Limping to the end of the year and burnout? 

By Sarah Cannata

As December nears, this is the time of the year when many of us feel as though we are limping towards the end of the year. Many workplaces in Australia close over the December/January period, and we’ve all experienced that final ‘surge’ towards the finish line.

How can embodied writing help us to prevent burnout? In my experience, we reach burnout because we are disconnected from our experience. The mind yearns to keep ‘pushing’ and going while the body struggles to keep up the hectic pace. Our bodies are constantly communicating with us. Headaches, belly aches, fatigue… we are all different, but once you’ve engaged in inner work for long enough, you come to understand your own body’s signals to slow down. For me, the signs include overthinking, insomnia and gut troubles.

Embodied writing can help raise awareness, reduce stress and promote emotional healing. If you feel like you may be on your last legs as you approach December, here are three reasons to give embodied writing a go and see how it impacts your life.

Establishing and maintaining boundaries

If we don’t have a solid grasp and understanding of our boundaries, how can those around us? Writing can help you to be aware of when your boundaries have been violated and consider how you can address any issues moving forward. In my experience, the ability to express myself without getting caught up in whether I will upset others has only come through awareness and practice.

Identifying triggers

So much can happen over a day, a week and months. In today’s 24/7, fast-paced world, it can be easy to forget to check in with ourselves after certain experiences and move on to the next thing on our to-do list. And then we wonder why we feel completely drained after ignoring our needs. Writing can help us to identify specific triggers and patterns that repeatedly stress us out.

Freedom of expression

I’m all for expressing ourselves authentically. However, there are just some things we cannot say in life. Writing is an easy way to express ourselves without censorship with the knowledge that what we are writing is for our eyes only. I especially love shredding any potentially sensitive material (I have recently invested in an electric shredder, which has been well worth the money).

The truth is, I can write about what a fantastic tool writing is until I’m out of words. It’s only through experimenting with writing for yourself that you’ll be able to gauge the positive impacts on your overall health and well-being.

Above all else, remember that Christmas and the New Year come and go each year. If you need to, pause, express your needs and honour your feelings.

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