Welcome to day two on burnout. The feeling of burnout is very isolating, partially due to the emotional nature of the issue, and the lack of apparent physical symptoms. It often takes a while to even recognize that the feeling you’re experiencing is of burnout, and not just day to day stress. The delay in recognition and inability to verbalize what you are feeling is part of the problem. And even if you recognize the symptoms, trying to think your way out of feelings of burnout, trying to think your way out of frustration, simply doesn’t work. even attempting to do so tends to be exhausting. You need to find another way to deal with the feelings. And it begins with emotional recognition and awareness. The first step towards awareness is observation without judgment. It’s like watching what’s happening on a big screen, just noticing and observing without forming any positive or negative opinion. Not yet, as you allow emotions and thoughts to come and go as they would, without focusing on any particular one. Even if it’s a particularly intriguing thought, intriguing enough to make you want to dwell on it a bit. Just let it pass by. Remember that we’re only allowing them to pass, not trying to ignore or suppress them, or get rid of them in any way. We’re giving them the freedom to arise, but with seeing them in such a way that they don’t impact or overwhelm us in any way. With that in mind, take a moment to make sure you’re sitting comfortably, whether that’s on the floor, or the chair, with eyes open or closed. Just aware of the space around you. Whatever feels most comfortable in the moment. And when you’re ready, just start with some deep breaths.
Inhaling through the nose and exhaling through the mouth. And with the next out breath, just gently close the eyes and let your body relax into the chair or the floor.
Take a moment to notice the different sounds around you as you settle into that space. And slowly starting to become more aware. Think about how the body feels just in a general way. Don’t force yourself to focus on any particular area. Simply feel whenever there’s a sense of heaviness, tiredness in the body, or a sense of lightness, gently notice and move on. We are only the observer for now. Starting at the top of the head, gently scanning down through the body. Noticing where it feels comfortable, where you perhaps might feel uncomfortable. Continue scanning even me down towards the toes. building up a picture of how the body feels and if you haven’t done it already, start to become more aware of your breath for movement of it. The sensation of chest rising and falling. Stay with this sensation as you continue to focus on breathing
As you shift your attention to the breath, counting as you inhale, and exhale, just aware of where you feel the movement of your body. noticing how the breath feels. Whether the breath is long or short, deep or shallow. As you continue to follow the breath, we’re going to maintain that sense of gentle focus on it. Each time you realize that the mind has wandered off, rather than simply coming straight back to the breath, or forcing yourself to focus on breathing. just pause for a moment and ask yourself the nature of the distraction. It’s a question was it thinking or feeling? Once you have the answer, pick up where you left off, and continue to breathe.
Each time your mind wanders off. Allow yourself to take note of the nature of the feeling. No matter how vulnerable it makes you feel. Just allow those to come and go. As you continue to breathe. Now remember, you can always count the breaths. If you find that easier. There is no need to note every single thought or feeling that passes by. It’s only in those moments where we realize we’ve been completely distracted. That need noting or recognizing it’s helpful just to mentally label or note the distraction as thinking or feeling. And just gently bring the attention back to the breath. We are not sitting with any expectation or goal. Just a soft focus on the breath. Remembering to note when you get distracted.
And now gently bringing the attention back to the body just to those points of contact, where you feel the body pressing down, perhaps the feet on the floor or the arms, the hands on the legs. You are now starting to notice the different sounds around you just becoming more familiar with the space that you’re seeing right now. And as you gently refocus your eyes, just taking a moment to notice how the body feels, how the mind feels. We are not looking for any particular goal. were simply noticing. So a really important part of the exercise is knowing that there is a greater sense of calm and clarity in the mind right now. And this is what we want to carry into the day. You may also begin to notice this tendency that we often fuel our emotions with our thoughts. When you are frustrated by something, thinking about it will lead to more frustration. Thinking about something that stresses you will lead to more stress, and so on. So as you go through the day, remind yourself of your goal of being more aware of your emotions. And when you notice that you are distracted by these habitual feelings of frustration, helplessness, or any other feeling. Just gently remind yourself to stop and bring attention back either to the breath or to whatever you’re doing at the time. I’ll be back tomorrow with a few more tips. I look forward to seeing you back here. Then.
”It’s good you’re making an effort to give yourself a great night’s sleep - and you’ll see the results of that tomorrow, when your mind is rested and focused, and clear.