Burnout. One of the buzz words circulating during the pandemic, and with good reason.

I had always thrived on a bit of stress and loved a challenge, but there is only so much a human being can take and sadly I learnt this the hard way.

With most things being online for the past two years it meant you could be anywhere, anytime, I, unfortunately took that as I could be everywhere, every time.

There are multiple causes of burnout; dysfunctional workplace dynamics, a lack of social support and unclear job expectations just to name a few. But my poison of choice was a poor work-life balance.

I am not sure if it was the endless zoom meetings that I scheduled back-to-back or the multiple remote jobs I juggled alongside the hardest year of my degree that caused my breaking point.

But it did not occur overnight, in fact for someone like me it was a long time coming. For as long as I can remember I have always struggled to switch off. University only made this worse for me because there was always reading to be done, and some sort of assignment due. I would go out with friends and feel bad for my “time off” because I should have been studying or writing up a report. I always took way too much on.

Looking back, I should have known the path I was on was not sustainable, the signs were very telling. It started with the brain fog, I became so forgetful, and I struggled to focus and concentrate a lot more than usual. I was always tired and constantly overwhelmed. With time it got worse. I became really anxious about everything, doubted my ability to perform and became down right apathetic about pretty much everything even my studies. To cope, I did a lot of disappearing acts, occasionally falling off the face of the earth just to keep sane. Again, not at all sustainable or great for my relationships but I was apathetic, so I didn’t really feel much.

I don’t remember the exact moment I realised I was burnt out, neither the moment I decided to do something about it. What I do know is that in order to live a happy fruitful life, I need to start taking better care of myself, prioritising rest, and creating boundaries.

It has been an interesting journey since then, but I can confidently say I am doing a lot better, thankfully!

-Michelle, amplifi influencer

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