Burnout Solution 2: Why the Way Out is the Same For All
Updated: Jul 27
The tendency of psychologists and psychiatrists is to focus deeply on the cause of your burnout, depression, grief, and mental breakdown or traumatized state. That is very, very good of course. But in my experience that is only half of the solution to burnout. Work the mind yes, but also the body. That's the key.
A focus away from the mind, and into the body Of course, the mental side of a burnout is extremely important. We need to give the mind space to process the reasons and causes we got here in the first place. However, in my experience, this is only half of the story. Focusing on the causes is good. But the other half of a recovery from burnout and depression consists of relieving your symptoms by removing and/or dealing with triggers and becoming much more aware of signals that trigger your bad feelings.
I feel this is not seen by the medical community. The standard practice is to sit down and talk to a psychologist. But in my experience, this is way too slow and doesn't relieve the symptoms fast enough, something which I found is just as important, if not more. Just a funny example: if you were to receive therapy while talking a walk, I feel it would already be double as effective.
Why is a focus on symptoms just as important as tackling your causes? It has to do with what happens in your body during those negative mental states and the cortisol (stress) hormones that are being produced. Stress hormones are fine and necessary for the body. It’s just that in a burnout state, they tend to overproduce. Mentally looking at the causes of your burnout does not immediately alleviate this production. Sure, it gives you insight into how to change your life, which of course is what it's all about in the long run! But in your negative state, you're also looking for short-term relief, a way out of these negative feelings.
And there is a way. What reduces symptoms like anxiety, sadness and other negative emotions is a focus on the physical. Moving your body is simply the best way to relieve stress. It's that simple. To reduce the hormone production you can do very different things, such as taking a walk, a shower or a sauna, Qi Gong, yoga, martial arts, meditation… anything moving or relaxing the body. The more you focus on the physical, the more the mind will follow. So, this means that whatever your mental problems, half of the solution is a focus on the body. The causes of a burnout or creative depression are different for all of us. But what is the same for all of us, are the benefits of a focus on the physical. Take that two-pronged approach. Keep working on the mind and your causes. But take your body with you. Doing this consistently could cut your Restart time in half. And take it easy. Love.
(Check out the book Restart here)
Rogier van Kralingen