How To Develop Self-Compassion When You’re Already Feeling Burnt Out

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How To Develop Self-Compassion When You’re Already Feeling Burnt Out

Are you having trouble sleeping or waking up in the middle of the night? Do you just feel like you need a break?

Are you exhausted? On edge? Irritable?

Does every task feel like too much? Are you experiencing headaches and physical pain?

It's time to develop a deeper level of self-compassion.

RELATED: 3 Ways To Re-Balance Your Nervous System When You’re Stressed Out

How can you develop self-compassion when you feel so burnt out?

You may be feeling the effects of burnout. It happens to the best of us, especially during these trying times.

Personally, this year has felt like a freight train has run me over. There's been sheltering in place, cancelation of plans and trips, businesses have been affected, and your friends and family have all been impacted.

You might have also felt isolated and hit by the blatant evidence of racism in our country.

Phew… Even writing that made me tired.

But I wanted you to see it all written out, so that you can truly grasp how much we're all dealing with right now. I acknowledge that you may be dealing with a lot more, to which I can only express that I send you loving energy.

So, this is all a lot. What if you were already feeling burnt out before this all started? You're probably feeling completely overwhelmed right now.

Here are 5 ways you can practice self-compassion, even when you're dealing with burnout.

1. Recognize your lack of self-compassion.

To show yourself compassion, you must first recognize that you aren't showing yourself enough compassion. If you were self-compassionate, you would have taken a break or given yourself some slack.

You must also acknowledge that you are experiencing a lot.

If you are a highly-sensitive person or empath, you may feel like others don’t seem to be as deeply impacted and are dealing with similar circumstances.

The truth is that everyone feels it at a deeper level. Your nervous system is at a constant state of stress and anxiety because the events are continuous. There seems to be no end is in sight.

Take a moment to recognize how you are feeling, and recognize that you are going through a lot. It is OK if you are exhausted.

It is OK if you need more sleep than usual, or if you want to watch more TV, or need more rituals, like baths and walks.

We may have the tendency to “leave our bodies,” stay in our heads, and numb ourselves when we're stressed, overwhelmed, or anxious.

You can numb yourself through overworking, social media, television, food, alcohol, and many other avenues.

I am going to ask you to recognize all the behaviors you are engaging in and be kind to yourself. Judgment is not helpful.

2. Choose elevated rejuvenation (a.k.a., self-care).

If you don’t take a break, your brain will find a way to make you take a break. You may feel distracted, mindlessly eating or scrolling social media.

Maybe you have been engaging in numbing activities unconsciously. You are able to recognize them and want to change.

Elevated rejuvenation involves consciously choosing what truly feeds your soul. What works for you may not work for others, but there are some common themes that are rejuvenating.

Before I go into the rejuvenation tips, if you are not feeling ready for that yet, if you are experiencing anxiety and need support with that, start with my blog post here on beating anxiety.

RELATED: 50 Self Care Quotes About Putting Yourself First

3. Spend time in nature.

As a human being, your physical body is not meant to be inside all the time. Being outside in nature can rejuvenate you.

What if you consciously chose to spend 15 minutes a day outside. You could just sit outside, take a stroll, enjoy the trees and flowers, or even go on a run.

Hiking can also help you focus on the outdoors, your steps, and the trail. It is a wonderful way to connect with nature and regroup.

4. Practice mindfulness.

What is mindfulness, anyway? It is being fully present in the moment.

Most stress and anxiety comes from worrying about the future or thinking about the past. If you make the effort to be mindful, then you can ground yourself to what is actually happening in the moment.

A simple way to practice mindfulness is to be fully present in an activity that you already do, like washing the dishes, folding laundry, or even filing.

Pick an activity and choose to focus solely on that activity, don’t think about what’s next or the past. When thoughts come, you can notice them and say, “That’s nice, I will think about that later,” and refocus.

Try this and sense how you feel before and after the activity.

5. Write in a journal.

There are so many journaling techniques you can practice. To develop self-compassion, I am going to recommend you try the following:

  • Set aside time to write, maybe even outside.
  • Write out all your feelings, thoughts, worries, dump them all out onto the page. Do this without judgment, all the words to flow.
  • Take a breath and release it all, surrender the solutions to the divine.
  • Now, write down what you need, what do you really want to do today? Allow the ideas to flow.
  • Take a moment and schedule or actually do what your heart wants.

Developing self-compassion takes time.

When you are developing self-compassion, you must be patient, especially when you are burnt out. The highest level of self-compassion is to take time out for yourself to consciously choose your rejuvenation.

Choose elevated self-care, journaling, meditation, mindfulness, and nature.

RELATED: 5 Ways To Practice Self-Compassion That Will Help You Start Treating Yourself The Way You Deserve

Kavita Melwani is a certified empowerment coach, hypnotherapist, past-life regressionist, certified money marketing and soul coach, and a Reiki master. To schedule a clarity session, visit her website.

This article was originally published at The Enlightened Heart. Reprinted with permission from the author.