don’t, drop it, do some research, and find another one.
2nd: Ask for help. Let go of control. Surrender. Let your loved ones in, allow them to take care of you while you need. This is actually an opportunity for you to get closer to them and build stronger bonds. Let yourself be supported: no one should have to go through this alone.
3rd: Mindfulness. Find a couple of pleasurable activities that connect you to the present moment and get you out of the couch (and off your pc, for that matter). The goal is that you get a bit active, but relax at the same time. For me, yoga + meditation really work. For you it can be a walk in the park, gardening, painting or some other long lost ‘meditative’ hobby of yours.