Burned Out. The Sky Has Come Down. What to Do?
What to do if you feel that the slightest bit of energy to do anything at all has gone?
Burned out: you feel drained. You’ve put too much energy in an endeavor that symbolically failed.
This means: it may have failed objectively, in reality… or only in your perception of that reality. The distinction is not clear in most cases.
So, you ‘feel’ drained. Completely out of motivation to tackle serious problems. Or even any problems. It might be that ‘coming out of the house’ has become a serious problem.
You are burned out. No fire anymore. No fuel. Nothing.
It might be that reading this text is already a problem. Listening to some music may be hard.
What to do?
Waiting for the energy to return? Actually, there is no other option…
Is there not?
Well, you still have options ‘within the waiting’ itself. You can ‘wait’ in several ways. With expectation or without. Expectation is very powerful when it comes from deep inside. It’s powerless if it’s a mere shimmering at the surface of your mind.
So, that’s eventually the important element: depth.
You say: I’m just too tired, too ‘burned out’ to reach for depth.
Indeed? On the contrary: it takes energy to not go towards depth, to ‘hang on’ to the layers above. The most spontaneous way is to let go.
So, if you are in this situation, maybe barely able to read this, try to relax as well as you can. You may be very stressed. Then don’t push your stress away, since this takes an additional amount of energy. Go with your own flow. Try to find relaxation inside yourself. IF you found it, then you have found a path toward depth.
Follow your relaxation. You might feel this as something that opens itself to you.
It’s an exercise you can do now and then. Don’t enforce anything. Search the path of least resistance, in the right direction.
If you don’t succeed now, then just try again a while later today, or tomorrow. In this also, you can practice expectation: at one time, you will succeed. It may be this time. It may be next time. It doesn’t matter. You expect it to succeed.
In a relaxed state, you may then also expect to succeed in finding energy: a motivation to do something new or old, but quite unexpected. The energy to really like something, to do something.
If you feel any of this motivation, in any way, then stay with it. This moment is very important to you.
Focus your attention on the expectation, appreciating it and validating it. Feel whether it is genuine to you, whether it really belongs to you.
Just staying with this is the best you can do for yourself at this moment. It may seem like not much, but after all:
That’s the point of burnout in the first place. What seems like not much, is much.
What seems like ‘energy depleted’ is ‘energy not found yet’. There is no shortage of energy inside you: maybe deep – deep – deep inside you, but nevertheless. If you reach that, you have an answer.
Staying with this makes you more open to it. You don’t have to ‘do’ anything else. Staying with this is like giving sunshine to a plant. The plant needs sunshine to grow. Deep inside yourself, you need this attention to grow. No need to put energy in it.
Contrary to superficial attention, deep attention needs no energy.
It flows by itself. The difficulty is that it’s not easy to find the way to LET it flow. Trying desperately to act, to do the needed thing, closes the door to letting go. It may look simple and it is simple and yet at the same time it is not simple.
Doing the above exercise gets you there. Having faith in yourself is the only thing really needed.