Do you ever feel like you are mentally and emotionally done and done, with a side of done? If you’re a sensitive introvert like me, I have a feeling that you’ve experienced mental burnout more than once. And you know it ain’t pretty.
As introverts, we’re easily overstimulated, which is just a technical way of saying that everyday life can feel like a slap across the face for us, especially if we are also highly sensitive.
Me Brain no wOrky No More
I have to admit that I am dealing with mental burnout myself right now. I just finished the manuscript for my second book, The Year of The Introvert, and it took so much out of me. I feel like my womb is sore from all the words it produced.
Also, after spending weeks by myself in front of a computer for sixteen hours a day, I am extra sensitive to external stimuli, like noise, light, and crowds. Mostly, I just want everything to go away.
I know that I have to be extra gentle with myself right now, or I am sure to have a meltdown at the most inopportune time. Unfortunately, it wouldn’t be the first time.
Introvert meltdown at the mall
The last time I had such a meltdown, I was walking through a mall in Brisbane Australia, when tears suddenly started to uncontrollably ooze out of me. And then, to make matters worse, one of those kiosk sales people intercepted me just as my mouth started to quiver and the tears really started to flow.
When he saw that I was crying he looked horrified. At least now I know how to scare off pushy salespeople in two seconds flat.
I’m actually surprised that I feel this way because I figured since I was working alone I wouldn’t get too mentally overstimulated. I actually thought I would spring back up like a sponge the moment I submitted the book. I was certain I would be excited to come out of my cave and go out dancing, and socializing. Not quite.
All I wanted to do for the last three days was read with the lights dimmed, and covers pulled high. I still feel like I could sleep for days, but I am slowly crawling my way back to normality, like a sloth trying to inch its way across the highway.
So, if you are struggling with emotional and mental burnout, I really do know how you feel. I also have some quick tips to get you through.
How to recover from mental burnout:
- You really do have to give your brain a break. There’s just no way around it, dear. That means turning off screens for a while and just staring into the distance like a cat, or meditating, or picking your toe lint — whatever requires no mental effort.
- Dim the lights, turn down the noise, and close the door. When you’re suffering from mental burnout, your brain is extra sensitive to external stimuli. You pretty much want to turn your home into a baby incubator until your brain calms down.
- Put off decisions. If you’re feeling truly mentally overloaded, the last thing you want to do is try to make a bunch of important decisions. In case you haven’t noticed, decisions take a lot of mental energy. If it can wait until tomorrow, let it wait. Speaking of which …
My heart wants a nap
Last night, after somehow scraping up the motivation to meditate before bed, I started thinking about my plans for the next few months. I’m in Ottawa right now, but I am debating spending some of the harsh winter in Mexico.
I decided to ask my heart what it wants. An image of a cartoon heart throwing up its arms and saying, “I just want a nap” flashed in my mind. I chuckled to myself. “Okay, heart,” I said, “I will let you rest. We can leave the decision making until later.”
Maybe this is what your heart has been trying to tell you, too. It’s so very tired, and just wants to rest for a while.
I know you’re worried that if you rest, you might not get back up, but you will. You will rise, and you will return to your life rejuvenated. Or at the very least, you will find a way to inch your way back to life, one baby sloth step at a time.
How does mental burnout effect you?
Do you struggle with mental burnout? How does it feel for you, and what do you do to mentally repair?