One of the worst things we seem to have embraced in North American culture, is that being busy equates to success. I don’t like being busy, how can we enjoy life if we are working so hard just to be able to afford our lives.
That drive to be successful/busy in our lives tends to mean we have a hard time realizing that in reality, we are burning out.
Burnout looks like different things for different people. For some it is emotionally breaking down, losing your mind over the smallest thing because all the big things have worn you down. Others find that they need to withdraw from the world, feeling like it is constantly screaming at them to do things that they don’t have the time to accomplish.
For me, it is hitting a wall where my insomnia has sucked all the energy out of me and I’ve only just made it through the workweek.
I usually don’t realize that I’ve been hanging on by a thread of sanity until I try to do something small and note that it is exhausting. Then I will sit down to relax for a moment and wake up hours later.
This happened today, I woke up this morning feeling alright, I had gotten a little sleep(that is big for me) and I had plans to organize the back room.
I moved three things in the room, sat down to rest for a moment on the couch and woke up four hours later.
I am not a napper, I avoid napping in general since I have enough sleep issues without using up precious unconsciousness during the day.
I had no plan to nap, I was hoping I’d get a good portion of the backroom sorted out, but that didn’t stop my brain from turning everything off.
It sent out the message that it had some thinking to do and it wanted some dream time. So I spent four hours having very odd dreams as my brain worked on reorganizing itself for the week ahead – at least something got organized.
Recently, I’ve felt it more and more, the knawing exhaustion as the week wears on and the burnout takes hold. In the past, I would hunker down for the weekend with a pot of tea and a tv show, movie or book and it would be enough to get me through the next week. Lately, even when I am finding time to make a pot of tea, it doesn’t seem to help.
These days I am up and out of the house before 8 am, work all day and then I pick up my brother at 6 pm to take him home, which means I am not even walking back into my house until after 7 pm usually. After a day of working, I just don’t have the energy to deal with anything, family can be draining at the best of times but when I just want to get home to eat some dinner and try to wind down before bed it is too much.
As an introvert, I need that time at home to wind down before bed, but when I get home late I have less time to do so and it means I don’t sleep well. My brain spends the night chattering away and no matter how much I tell it to shut up, it doesn’t.
In some ways, I should be glad I had the opportunity to nap and dream today, though I’m a little worried that I’ll be too awake to sleep. Hopefully, my general exhaustion and burnout from the week will allow me to just crash when I hit the pillow and maybe my nap will help salve some of that burnt brain matter.