Burnout was brought to my attention recently and I realized that I am a little burnt out myself. I thought I’d share my thoughts and advice with you guys.
I usually feel burnout, especially during a normal semester but surprisingly I have felt it so much during these months when I had to be home. First, not being in a normal schedule or routine, I found myself wanting to be over-involved with things at home. I find at times being busy is how I keep myself sane… but I slowly realized that that was the opposite. Staying in quarantine has definitely taken a toll on me mentally, as I’m sure it has for all of us. I found myself so burnt out in trying to do extra things that I thought would be beneficial to me, only to realize that I can’t keep up with the pace I wanted to. (Shocker I know)
I think as I begin to reflect, quarantine for me was a time to slow down, focus on a few things, and get good at them. I always like having a lot on my plate to feel accomplished, but I think I truly realized that taking it slow and steady is beneficial as well. There are times when you need to be a little overwhelmed, but not all times. I focused my ideas and interests on specific things. Now, those are skills of mine to only get better! Taking things at a comfortable pace was uncomfortable, so to say, but I realized the importance of doing it one step at a time. I still feel like getting a million things done every day! Yet now, I remind myself to stop and breathe.
Additionally, I found myself not dancing as much. This mentally was not good for me either but I think I needed the physical and mental break. That being said, I got into my studio two weeks ago, and it felt like I never took time off. THAT was such an amazing feeling! Granted, I haven’t been adamant about my stretching either… it just felt so good to move again and move however I feel to whatever song plays on my shuffle. I identified smaller moments of pure joy and the things that are truly important to me that make me happy. I think I was able to find out why I dance again and why it is such a big part of my life.
What I Did
During my burnout, I forced myself to sit back and see what I want versus what I don’t want in my life. Some parts of this are super discouraging, but I have never felt more sense of relief and peace with where I am in life right now. It also gave me the chance to reduce my time on social media and to be at peace with my own personal circumstances. I finally took charge of my life with a laser focus and focus on just myself, no one else. Through this, I’m slowly but surely finding one of my purposes in life and I am so excited to share this journey over the next few months.
If you are going through a burnout period right now, it’s OK. The first step in coping and growing through burnout is acknowledging how you feel and what you’re experiencing. Something that helped me was simply taking a break. I rested for long periods, I picked up other hobbies that still kept me active and were different for me. My favorite thing to do in times of burnout is to do a giant brain dump. I write about all the things going on in my life, all my to-do’s, all my worries, and all my accomplishments. Doing this helps me to realize that I am doing the most so I shouldn’t be too hard on myself. It also helps me to take a step back and look at it intently… I may be doing TOO much. How can I eliminate some things or compartmentalize them better to fit my routine and the lifestyle that I want?
How do you process burnout in dance? Let me know in the comments, I would love to chat!