Do you often find yourself getting yet another takeaway to buy more time to work on that report? Is it a struggle to sleep when you finally make it to bed? Or maybe you’re getting through several glasses of wine most nights, just to feel you’ve actually relaxed?

If you know what I’m talking about, chances are you’re either nearing burnout or you’ve burnt out already.

Sooner or later, ‘getting by’ can come to feel like a constant state. The danger is that we accept this as normal, ‘to be expected’ and – worst of all – our own fault. We may get told we need to manage our time better. Or be questioned about why things are taking so long. These things are often said innocently. But they can add up to a mountain of pressure that leaves us with nothing left at the end of the day, let alone week.

We may even be offered Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) to manage the ‘symptoms’ of burnout.

CBT is the most widely offered therapy on the NHS. It is the go-to therapy of choice because it is (somewhat) available and funded.

But asking already burnt out individuals to manage their own symptoms and behaviour seems rather dismissive. It perpetuates the message that we must ‘brush things under the carpet’. That we must manage our mental health alone. That being burnt out is something to be ashamed of. Especially to the generation who were taught they needed to be high achieving independent thinkers to gain approval. Those who were expected to be the ‘goody two shoes’ and live up to the family name.

Heaven forbid the neighbours know they were struggling with their mental health – let alone in therapy.

Although CBT is itself a therapy of sorts, it has its limitations. While it is can be great at helping people self-manage unhelpful behaviours, what it does NOT do is tackle the root cause behind them. Unfortunately, not even close.

It keeps people functioning, only to go back into the shadows and continue their pattern of overworking, overeating, oversleeping, under nourishing… CBT may tackle one behaviour, but another is bound to surface sooner or later. And when symptoms like these show up, there is usually something else going on.

The ONLY way to resolve what is underneath is to ‘breakdown to breakthrough’. Ideally with a therapist on hand. And it is nothing to be ashamed of.

On the contrary, the real ‘secret’ of psychotherapy is that it opens the door to us living out our full and unabashed potential.

For the phoenix to rise from the ashes, the ashes must come first to allow space for the ‘new’ you to exist.

To get back to our most glorious and vibrant essence, we need to allow the opportunity for discomfort – the ‘burn’ of burnout. When depression shows up, we need to work with it as an opportunity, not a ‘problem’. When anxiety begins in earnest, we need to bring it into the light so we can see it better.

By examining each of these ‘symptoms’, we can see there is wisdom in what they are trying to tell us. We discover that our most natural instincts are crying out to be heard. The resulting behaviours may be labelled as unhelpful, or even ‘shameful’. But by looking closer, with compassion, we see there is a deeper unmet need just waiting to be unearthed.

We can find the remedy in the alchemy of our ancestors. Where there is sickness, we are purging the old to uncover the new. Where there is overeating / drinking too much, we are seeking nourishment for our soul that we are not getting elsewhere.

This work isn’t something we can do alone. We need someone to see what we are unable to see for ourselves. Someone to hold a metaphorical torch while we dig around in the dark. To offer useable perspective shifts when all we can see is brick walls.

As a Psychotherapist and Ecotherapist, I have extensive experience of guiding others through anxiety, overwhelm and the ongoing pressure to keep ‘performing’.

I will listen to your unique story and can identify the tools best suited to you holistically, according to the symptoms showing up in your mental wellbeing. We will do this together, and I will bring light to the process.

All of this can help you reach a place of self-acceptance, healing and more peaceful day-to-day living and being. It can help you uncover your most beautiful, spirited and elementary self. The you that is just waiting to be rebirthed from the ashes.

If you are feeling the burn of burnout and are ready to take the first step out of the shadows, please get in touch.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Subscribe to C;Joy and get...
a FREE Fire Circle or Women’s Circle ticket