It's over a year now since I suffered a major burnout leading to long term sick, and since I've returned to work I've been taking care of myself by not travelling and really carefully managing my sensory environment & keeping away from hubbub (lots of conversations etc.). My self care has worked really well, and I've feel that I've discovered "normal, healthy" levels of stress for the first time in my working life (healthy levels of stress for *me*, at least).
Now that I'm looking like I've recovered from burnout and I'm starting performing at 95% again, I can feel myself coming under pressure to start attending meetings in person again and travelling again. Before my burnout I was flying into Europe alone maybe every month and just feeling important rather than stressed. Now I'm very wary about returning to what everyone else will see as normal.
I don't know what I'm asking others here for - maybe just sympathy & to tell me that yes, I need to look after myself and not put myself under pressure.
By the way, one of the things I'm *really* mindful of is giving an inch and being expected to do a mile.............
With me, as soon as I felt even a little bit ok, I would rush back to getting things back to where I was before the burnout. But that was pre diagnosis. So I’m learning from that and I’m getting good at it and I’ve learned the art of baby steps, knowing my limits and being able to pick up on them before I get overloaded. But it’s been a process which has taken me a good year to get to grips with.
BlueRay, could you please explain in more detail how you find your limits? I'm really struggling with the whole "keep calm and carry on" attitude at the moment, and I can't seem to turn it off.
I'm typing this while I should have been at work, I phoned in sick this morning even though I'm not really all that ill, I'd normally have just taken a paracetamol and got on with it. But it's more emotional than physical, and the place I work isn't very sympathetic about that sort of thing. I explained to the manageress that I was struggling and wanted to reduce my hours a couple of months ago, and although I was able to do that, she has been distant towards me ever since and looks at me differently, sort of puzzled and on guard, I think.
I'm actually worried that I might be close to some sort of personal crisis, because I've been through bouts of depression my whole life, but never anything quite like this. The closest I can describe it is like being smashed to pieces on the floor and kicked to all corners of the room, with no plan for how to put myself back together. The things I normally do to calm myself aren't working very well. I feel bad about asking for help right now, and even feel bad about feeling bad about it. My inner voice is still telling me not to be such a wimp. How can I make it shut up?!?