This post is a bit difficult for me to write as I hate admitting defeat. But it needs to be said- for my own mental clarity and for others that may be feeling the same. Plus, admission is the first step, right?
Recently I have been going through what I can only describe as burnout. I am exhausted. Mentally and physically. I am losing my motivation to workout, to bake, to go out and do anything really. I am indecisive, snippy, and easily frustrated. I am in a slump am finding it hard to get back to my happy self. I hate feeling this way. I am trying hard to fake being happy, but it’s not working. I fill any free time I have with activities so I don’t have to acknowledge these emotions. But I think it’s catching up with me. This infuriates me. I am strong and should be able to handle life’s ups and downs…so what the heck? Snap out of it, woman!!
But no matter how much I try to push out these feelings, I think I may break if I don’t allow myself to let go and accept that I am not superhuman.
And that’s ok.
I am an Employee Assistance Program peer counselor at work and last week we had a quarterly meeting to discuss how to handle dual relationships- coworker and friend, friend and peer, coworker and peer, etc. What is EAP? Per Office of Personnel Management:
“Basic EAP services include free, voluntary, short-term counseling and referral for various issues affecting employee mental and emotional well-being, such as alcohol and other substance abuse, stress, grief, family problems, and psychological disorders.”
Basically I received training to help my workers if they are in need for the above mentioned reasons. I am not a licensed therapist; rather I am there to listen, assess, and refer.
Anyway, in our training we discussed how difficult it can be to help a friend that is also a coworker. At what point is the line between friend and coworker defined? Trying to fit all the roles our friends/coworkers/peers need can be exhausting, especially when juggling this as a collateral duty to normal work responsibilities and our own personal issues.
“We all struggle, even those of us that have years of training to help others. We are all human with human feelings and emotions that can be overwhelming. We are not superhuman. And that’s ok.”
I have been ruminating about this since I recognized that on top of this mental/emotional burnout, I may be experiencing a bit of crossfit burnout. I went crazy hard immediately after I completed elements. I would go 4-5x a week and on my off days I would run. But sometime towards the end of last month I lost my crossfit mojo. Everything in my body began to ache. I was losing my gains in lifting heavy. I didn’t enjoy going.
It was obvious I needed a break. So I began to take more rest days. I went to Crossfit less. And as much I despise it, I did some yoga. Yeah yeah I know, shame on this healthy living blogger for not liking yoga.
Dawn Fletcher wrote this interesting article on Crossfit Burnout for WOD Talk Magazine that resonated with me:
“It is not a good idea to go hard and fast in all workouts and throughout your life. The CrossFit Methodology asks that of us. Pair that with highly motivated individuals and I see a common problem across my clients, athletes, other coaches and owners. It is an unhealthy routine that drives people to physical and mental burnout and therefore lack of fitness gains.”
After I read this two thoughts came to my mind:
- “Makes sense. I should rest more. Then I’ll be in beastmode in no time!”
- “Wait, burnout…after only a couple months? Already?!! I am such a failure!”
But then I remembered I am still struggling- trying to fit in my normal work responsibilities, life, friends and family in addition to working hard and pushing my body to be my best at Crossfit. I am still struggling with my grief and how to help my mom with hers. I am feeling overwhelmed with anxiety, grief, and sadness yet have this opposing, rebellious need to still hit Crossfit like these awesome women. It is exhausting to feel this way, but I have to treat my body and mind with love and kindness.
I am not superhuman. And that’s ok.
Question: Have you experienced burnout, and how did you deal?