Some days it seems like everything is falling apart.
You used to spring into action to hold it all together, but now you do little more than raise an eyebrow at the chaos.
Having things under control used to be your forté. People counted on you. You prided yourself on ensuring your life ran exactly as planned.
But now you wonder what happened to the woman who could effortlessly orchestrate a million details. Somewhere along the way, she vanished. What was important to you no longer matters – you’re so far removed from your life you might as well be on another planet.
When you’re in the throes of deep detachment, you feel utterly disconnected from other people or from your environment. You remove yourself emotionally – and perhaps even physically – from your responsibilities. You may frequently call in sick to work, stop responding to your family, fail to return calls or answer emails, or neglect to show up for commitments.
More than indifference, the detachment that comes with burnout is a consequence of burnout’s mental and physical exhaustion. You wind up in a classic burnout symptom of depersonalization – you don’t care about anyone or anything. And it’s a vicious circle because strong detachment isolates you from the support needed to overcome burnout.
While it’s only natural to go through periods when you enjoy your life less than usual, when the lack of enjoyment persists and you feel as though you’re viewing the world through the wrong end of a telescope, that’s a major red flag that you might be suffering from burnout.
Let’s take a look at some of the symptoms.
Though paradoxically it can be tough to muster up enough energy to assess whether you’re in full burnout, there are some straightforward clues. They are:
I’ve written about related signs of burnout such as isolating yourself, feeling apathetic, and being depressed – they all intertwine and end up reinforcing each other. Which is why I urge you to take any and all of the symptoms seriously. Burnout is a threat to your physical and mental health; left unaddressed, it will significantly erode your well-being.
So, what will help you overcome detachment? Let’s take a look.
#1 Bring some calming routines into your life
Routines can help protect you from the detachment associated with burnout. Engaging in a repeatable, specific behavior can help anchor your awareness of the present moment and reconnect you to a sense of purpose. For example, take 10 deep breaths before you start a new task. Savor the movement of your breath as it flows in and out. Feel your lungs expand and contract as you breathe.
#2 Check in regularly with yourself
The hardest part of warding off burnout is that we often don’t see it coming until it’s too late. That’s why it’s important to develop your self-awareness through reflection and regular reviews of your life and work. Self-reflection will bolster your belief in your own abilities, something that’s often lost when you’re deep in burnout-related detachment.
Ideally, you’ll check in at least once a day with yourself to assess your physical, emotional, and mental state of being. Perhaps early morning works best for you, as you set yourself up for the rest of your day. Or, in the evening before bed – review your day, note how you’re feeling, and set your intent to have a peaceful night’s sleep.
As well, schedule weekly, monthly, and even annual reviews to reflect on how you’re feeling, and if your life is going in a direction you’re happy with. Put them in your calendar, and treat them as seriously as you do any other meeting or appointment.
Check in to see if you’re moving toward your most important goals. This will help you get re-invested in your life, and bring you out of that dreary sense of indifference.
#3 Start a journal
A journal is a great tool for recording what you’re thinking and how you’re feeling as you’re checking in with your physical, mental, and emotional states of being. You may choose a small pocket journal where you can jot down your feelings and thoughts throughout the day. You might prefer a larger journal that you keep by your bed to write down your dreams in the morning and reflections of your day at night. You can even have more than one journal, like I do.
There is no right way to journal. You can write whole paragraphs on what you discover or short phrases for quick thoughts that come to you. Whatever you choose to put in your journal is your personal preference and no one else will see it… unless you decide to share it. So no worries about whether you’re getting it right. If it works for you, it is right!
#4 Take part in my complimentary ‘From Burnout to Balance 7-Day Self-Love Challenge’
So often the lack of self-love and self-care is at the root of the emotional and mental exhaustion that leads to detachment. During these 7 days, we’ll look at what’s really going on beneath the signs of burnout. I’ll give you simple strategies for how to turn things around so you can get on the path towards balance and start enjoying your life again.
If you’re ready to break out of the burnout cycle and desire to be…
I know you might be down on yourself for disengaging and detaching from, well, pretty much everything.
But it’s not your fault. Burnout snuck up on you while you weren’t looking.
Let’s ease you back into enjoying your life. Apply these tips. Re-discover your self-love in the challenge.
Then feel your enthusiasm rekindle itself as you nurture yourself back to wellness.
And if you want more support, you’ve got it! Sign up here for my mailing list to receive regular tips and techniques to overcome burnout.