It's a foggy morning here. We are on the brink of Spring but I know it is just a tease. February in the South can boast temps well into the 70's with a hard freeze the very next day. But it is quiet and the house is not quite up today.
I love these times - especially when I wake up of my own accord. When I'm forced to wake early it always feels hard but when I wake up and know one more snooze will not come, I scurry downstairs for a bit of quiet time before the rest of my house awakes.
I'm pondering something after a conversation last week with someone I support. This person was incredibly tired. Our conversation wasn't meant to take a turn into the personal, but as I was sitting there listening all the signs were there. 45 minutes into the conversation they finally admitted they were exhausted and burned out.
Gosh, I have been here, and you know what I felt in my absolute exhaustion and burnout? Shame. I could hear it in this person's voice "I should be able to handle all of this." "Maybe I'm not as good as I thought I was" and then the admission, "I don't have the energy to even figure this out because I'm just so tired."
Ya'll, exhaustion and burnout are signs. You can't pray your way out of it. You can't buy your way out of it. You can't drink your way or even bubble bath your way out of it. And even though everything feels out of control, no one can fix this for you but YOU.
I know when you are exhausted and tired, this revelation can make you want to cry or throw up your hands because you don't have the energy to even fix it. And that is why the first step when you get to this place is to simply give yourself the gift of "stop." I don't mean, you just stop everything and go put your head in the sand (while that may be exactly what you want to do). No, you allow yourself to take a moment, a day, a morning, a weekend and you stop. And what do you do in that stop? You give yourself the permission to admit and own that you are exhausted and burned out. You give yourself the grace to accept it - not as a failure - but as your current truth. You allow yourself to rest and you get to ask yourself, "what do I really want?"
The stop has to come before the plan. The stop has to come before the strategy. The stop has to come before the personal self-development or the changes that you need to make to right the ship. The stop is solely and exclusively for you! YOU! YOU!!!!!! Can you hear me? Just Stop! In this moment you get to be selfish. In this moment you get to ask for what you need. In this moment you are given the permission to rest.
It's a gift - and it's yours - and you desperately need it if you have all the signs of exhaustion and burn out.
Give yourself the gift of "stop."