The first law of thermodynamics: "Energy can not be created or destroyed. It can only be transferred."
I experience my body as an energy system. I conceptualize burnout as a disruption of energy transfer in my body.
In any functioning energy-transferring system, something comes in (INPUT), it gets processed (PROCESSING), and something else comes out (OUTPUT).
If there's too much input and not enough processing time, it won't work (you can't keep shoving fabric in a sewing machine before its ready for the next piece and expect a nice product).
If there's too much output and not enough replenishing input, it won't work (you have to replace the batteries, and they have to be the right kind of batteries).
If the input isn't right for a particular system, it won't work (you can't put orange juice in your car and expect it to run).
When I work with folks healing from burnout, we find what their unique system needs in all 3 of these areas:
Do they have different sensory needs due to chronic pain or autoimmune disease, or due to being highly sensitive or neurodivergent? INPUT
Do they struggle to set boundaries around their time and energy? INPUT
Do they need more support from their partner, family, or community? Do they struggle to ask for or accept support when it is available? INPUT
Do they know how the energetic qualities of food impact their mind-body type (Ayurvedic dosha)? INPUT
Do they have words that haven't been said, tears that haven't been cried, screams that haven't been released, joy that hasn't been expressed? PROCESSING
Do they chronically over-work, over-function, or over-give? OUTPUT
Do they need to re-work their job description, re-design their business offerings, or change careers? OUTPUT
Do they have a creative project or business idea brewing that needs to come out of them but keeps getting put on the back-burner and shoved back inside? OUTPUT
When energy isn't flowing through our system, it SUCKS. The world is grey, numb, flat, bleh…
When energy IS flowing through our system the world is tingly technicolor magic. Life is supposed to feel ALIVE.
Note: If you are burned out, it's not your fault. We live inside external systems that make it nearly impossible to get what we need for body systems to thrive. We are taking in 24 hour global news cycles, addictive social media feeds and fluorescent lights instead of morning sunlight, home cooked meals, and the nourishment of friendship. We live in isolated nuclear families and don't have the support we need. We don't have time or space to process our emotions. In many cases, we are stuck working long hours in a role that doesn't allow us to express our creativity or offer our gifts to the world.
And while the cause of burnout is much bigger than one individual and there is no quick fix for systemic problems, there are things we can do now to find our inner spark again.
p.s. I would love to practice yoga with you! Check out my free practice bundles HERE.