Burnout. What a descriptive word! Burnout is a condition that you may have experienced or are experiencing right now. Merriam-Webster defines burnout as “exhaustion of physical or emotional strength or motivation usually as a result of prolonged stress or frustration.”

I admit I’m tiptoeing around the edge of Burnout Basin myself these days. The soles of my feet and the soul of my being feel a bit toasty as I purposely back off from a pace hurtling toward “exhaustion of physical or emotional strength or motivation.” For the past five months, I’ve been gunning it to finish my Bend book and keep my business steady in these COVID times. Toss in my broken wrist and rehab from that, plus a number of other stressors, and many a day I feel like a walking zombie.

Gratefully, the book is at the printers and I’ve shifted to recovery mode. So what is helping me step away from Burnout Basin? What helps you when you feel overwhelmed and lacking energy and motivation?

Walking It Off

The other day I ran across a simple solution to my battle fatigue. On my morning walk with Maisie, I decided to take a different path instead of our routine jaunt to our nearby park. Just a block away, I noticed this chalk drawing on the sidewalk. It did make me smile. All of a sudden, I found myself looking for other interesting objects in yards we passed.

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Check out this rock in someone’s front yard that looks like a turtle. What a symbolic reminder for me to slow-w-w-w to a turtle’s pace more often.

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Then up another block at the top of the hill, I caught the sunrise unfolding through the trees. There’s something about a yawning sunrise that reflects fresh beginnings.

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Next, this new split-rail fence with greenery naturally cascading around the hewn wood, reminded me of new growth and new adventures.

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So what is my latest beauty-full cure for burnout? Slow down and observe the unusual and interesting right in front of you each day. Just being purposeful about taking a few minutes to shift into neutral from warp-speed overdrive can relax you inside and out.

Easier Than You Think

Maybe you can grab your cellphone and snap a few photos on a walk nearby your home. Or, color with the kids or grandkids or play tug-of-war with your pet. Finding the beauty-full right around you is easier than you might think.

And who knows? Maybe you’ll find some sidewalk chalk art that will make you smile or a rock that looks like an animal. (Send me your photos!) All the while, you’ll be taking back you from Burnout Basin. One relaxed step at a time.