Stress, Overwhelm, and Burnout -Where and what is your recharging Station?

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Sarah Parker

Change coach, therapist, human being, and founder of Well of Being.

For many of us this is a busy time of year with work and festive celebrations. Balancing everything whilst still looking after our own needs is often difficult.

We may not be able to, or indeed want to stop being so busy – life can just be full on sometimes – but when life is so full on, it’s so important to take time to recharge. We can use cars, trains buses to drive many miles but, whether its electricity, petrol or diesel, they all need recharging so they can keep moving and functioning at their best. It’s the same with humans too.

Society has created a belief that busy and sociable is good, and calm and quiet is somehow not so good, so we can all find ourselves working many hours, socialising late or running around to various clubs and parties with children because someone, somewhere thinks that’s the optimal way to live life.

It’s not that we have to do less necessarily. Some of us thrive with lots of company and full diaries. Others thrive with fewer plans and a smaller social life. Neither needs to be judged as good or bad, right or wrong. What is important is to check in with how we are feeling – to notice whether our minds and bodies are running smoothly or are struggling – and to remember that even the most economical vehicle will at some point stop if we don’t give it a top up of the right fuel.

Some of us reach empty after fewer miles, and ideally, we all want to ‘top up’ before we get to empty, because moving towards low fuel and to empty is where we start to experience overwhelm and burnout. Your mind and body will let you know in many different ways including tiredness and exhaustion, anger and irritability, physical illnesses, poor memory and concentration and low mood and anxiety. These are all signs to let us know something isn’t right.

What we often don’t pay enough attention to is our own unique ways of recharging. What helps you to re-energise and recharge?

For me, my recharging station is a calm, quiet place, often with nobody else around, or at least no talking, and not doing very much, just resting and relaxing. I love to be with animals and in nature, especially by the sea or in the mountains. Sometimes recharging for me will be a run or a walk, but that can only happen if I haven’t got close to empty. I need to still have fuel in the tank for a run to be helpful and restorative.

For others recharging may be quite the opposite. Some people recharge with lots of people around and fun things to do. If they were to come to my recharging station they couldn’t top up because my fuel wouldn’t work for them.

The type of fuel we need will vary widely, as will the frequency with which we fuel up. What is most important, is that we all require a recharging station and knowing what our station looks like and how often we visit is key.

If you are celebrating Christmas and the festive season, or if you are not, I hope you will continue to recharge as much as you need to. Whether it’s a slow trickle, or fast speed, give yourself the time and space to recharge with the best fuel for you at the best charging station.

With December love. Sarah



Why is it important to have a recharging station?

Our minds and bodies, just like vehicles, require regular recharging to work at their best. Life can be demanding, and having a designated recharging station allows us to pause, reflect, and replenish our energy. It’s a crucial practice to prevent burnout and maintain well-being.


How do I know when I need to recharge?

Notice signs such as fatigue, irritability, poor concentration, and low mood. These are all signals from your mind and body telling you that it’s time to refuel. Regularly checking in with yourself in the present moment and recognising these signs can help you recharge before reaching a point of overwhelm.


Do I have to reduce my workload to recharge?

Not necessarily. Recharging is more about understanding your own unique needs and finding the best activities that replenish your energy. It’s not always about doing less but doing things that align with your well-being. It might involve adjusting how you approach your tasks or incorporating activities in your every day that bring you joy and relaxation.


What if my ideal recharging station differs from societal expectations?

Everyone’s recharging needs are unique. Societal expectations often glorify busyness, but it’s essential to recognise and honour your own needs and preferences. Whether you thrive in a busy social environment or find solace in quiet moments, there’s no one-size-fits-all approach. Embrace what works best for you.


Can I recharge in short periods, or does it require a significant time commitment?

Recharging doesn’t always require a lengthy break. Short, intentional moments can be incredibly helpful too. It’s often about quality over quantity. Find some brief activities or experiences that bring you peace and make them a regular, consistent part of your routine.


How can I discover my unique recharging needs?

Have fun experimenting with various activities and environments to see what leaves you feeling refreshed and energized. Notice when you feel most at ease and incorporate those elements into your routine. Your recharging station is a personal journey of self-discovery.


What if my recharging preferences change over time?

It’s completely normal for your recharging needs to evolve. Life circumstances, stressors, and personal growth can influence what works best for you. Stay attuned to your mind and body so that you are able to adjust your self-care practices accordingly.


Is it selfish to prioritize my own recharge time?

NO, NO, NO! not at all. Taking time to recharge is a form of self-care, and it’s crucial for maintaining overall well-being. When you prioritize your needs, you enhance your ability to engage with others positively and contribute more effectively to the world around you.

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