Let’s Talk Emotional Burnout
I wanna talk about emotional burnout or exhaustion. Because it’s very real, and sometimes can be overlooked, or mistaken for something such as depression - which is a symptom of burnout left for too long.
Emotional burnout can happen from anything - a relationship that’s draining you, a job that’s draining you, school work draining you, and certainly in my case, from activism work.
Think of it like a bank. Your body holds all this emotional energy that you can dip into and distribute to where it needs to go. But like a bank loan - you’ve got to pay it back or you’re going to end up in debt. Emotional burnout is what happens when you don’t pay back, when you keep dipping in and giving parts of yourself to something else, but receiving little to refill that emotional store. And there’s little more draining than actively going over your trauma for the betterment of others. Which is exactly what I’ve been doing with this page, and what activists across the world do, we keep reliving our trauma - whether that’s racism, homophobia, transphobia, ableism, whatever the topic, it’s something that’s caused trauma in our lives. And we reopen those wounds time and time again to help educate others who may need educating, and to offer support to others going through what we have.
But it’s really important we all check in with ourselves - that doesn’t make us bad activists at all. All these labels we assign ourselves and what we do, we often overlook what we actually ARE. Which is human. And we can only give so much of ourselves before it’s too much.
I definitely felt it at the start of this month. I had been giving so much of myself to this project, and I do it all for free. I don’t get reimbursed, I don’t get sponsorships or ad campaigns like influencers do. Nor do I expect it, but it meant that I wasn’t getting my pot refilled. And I wasn’t refilling my own pot. I was dedicating so much time to this, on top of working towards my degree, and running my eco page, that I wasn’t leaving myself time to refill the pot. To do things I do just because I enjoy them. So I had to step away for a few weeks and not think too much about the page or the content or the combatting of racist attitudes. I was bone deep, soul deep tired. But I’m back now with what I hope are some posts you’re going to really enjoy!
So I'll leave you with this. Nothing in this world can operate on no energy, not a tree in the amazon, not a river flowing to the sea, not the mightiest lion in Africa. So how can you?
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