Stress, as we commonly understand it, is a common factor in and has a negative impact on the everyday lives of many. Unfortunately, I myself am no stranger to it, which in the past led to burnout in my case.
How does this actually happen when we are free on the weekends, when we take a few days off, when we have time to recharge a little?
A simple comparison: we are lying on the couch and suddenly the fire alarm in our kitchen goes off. We walk towards it and yes, flames everywhere. What do we do then? Turn off the fire alarm and go back to lying on the couch? Of course not! We look at where the fire is coming from, try, if we think it’s possible, to extinguish the fire. Otherwise, we grab the things that are most important to us and run outside, calling the fire department.
So in reality, when stressed, we often do the first thing. We turn off the fire alarm and assume that the fire will then go out on its own, without finding out what caused the fire. So when you take a break or have a weekend away, this is basically turning off that irritation of the fire alarm while the flames just spread. How can we better address this in our daily lives?
- Identify what stressors are present;
- Eliminate the stressors as much as possible;
- Identifying what is most important to us;
- Leaving everything else behind;
- Getting professional help if necessary.
In my case, this meant quitting my job, because I knew, even after reintegration, that my employer would still treat me badly, that I would still receive only criticism and no constructive feedback, worse, there was clear evidence that they were resentful of me, for being out. This is an extreme step, but it was a necessary one to remove the fire hazard. And if the fire source is a fire hazard, putting it out will not prevent another fire.
So it is absolutely important to figure out for yourself which things are most important to you and what is causing stress in your life. It can be quite an undertaking to find this out and I wish you the best of luck with it.
Lots of love!