It’s ok to not be Superhuman

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!!

harrySource

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.

ryan stressOur instructor then said something that has stuck with me since:

“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.

liloMaybe not quite this dramatic…but you get the point.

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:

  1. “Makes sense.  I should rest more.  Then I’ll be in beastmode in no time!”
  2. “Wait, burnout…after only a couple months?  Already?!!  I am such a failure!” 

frustrateionSource

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?

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19 thoughts on “It’s ok to not be Superhuman

  1. You know all to well, I often experience burnout, mostly because I kind of bring it on myself to overload my schedule. I want to do it all, I want to please everyone, and I think I can fit everything into a day. Hang in there. Yes, we are not superhuman and that’s totally okay. Take the break when you need to, then reassess your priorities when you’re ready to get back at it. It’s also hard to admit defeat when you feel the responsibility of helping others and think you need to be put together. No one is perfect and you know I definitely relate. Hugs!! And I hope you’re motivated to go for sushi Friday 🙂

    • Thanks! It’s even more frustrating when I see people like you that seem to have it all together even with the crazy amount of tasks you have! Darn comparison trap! ‘Well if she can do it…’ And Sushi- always motivated, especially with such a hot date!! 🙂 But you’re right, no one is perfect and it’s nice to know others feel the same.

      • Yea, but DO I really have it all together? I think all this stress makes me eat more and work out less 😦 So even if it seems like I have it together, I don’t! I’m good at hiding things 😉

  2. Awesome post. Burn out is such a tough card to be dealt. I use to experience it alot when I played hockey. I was playing up to 6 times a week and I was just taxed out mentally. Great write up

  3. I totally understand, lady. I’m prone to burnout too – I’ve been in a total motivation hole lately with everything (including my blog) it seems! Hang in there… I definitely agree that sometimes we just have to take a step back and realize that it’s totally okay to need a break. ((hugs))

  4. I think everyone can relate to this post. Burnouts can happen to anyone but its good to recognize when you need a break. Try not to stress too much. Scaling back can be tough but you’ll feel so much better with more balance!

  5. Hang in there girl. Burnout is tough – it is a time for frustration, but also to learn what you really need to take care of you and to feel fulfilled in life. I am struggling with feeling burnt out at work, and it’s hard to get away from that, but its leaving me with time to reflect and figure out what my career path is. I don’t want to force myself to do something I don’t enjoy, or push to hard that I stop enjoying something I love! You’ll be back on your feet, just listen to what this burnout is trying to tell you. It’s there! (Is that too hokey?? haha)

  6. Oh yes, I have definitely experienced burnout—too many times to count! Even though I’ve always intuitively known that I need plenty of rest in order to feel my best and be my best, my personality drives me to push push push. The “more is better” mantra is one that’s hard to let go of, even when our bodies scream at us to slow down. And it definitely doesn’t help that society encourages us to go “farther, faster, stronger”…Talk about a lot of pressure!

    I think it’s great that you’re listening to your body, and taking a more moderate approach to Crossfit now. I firmly believe that there’s no “right” way to exercise; we should do what makes us feel *our* best, not what makes somebody else feel *their* best. xoxo ❤

    • I definitely get caught up in that mantra ‘more is better’, too! And I agree- I must stop comparing myself to others- they may be going through burnout on the inside but put on a great show on the outside! Thanks for the kind words 🙂

  7. Pingback: The Comfort Zone vs Safety Zone | Tiny n Fit

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