On Burnout and the Need to Take a Break

Burnout Sick Day


“Burnout is what happens when you try to avoid being human for too long.” – Michael Gungor


If you listen to the Let’s Discuss podcast, you will have most likely caught the conversation Monica and I had about Gretchen Rubin’s Four Tendencies framework. It was the topic of discussion in episode 13.

Curious about the different struggles people have when it comes to making and breaking habits, Gretchen Rubin did extensive research and realised that people fall into one of four different tendencies. Obligers “meet outer expectations, but struggle to meet expectations they impose on themselves.” Questioners “question all expectations; they’ll meet an expectation if they think it makes sense.” Upholders “respond readily to outer and inner expectations.” And Rebels “resist all expectations, outer and inner alike.”

You can take the quiz to discover your tendency here. (Obligers are the most common tendency, and rebels are the rarest, FYI.)

I’m the classic Upholder. Which means I will always meet a deadline or obligation – no matter what obstacles get thrown in my direction. I also impose strict deadlines on things that aren’t at all urgent or important. And I’m terrible at delegating, asking for help and recognising when I need to slow down.

I fill up my plate with tasks and responsibilities. And, like a well-oiled machine, I usually get everything done efficiently and without much struggle. But every now and then this “can-do” mentality catches up with me and I reach breaking point. Last week was one such moment.

After weeks of pushing too hard and not giving myself a chance to recharge, I caught a cold/virus and it totally knocked me out. As a result, I spent much of last week on bed rest and had to wipe everything from my schedule.

It was definitely what I needed (even though I was reluctant to do it), and thankfully I feel so much better. However, I’m now playing catch-up with my schedule, and I won’t be publishing any new content this week. It’s a bit of a bummer, but I have lots of exciting stuff in the pipeline – both for the blog and the podcast – so I can’t wait to return next week.

Thank you so for much for all of your kind messages of support on Instagram over the weekend. I look forward to returning with new content next Monday. Have a great week!

Does my burnout story resonate with you? Leave a comment below if you’d like to share your own experiences…  

Photo by Shay Cochrane