I couldn’t even apply to a job without feeling a strong wave of fear and resistance. The thought of working 40+ hours again doing therapy felt completely overwhelming. I knew something was wrong, and I couldn’t keep doing what I had done in grad school.
I was burnt out. Big time.
I had pushed myself mentally and emotionally through the classes, internships, required hours, supervision, licensing tests, and dissertation process only to realize I had pushed myself too hard.
I didn’t get the adequate support I needed, I didn’t have the self-care skills, and I knew something had to change.
Some time off was in order, and then I needed to focus on myself, my needs, my mental and physical health, and start the process of healing from burnout.
And I did.
Week after week of yoga classes, meditation groups, therapy, and improving my diet started to pay off. I started feeling better, more ambitious.
But I knew I couldn’t go back to work for someone else. I needed to sit down and ask: What do I really need in a work environment to sustainably help others? What hours, commute, colleagues, and support did I need to feel happy and fulfilled in work?
For me, the answer was to start my own practice.
And so I did.
I set down the path to creating the work-life that I wanted and my body/mind/soul needed.
And I continued to prioritize self-care, self-love, and self-compassion.
I knew that if I was not well mentally or emotionally, my clients would not get there either.
So with time and intention, my burnout started to ease up. I felt more engaged and looked forward to doing the work every week.
After years, now I feel I am in a good place. I am still on the healing journey (perhaps it never ends), but my experience with burnout taught me a lot.
- You can’t help others effectively until you help yourself first
- You need to make time for self-care every day and week
- Know what kind of support you need in your life personally and professionally
- Get in touch with your needs and advocate for them at work (and in all your relationships)
I want to share with you what I have learned on this healing journey from feeling Burnt Out to Healthy and Fulfilled with work.
If you are a helping professional and feeling burnt out, it’s time to slow down and reevaluate.
By healing yourself, you really do make a big difference in the lives of the people you help.
On March 30 I will be leading a small workshop in Oakland called Freedom From Burnout.
I hope you can make it, but if not, please promise me you will do something nice for yourself this week. You deserve it 😉
Click below to join me, and I hope to see you there!
Ellis Edmunds, Psy.D.