Are you ever too tired to ride? As horsemen, we work ourselves hard to pay for and take care of our horses and then we are often too pooped out to enjoy them. If you find yourself tired every now and then that is to be expected but when it becomes a fact of life you are probably dealing with some level of burnout.
Burnout occurs when your body’s energy systems are no longer functioning properly. In burnout, rest does not restore your energy. You can sleep 10 or 12 hours and wake up tired. Constant fatigue often leads a person to seek stimulants in the form of caffeine, drugs or alcohol. When physical substances no longer provide the required energy then one will seek emotional stimulation such as new projects or conflicts.
After long term energy dysfunction physical symptoms such as body soreness, poor digestion or mood swings develop. If burnout is not addressed then a downward spiral into deeper and deeper energy depletion occurs. In other words you start to feel bad all the time. Not exactly the best condition to be in when you want to get anything done. Even fun tasks like riding become a chore.
Fortunately your body’s energy systems can be brought back into balance but unfortunately this does not happen easily. Energy dysfunction is a very deep seated imbalance and recovery takes a dedicated program of physical, emotional and spiritual lifestyle changes. The good news is you can continue to live a very productive and fulfilling life while dealing with burnout. You will want to cut yourself some slack and make sure you are surrounded by supportive friends and family. More advanced cases of burnout may require help from a health practitioner.
Symptoms of burnout:
Fatigue even with plenty of sleep
Chronic body soreness
Craving for stimulants
I have been personally dealing with burnout since vet school. Years of stress and over use of stimulants took its toll on my system but it was not until recently that I recognized the burnout syndrome. Thank heavens I was introduced to these whole food health supplements back in the early nineties. These products have improved my health immensely and helped me cope with burnout. The severe drought last year kicked up some of inflammation and anxiety symptoms but these Xango juice and Eleviv products were a huge help.
On a spiritual level, burnout keeps me looking to God for my strength since I often can’t generate it in my physical self. Burnout has helped me focus on the most simple pleasures in life such as my wonderful animals and the beautiful land around me. Burnout helps me appreciate my incredible, supportive friends and family. Now that I understand more about this energy imbalance, I can catch myself when I reach for that extra cup of coffee or look to start a new project rather than follow through on what I already have in process. In a way burnout has been a blessing. Madalyn
I would be glad to talk to anyone who feels they are dealing with burnout. What has worked for me may or may not be the answer for you.
Here is an article that goes into way more detail on burnout. Check it out.
Photo credit: Flickr via creative commons