This Is What Burnout Taught Me

It made sense to me that burnout happens when the reward we get is not enough compared to the effort that we put into work. The definition of reward might be different for everyone — it might be a higher salary, or better corporate benefits, or maybe just getting enough sleep or enough time to enjoy your hobby. But one thing is for sure: if your work isn’t appreciated enough and people don’t respect your boundaries and resources, that’s what triggers your burnout symptoms.

I feel like I’ve got nothing to blame but my laziness, my unprofessional behavior, and my inability to use my brain properly, but these are all caused by burnout. We have exhausted our bodies and brains enough for work. This is just another wake-up call for me that I really need to take breaks from time to time. I need to intentionally indulge in sleep and simply enjoy my me time by reading books, listening to music, and doing nothing. I remind myself that this is just how my body responds when I’m not able to pay attention to my physical, emotional, and mental needs.

I’m lucky enough to have a boss who understands the pain, who encourages me to take ample rest and who is supportive enough to cover most of my work while I’m away. Huge thanks to my colleagues who are always there for me, who listen to my rants and who also make me laugh. Thank you so much for being there and letting me know that what I feel is valid and I’m allowed to feel this way. In any type of career path we take, it all comes down to having irreplaceable bosses, teams, and colleagues. But some of us don’t get this level of support system, and I am grateful that I do.

We are not overreacting, okay? We are just human beings that need a break, even though we are not physically ill. As my boss says, “Taking a break due to a mental breakdown is as important as taking some time to heal a broken ankle.”

As an individual coming from a country where hundreds and maybe thousands of people suffer from depression and even “karoshi” (death due to overwork), I am 100% proud and empowered that I sought help from my boss and my team.

There is still a stigma with mental health issues, and many people still don’t believe how relevant it is and how it will hugely affect our lives.

Negative emotions and thoughts consume my soul at times, but I always remind myself that I am not alone dealing with this agony. I feel blessed and thankful that I’m here. I feel proud and brave enough to risk myself and challenge myself to this new experience. I might have pushed my limitations and boundaries that caused this exhaustion, but I will be able to manage to overcome this like I always did. I just have to believe in the power of appreciation, self-love, and the love I receive from the people around me who really care.

Slowly but gradually, I believe that I will feel better soon.

About the author
Certified Introvert-Feeling personality type. Follow Erina on Instagram or read more articles from Erina on Thought Catalog.

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