Stress is deadly. When we are exposed to stress for too long, our bodies start thinking stress is the normal state and starts to malfunction without it. The stress will go on to cause insomnia, sleep deprivation, adrenal issues, anxiety, panic attacks, depression, eating disorders, migraines, memory loss, lowered immune system, lowered senses - the list goes on. For some reason we seem to regard stress as something that is part of daily life today. "Oh, he's just stressed out because exams are coming up", "It's just an ulcer. You're not handling your stress well enough". That's how a lot of people reason these days. Even children are becoming stressed out, burned out due to all of the technology, the demands in school, cyber bullying, where the world is going in general, and somehow, nothing is done to actively question the direction of the world. Or rather the direction of modern society.
Society and the government today symbolise the infection. The infection that spreads across the world and turn good people into soulless drones who are crushed from the inside out. We're taught to shut our feelings in, get used to all the murders, rape and war, get used to the homelessness, poverty, starving families, the extreme taxes going exactly where they shouldn't, and all the other messed up things that are happening in the world.
We humans have not changed much the last few hundred years. The world around us on the other hand, have been fast-forwarding, while we've stood in the middle, not moving. As a result, we react as if we are on a turbulent air-plane. We get sick, dizzy, can't think properly, can't work properly, become anxious and worried. We are living in a world that is not adapted to us, and since we cannot adapt to this society, we break. We get stressed out. We get burned out. We get ill. We get depressed. Reality is turning into our worst nightmare. Human bodies consist mostly of water and stress is the plugged in hairdryer being carelessly dropped into us. Essentially, stress is electricity surging through us, cutting wires, making our memories malfunction, our organs malfunction and re-connecting things however.
Stress can cause heart attacks, strokes, comas, great memory loss and many people who get burned out, never go back to the life they lead before the burnout. And those who do, will not be alive very long. We need to take stress seriously. Health is way more important than money, fame and fortune. There are no money in the world worth breaking your spirit for, worth getting ill over.
Say you are about to get burned out, or you're already there. What do you do?
You stop. Whatever it is you are doing, you stop. Life is too short not to. When you've stopped, and notified whoever you need to notify that you need a break right then and there, you go make a list. While your stress levels are raging, make a list of all the things that are stressing you out. For a few weeks, months, however long you need, the things on that list will be completely avoided or dealt with as little as possible.
Start going to bed early, even if you are not tired. Sleep and rest is essential. Do whatever you need to do to relax, be it a walk, yoga or a movie. But as much as possible, limit the technology you deal with and make sure there is no technology in your bedroom.
Set your clock for your meals, to make sure you do not miss any. When you are burned out, diet is easy to overlook but you mustn't do that. If you are not nutrition savvy yourself, see a nutritionist and let them know that you need a stress-lowering food plan with meals that are easy to make even when your energy is non-existent. Changing the way you eat changes the way you live.
Stress changes your entire system. Especially your adrenals. When you are stressed out, the adrenals start malfunctioning and they in turn control your fear, your anxiety. The fear you are supposed to feel in a dangerous situation, may start coming at weird times, without the situation calling for it. That is anxiety and the fear is called panic attacks. The adrenals send out the wrong signals which often makes people who suffer a burnout, also get anxiety, even if they never had it before. You may also get depressed due to the adrenals and other organs being so affected by the stress that you get hormonal imbalances. You could miss your period, if you have them, or become temporarily infertile. The hormonal imbalance can also cause mood swings, acne, nausea, eating disorders, hair loss, dry skin and more.
To help your entire system recover, you'll need supplements, apart from your new diet. Ashwaghanda is definitely to be recommended, in order to help the adrenals, other organs and to lower the general stress in your system. Maca is also worth considering, as it helps to even out your hormone levels and fix hormonal imbalances. Magnesium is most definitely necessary, as your body is constantly getting rid of its magnesium when you are stressed out. With the magnesium constantly being pumped out, you need to make sure to get more back in. Makes sense, no? If you can find a homeopath near you, I suggest you contact them. They can create herbal supplements for you that are put together especially based on you, your body and your situation. That is the simplest way to get all the supplements you need.
When I suffered a burnout, my brain was so worn down from stress that I had burning headaches, I was sensitive to loud noises, I couldn't watch the news and I could not read more than a sentence, if even that. I got both depression and anxiety. No one could tell me how to get back up, or if it was possible. The one piece of advice I got was to take walks in nature, preferably in the woods or by the ocean, and sit there for a while, without doing anything. To be repeated daily. The Japanese call it shinrin-yoku or forest bathing. Though I will never be able to live as I did prior to the burnout, which is actually quite good, and though I may always have a lowered tolerance for stress, nature truly saved me. That one advice was the best I could have gotten.
Re-building your health and your life during and after a burnout is not easy. You need to map out how you lived before. More often than not, a burnout is caused not only by intense stress but also by lack of balance. A life where there are only musts, only work, only stress and not enough time for family, friends, relaxation - fun. You know the saying right? All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. It is true. Lack of balance can wreck you completely. You need yin and yang. Work and play. You need time for family, for friends, for exercising, for gardening, travelling - whatever makes your soul soar, you need to make time for it.
If you had no need for money, what would you do with your life?
Whatever it is, make a plan to start doing it. Find ways to limit your use of money, your need of money, and prioritise doing what you truly want to do. Make sure that you have all the time you need to keep yourself healthy and happy. To keep the stress at bay.
To sum it up, the main theme of surviving a burnout is change. Change of diet, change of lifestyle, change of pace. Feel everything and do not hold back your emotions. Cry. Get angry. Scream. Whatever you need to do. Find the balance and let people back into your life. Have fun and realise that life is more than work, more than perfectionism and more than vanity. Think less of material wants, how you want people to see you and how much money you earn. Think more about sunsets, storms, forests, ocean waves and the smell after the rain stops. Fill your life with moments that take your breath away. Make sure you never go back to the situation that broke you. Whatever it was.
Let nature save you!