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This Is Burnout

Written By: Lauren Howard

I broke myself on December 22, 2020.

My husband took the kids out for the day.

I was supposed to spend the whole day wrapping presents. I had what worked out to be my first non-work day in months. Literally months.

I’m also super Jewish, so the whole Christmas thing is kind of lost on me, but my Cashew babies love it. I’m happy to oblige.

I decided to sit down on the couch before getting started.

Six hours later when they came home, I was still there. I had done nothing.

I physically couldn’t get up. I kept telling myself I was going to be productive, but it was like my brain and my body were disconnected.

I figured I would make a dent the next day, but it was the same. I slept 14 hours and was still too tired to move.

My body had been telling me for months that it was too much, but I didn’t listen until I had no choice. It felt like someone had put a PVC pipe down my throat and was sucking all of the color in the world down through it.

That was burnout. It was more debilitating than anything I had ever experienced. It wasn't just needing a vacation or time to recharge. It’s dangerous. It’s overwhelming. I wouldn’t let any of my employees work that hard, but I absolutely pushed myself to the brink.

My dad always said that no one is completely useless because they can serve as a bad example. I was the worst example.

Listen to your body the first 100 times it screams at you. If it stops screaming, you’re in major trouble.

Image by Annie Spratt via Unsplash


Founder & CEO at elletwo


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