I'm going, to be honest here. I (Kati Watson) burn out HARD a few times a year. Minor burnout also happens way more often than I want to admit. Today's blog may be a little bit of the pot calling the kettle black, but I will walk you through why burnout happens to people with dyslexia and how to recharge your batteries.
Why does burnout happen to dyslexics?
Everyone gets burnt out, but those who are neuro-spicy tend to ignore the warning signs and push past their limits. One of the main reasons this happens, we are constantly trying to prove ourselves as capable. Early childhood struggles with education often leave scars that run deep. After those early years of trying to be average, we end up with a work ethic like no one else (which is not always a good thing).
Another reason we hit burnout hard is two-fold. Our incredible, magnificent brains have a lot of noise at all times. What do I mean by this? Dyslexic brains are forced to make more choices and actively sift through more information than those without dyslexia. Little things like "is it scars or scares?" add up over time and wear us down. The other struggle is working memory (the brain posted note). The more things we write on the note, the less space we have to add new items. As dyslexics, we don't always remember that our sticky note is smaller than others.
You have hit burnout; now what?
Hitting burnout comes in many forms, but most of the time, you know when it hits. Decision fatigue hits every day; you are constantly tired, and you start struggling with negative self-talk. I have bad news. There is no one size fits all cure; for some people, it takes years to overcome. For others, a few days off gets them right as rain. Here are 3 ways to help you recharge and start resetting from burnout.
Take Time Off
Not everyone can take time off work, but that does not mean you can't take "time off." Time off from work is preferred for burnout recovery, but if you can't, plan a weekend where you do nothing—no personal admin, appointments, or housework. Just try and rest, and permit yourself to relax. No one can operate 100% all the time; your brain (and body) need time away from the cause of your burnout to regulate and reset. Sometimes, rest can increase productivity, decrease fatigue and make things much clearer.
These should be both with yourself and with others. When you make a choice like "I am going to stop working at 5 pm," then stick with it. No, "after I finish this project," you are committing to stop the patterns that caused burnout in the first place. If you don't make changes, you will not recover from burnout. This also goes for your personal time; if you decide to go on a solo walk every morning and someone wants to join you, say no.
Restore your Health
Being health-forward is the most basic advice that is often the least followed. You are burnt out, tired, probably dehydrated, and your body is not producing happy chemicals/hormones. Recharging from burnout is sometimes simply about resetting your body (think of it like restarting your computer). Get enough sleep to feel rested, drink enough water to make your skin glow (and try for less coffee), and work out/move your body so that you naturally produce endorphins (a chemical your body makes when you work out that makes you happy). So put down your nighttime doom scroll and go to bed!