What is the difference between stress and burnout?

"The meh": how to find purpose and avoid burnout

What is “the meh”? 

“The meh” is that feeling where you’re just uninterested, unmotivated, and unexcited about life in general. It’s a sucky feeling. It’s suffocating. It can feel discouraging. Sometimes you can just push through, but sometimes it just feels too overwhelming, and it feels like all you can do is wallow in “the meh.” 

Before I go on, I want to acknowledge that “the meh” and depression/anxiety are different. I am not a trained mental health care professional; I am focused on developing community and helping women find purpose and joy. If you’re struggling with your mental health, I encourage you to seek professional help. I did! And it made all the difference.

What is the difference between stress and burnout?

“The meh” can be caused by this idea to produce more and make more plans. It’s all about more, more, and more. Yet this more makes us MORE TIRED! 

So many of us are drowning in “the more,” we’re drowning in “the meh,” and we’re drowning in this idea that we need to keep producing and being more. But we are not machines, we are humans, and it’s too much to constantly strive for more. If we keep going down this path of more, we’re all going to end up burnt out and unable to do anything—including the things that bring us joy. 

What is the difference between stress and burnout? 

Stress is the cause of burnout, while burnout can be defined as “Burnout is a state of emotional, physical and mental exhaustion caused by excessive and prolonged stress.” 

Just because you’re stressed doesn’t mean you’re burnt out, but being constantly stressed for too long can lead to burnout. It’s important to be aware of how to overcome “the meh” and avoid burnout.

It seems like “burnout” is a buzzword these days that everyone is talking about but not always acting on. Burnout is a crisis that can take 3-5 years to recover from, and it’s a serious issue that needs to be prioritized and addressed. People recovering from burnout need the time and resources to heal, and people who are on a path to burnout need the support to recognize their road and pivot. 

What is the difference between stress and burnout?

The importance of slowing down

Let’s take a moment.

Breathe in for four seconds, hold it, and breathe out.

If you’re rushing through this article, I want to take a moment for you to acknowledge that. 

What’s the rush?

Are you glorifying productivity? 

Are you determined to move on to the next thing?

Are you searching for the bolded text and all the answers?

Let’s just take a moment and slooooowwww dowwwwnnnn.

The importance of slowing down

Slowing down can help you recognize how you’re feeling. It can allow you to recognize where you’re at and where you’re headed. 

When you slow down, you can take the time to recognize if you’re burning yourself out, if you need to spend time healing, if you need to increase joy in your life, and overall gain a better understanding of how you’re actually doing.

We’re constantly jumping from one task to the next, striving to be our best selves, working on being “that girl,” wanting to be better—but slowing down can help you realize where you need to be spending your time.

You don’t need to push through “the meh” to increase your productivity. Instead, you can recognize that you’re feeling “meh” and slow down to determine why that is and what you need to do to overcome it. 

How to avoid “the meh” and burnout

How do you avoid “the meh” and burnout in a world that constantly tells us to work harder and do more? You have responsibilities. You have things you have to do. 

My first point is that I need you to recognize that burnout is scary. You need to prioritize your mental health and well-being to avoid burning out. You cannot continue down a path that will lead you to needing years to recover from. 

But don't worry. You can avoid “the meh” and burnout by getting enough sleep, taking breaks throughout your work day, using your vacation days, tracking your time, working only during the time you’re required to (I’m looking at all you who work overtime every week), being in tune with how you’re feeling, and by practicing self-care

Sustainable ways to practice self-care.

You might find self-care as a helpful practice to overcome “the meh.” 

Going back to the basics of self-care will help you redetermine what you need to do to rejuvenate and how you can best care for yourself. Don’t be afraid to take time to reflect, to look to your community for support, and always remember that you are worthy of self-care and your well-being is important. (This is a great article that goes over some of the things that self-help books fail to talk about). 

One tool that I love to avoid burnout and overcome “the meh” is CRYSTALS! 

A few of my favorite crystals for burnout include:

  • Pink Opal for self-healing emotional wounds. 
  • Amethyst for inner peace and rest. 
  • Sodalite to help you speak your truths and connect with your intuition. 

(Check out my shop for more of my favs!)

The importance of slowing down

Join the “New Age Revival” by being open to trying new methods in your self-care routine. Crystals are an incredible opportunity to tune into your emotion and shift your energy.

Taking time to pour into yourself can allow you to better accomplish the tasks you need to complete. A burnt-out version of you isn’t going to thrive nearly as well as a nurtured version of you that you care for and love. 

Learn more!

If you’re drowning in “the meh,” let’s talk about it. Active recovery is important, and you need to take action to avoid heading down a road that could lead to burnout, more stress, or a life with less joy. 

You deserve to thrive in your situation, and one way to do this is to take time to rest and rejuvenate while learning tactics that will equip you to take on all that life has to offer.

Bring balance back into your life at the Rooted retreat. Learn more about the retreat and join the waitlist today.

The importance of slowing down

Photos by Emily Wilkerson

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