Self-employed and stressed? OR How to STOP on your way to burnout

Warum so gestresst?

Me, being stressed? An idea I can only laugh at. At least until a few years ago, I could. Honestly, I was hardly ever stressed. On the contrary, the more I got involved in things, hobbies, the more inspired I was. I had so many hobbies at the same time, but I was still quite good at school and satisfied when I was out and about all day.

That changed a bit when I moved to Vienna. Somehow it was harder to find good (sport) clubs here, and I didn’t really try. I still paint and sing every now and then, as a balance beside university and work.

But somehow this factor “stress” popped up and I don’t know where it comes from. Where does this, sometimes gnawing, feeling of stress come from, even when I’m lying on the sofa at home writing a blog post?

Even when the best music is playing and the afternoon sun shines on my library. Sometimes there is a stress that doesn’t go away. And I had to find ways to break free from it, leaving it behind. Stress is not me, I am peace and serenity, that’s how I always felt. And I want that back.

Stress can be fine

Sometimes stress is perfectly okay if you need to meet a deadline or catch the bus. But permanent stress, always sitting in the back of your head, weirdly buzzing, that’s the stress that makes you sick.

It’s a stress that probably comes from the uncertainty of what life has in store for us, whether we’re on the right track, or whether it doesn’t matter at all. A stress that asks you if you really earn enough money, and you ask yourself in response, whether you should move into the woods, drop out of society, rather than being forced to contribute to capitalism.

On your way to burnout?

Is that the stress that makes you burnout? Is that the stress that should really be taken seriously? After all, the best way to control things is to understand them. Hence the questions, the reflection, the self-reflection to understand where you are and where you stand and where you should go to get well.

Don’t let the stress get the better of you. Don’t let our society dictate your way and don’t be left behind if someone has pushed you to the edge. You deserve better, you really do.

So, what can you do?

Being consciously in the Here & Now is like meditating

Tea. I drink tea, and I take my time. Taking time is the key to so much more rest. It doesn’t matter what for you take your time, you just have to do it consciously. You can also consciously decide to take the time to work a few hours, it doesn’t have to be taking time off or doing nothing. Do what you want, but do it consciously.

The most important thing is that you are conscious of what you are doing. Because if it is your decision to do what you are doing, it won’t stress you in that nagging way.

Only if you live like floating in a stream, drifting away, doing everything that is washed against you in the hustle and bustle of everyday life, without questioning things, without seeing yourself, then the stress will come. Which you so often don’t see or feel. But one day it will have become too heavy. Don’t let it come to that. Say no, and thank you (or “Not today, Satan” or “Thank you, Next.” Whichever makes you feel good).

Don’t get me wrong, sometimes we all have to do things we don’t like, be it at work or at home. We have to do chores we hate, but what’s so important and what I am talking about is to always come back to that golden center of yours, when you’ve done them. This is a somewhat privileged position to talk from, but still, everybody can reflect if what they’re doing is good for them or not.

Take at least 10 minutes (also at the office) to make and drink a coffee. Yes, “a” coffee. Don’t just make coffee, make yourself a cup of coffee and take the time it takes to drink it slowly and peacefully, don’t do or think of anything else while you’re at it. Slow down. You’ll always arrive at your destination, maybe just a little later. And would that be so bad?

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