I will not burn out!

AD - Please note some products mentioned int this post were gifted to me by Notino.co.uk

I was just 16 when I first heard the term "burnout." It came up in my high school social science class, and I distinctly remember wondering who would allow themselves to reach such a state just for work. Little did I know, more than ten years later, that someone would be me.

Given my history with eating disorders and anxiety, struggles that have persisted since my mid-teenage years, it's not surprising that I didn't set myself up for a healthy relationship with work. This should have been a warning sign that I needed to be careful about how I approached my day-to-day life. I'm not one for half measures—I consider myself a hard worker, and I always took pride in that. However, it turns out that this trait can be a recipe for disaster.

Me ready for my 'I will not burn out' daily walk. 

My therapist explains that our "primitive brain" deals with stress, prioritizing basic survival over everything else. If this continues for extended periods, we become drained, forgetting the essentials of life. I experienced this firsthand—I forgot to switch off, to acknowledge there are things beyond work, and most importantly, to take care of myself. Simple things like eating and staying hydrated slipped through the cracks. There were days when all I consumed were two cups of coffee, and I didn't even notice.

As someone not inclined towards New Year's resolutions, the period before Christmas became my breaking point. With some proper time off during the holidays, I realized something had to change; otherwise, I would break myself beyond repair. It became evident that the problem lay in my attitude and approach to work and life, rather than the environment itself.

So, how can I save my mind?

1) Reconnect with Hobbies: To rediscover who I am, or more precisely, to remind myself that I am not just my work, I need to return to some of my hobbies. Not being particularly adept at small talk, and having been engrossed in work for the past year, I haven't been the most engaging person to be around. Considering a return to dancing, despite my lack of proficiency, might provide a humbling experience. It could teach me that it's okay not to shine and simply engage in something for the pure joy it brings.

Lucky for you, no photo of me dancing. Instead here is a photo of me enjoying my second hobby - drinking Butter Beer at Victoria Street (aka Diagon Alley)

2) Prioritize Hydration: Drinking more water is essential. Realizing how dehydrated I am after experiencing what feels like altitude sickness from my European water intake (read as two cups of coffee) is a wake-up call. Since I've always struggled with fluid intake, I've taken a cue from basic girl habits—purchased a new Instagrammable water bottle from Sigg and placed a reminder sticker in my diary. Hoping for at least one liter, if not a full two liters, of water intake daily. 

3) Train My Mind to Let Go: This is trickier and will require more effort. I want my mind to respond to certain sensory stimuli by relaxing. Being highly responsive to scents, I've chosen the Peace of Mind collection from Origins for this task. Specifically, the On-the-spot Relief, a gel-like substance applied to wrists, temples, and the back of the neck, produces a cooling effect that helps relax the mind. It may be a placebo, but that's precisely what I need to train my mind. Additionally, the Nourishing hand cream from the same collection, with its divine scent, leaves my hands soft.

In summary, I have plenty to focus on this year, and I am cautiously optimistic about what lies ahead in 2024.

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