Wednesday 20 July 2016

The Importance of Not Burning Yourself Out

Grace writes about how important it is to accept your good and bad days, and offers advice on how to stop from burning yourself out

-Grace Anderson

Despite often having very bad days, one of my biggest goals has been to not let other people realise this. People’s perceptions of me are something that I worry about often; do they like me? Will they think that I am weird? Am I boring? I really do care too much about what people think.

This has led to me appearing to be happy, confident and always ready for a good time. This could not be more wrong! Sitting in a lecture recently I was discussing being nervous about working with no one I knew and how I felt scared meeting them for the first time. My friend turned to me and said “REALLY?!?! You always seem so confident, I can’t imagine that” and then she paused and said “or you are just really good at appearing that way”.

This really made it feel real to me; I have put on a show for so long. Sometimes this does work in my favour; it allows me to appear externally to be a happy, friendly, confident, fun person. However, eventually this can often get too much leading me to burn out.

There is only so long you can pretend that everything is ok when it is not. As someone who has spent years keeping up this act it can be very hard. I am generally a happy, fun, loud, energetic person, but there are days when I don’t want to get out of bed in the morning. I question my existence and constantly worry about everything I have said and done.

I am slowly beginning to learn that this is a part of who I am and I think this worry will always be present and yes I will have bad days but you know what, this is ok. It is very hard for me to admit to myself that I am struggling, let alone to the people I know and love, but hopefully one day I will be able to be more honest with myself.

What I have learnt recently is that people understand and would rather I admitted I was having a bad day, instead of feeling the need to put on an act. I am realising in the long run this is also better for me as I can take it easy and have a few days to help myself, before I start burning out.

Here are a few things I am slowly learning are ok:
  • It is ok to say no; you don’t have to attend every social event you are invited to, you don’t always have to do what others expect, if you aren’t up to going or don’t want to go then you don’t have to.
  • A day in bed is okay; self-care is key, snuggling up with a cuppa and a movie or a good book is allowed, it does not make you lazy. We all need to recharge our batteries. 
  • You don’t have to be happy 24/7; in fact I’ll let you into a secret no one really is. It’s completely normal to have bad days.

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