We are deep in the heat of summer and fires are burning all over. The world can seem like a cataclysmic place, especially if you listen to the daily news- which I don’t!
On a personal level people are so busy, there are so many events and activities calling, and it is a time of gathering and celebrating in the sun. This is the time of the Fire Element and one of the key questions is how to avoid burnout.
Do you have so much to do that you can’t fit it all in? Do you find yourself longing for some downtime but not sure where to find it? Are the most important things slipping away as you struggle to handle all the input and opportunities? Do you exhaust yourself with doing and then become too tired to manage what really matters? Do you find yourself renewed by your leisure activities or you drained by your own fears of missing out, so you keep saying yes, when you really need to say no?
Prioritizing what is important is key to avoid burnout. And take some time to muse upon what fills you up, so you can do more of that. Sometimes we do things because we feel we “should”- and that is always a good thing to question.
Avoiding toxic people and folks who drain your energy is crucial in this summer time of socializing. You can only give if you are filled up, so find times for folks who inspire you.
We can’t maintain that many intimate relationships and it is important that those people who we keep close are really supportive. We all need outlets for our challenges and we all want to be there for others, but listening to complaints and concerns continually can use up our own internal resources.
We want relationships that are balanced, where there is a flow of giving and receiving and where we experience a sense of safety in being ourselves fully.
One of the ways to avoid burnout is to take stock of how and with whom we are spending our time, and make small shifts so that we are not giving constantly.
It is so important to cultivate good boundaries. Time and energy are precious assets in this busy season and we can often conserve our resources by finding ways to shift conversations and relationships so that there is more of a balanced flow.
Some people ramble on about things that are unimportant to others because they need attention. Try focusing on your heart area and connecting to their heart through yours. Flooding a person with heart energy, that you can refill from your source ,through the back of your heart, is a way of overflowing to people and not being drained.
It gives them what they truly need and helps them to connect to source energy so they can get the attention they crave in a way that truly supports them, without depleting you.
Time in nature is a great way to recharge and this is the time of year to get outdoors. Choose your activities so that you have a chance to be outside. Spending time gazing at water or sky and doing nothing can be totally restorative.
On hot days I make sure to leave work early and head down to the water so that I can plunge into the Sound. The cold brace of the sea is a reset for mind and body after a long day of work, and I can relax and let go of all the things that need attention and give my spirit a chance to recharge.
When there is so much calling you and so many things to attend to, time away from a to do list is really important. Scheduling in meditation, naps, walks, swims, or rest is essential when it won’t happen if it is not in the plan.
Make some space in your day or week where nothing is planned and where you can just take in the beauty of the world. It is too easy to get caught up on social media or the news of things that we can’t do anything about. We have to calm ourselves with quiet time so that we are more able to do what is in our power to do.
It is too easy for the yang energy of doing to dominate our day and in a culture that is completely deficient in yin, we have to actively make sure we have the time and space to receive, surrender, and replenish with some time for just being.
Avoid burnout by cultivating the capacity to say no. It is ok not to show up at everything. There is a huge tendency to not want to miss out, to not want to feel left out, and to push ourselves to do more than is appropriate, but time to ourselves is absolutely precious, and if relished and used to deeply restore, it is a wonderful gift for yourself.
If you think everyone is at the picnic but you feel too tired, honor your true needs. Introverts and extroverts are different in their needs to socialize and be active, but we all could do a little less and just be a little more.
It is also really important to limit your resistance to the things that your life has brought you. Some folks have huge caretaking responsibilities, others have enormous projects, commitments, or involvements where people are counting on them. We may not have enough time for ourselves or get enough rest.
But we can avoid wasting additional time or energy with resistance, griping, or procrastination. Nothing is forever in this life, but whatever is on our plate right now, there is something to be gained by attending to it, and savoring whatever time and energy is left over.
Even a few moments of moon gazing can bring us stillness and peace, so make sure you pace yourself so that you have some energy left to really enjoy the time you do have for yourself once you have taken care of the things that need to be done.
Whatever you are doing this summer and whoever you are spending your time with, you have control over your attitude.
Give yourself the gift of balance and flow, so that you have time and opportunity to restore. And enjoy every moment that you can!