Burning Out & Finding Balance
This spring, I found myself burning out. The additional work I’ve taken on related to building this website, working to build a social media presence, and researching farming meant that I had very little downtime, and it started to take a toll.
My inner dialogue around accomplishing work often goes like this: “I should be able to do more, go faster, do better. It’s possible, and if I just white knuckle it enough, I will come out the other side full of success.”
I believe my thoughts like a child, without question, and I try with all my heart. My life quickly becomes rigid and overly structured, scheduling every minute of every day and demanding complete focus from myself in this quest for perfection.
Instead of perfection, instead of doing more, faster, better – I burn out. I end up doing nothing at all, sprawled on the couch watching TV all day, slithering from the bed to the tub, cancelling on friends, feeling overwhelmed and depressed and a failure.
Eventually I realize I am trying to do too much again. That’s all. The world isn’t coming to an end and I’m not failing at life: I just need to slow down.
I’m learning to recognize the signs of overbusyness for me: increased depression, physical exhaustion, lack of creativity, and a sense of meaninglessness, to name a few. Managing my stress has become a top priority, considering my rather sensitive nature and its immediate physical and emotional impacts.
Despite knowing the importance of rest, I often struggle against societal pressures and internalized beliefs that equate rest with laziness. To counter these influences, I’m consciously embracing relaxation and solitude, redefining my understanding of success, and learning to communicate my needs to others. I’m learning to acknowledge my achievements, no matter how small, during times of low energy.
In this journey to being a farmer, I’m learning to embrace a slower pace, appreciating that progress doesn’t always mean constant motion. Although the process can be uncomfortable, I’m gradually unlearning the belief that more and faster equate to better. Instead, I’m finding contentment in the simplicity of being and appreciating the small steps toward big dreams.