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15 Sanity-Saving Burnout Quotes for Self Care

by | May 15, 2023 | 0 comments

Hi there,

Burnout is one of the worst things that can happen to the working solo mom (or anyone, really). Sometimes, going down this path can be a lonely one, and you can wonder if it’s all happening in your head. These quotes will make you realize that you are certainly not alone, and help you make the necessary steps toward self care and a life of awe, wellness, and empowerment.

“Burnout is nature’s way of telling you, you’ve been going through the motions your soul has departed; you’re a zombie, a member of the walking dead, a sleepwalker. False optimism is like administrating stimulants to an exhausted nervous system.”
― Sam Keen, Fire in the Belly: On Being a Man

A reckoning with burnout is so often the reckoning with the fact that the things you fill your day with — the things you fill your life with — feel unrecognizable from the sort of life you want to live, and the sort of meaning you want to make of it. That’s why the burnout condition is more than just addiction to work. It’s an alienation from the self, and from desire. If you subtract your ability to work, who are you? Is there a self left to excavate? Do you know what you like and don’t like when there’s no one there to watch, and no exhaustion to force you to choose the path of least resistance? Do you know how to move without always moving forward?
― Anne Helen Petersen, Can’t Even: How Millennials Became the Burnout Generation

Burnout is a slow, insidious experience. Burnout is not afraid of playing the long game. To prevent burnout, we need to play a long game, too.
― Sally Clarke, Protect Your Spark: How to Prevent Burnout and Live Authentically

I’m tired, inevitably. But it’s more than that. I’m hollowed out. I’m tetchy and irritable, constantly feeling like prey, believing that everything is urgent and that I can never do enough. And my house—my beloved home—has suffered a kind of entropy in which everything has slowly collapsed and broken and worn out, with detritus collecting on every surface and corner, and I have been helpless in the face of it.
― Katherine May, Wintering: The power of rest and retreat in difficult times

“You are a disappointment, I expected better from you. You need to do more.”
“Doing more is exhausting,” Celia protests. “I can only control so much.”
“It’s not enough,” her father says.
“When will it be enough?” Celia asks, but there is no reply, and she stands alone amongst the stars.”
― Erin Morgenstern, The Night Circus

“We tend to assign a lesser social value to those whose doing cannot be enslaved into a given output. We should look to them as sacred guides out of the bondage of productivity. Instead, we withhold social status and capital, and we neglect to acknowledge that theirs is a liberation we can learn from.”
― Cole Arthur Riley, This Here Flesh: Spirituality, Liberation, and the Stories That Make Us

The reality is: there will always be more work. From our jobs and owning businesses, to being a manager of our families and our homes – there will always be more work. It never goes away. We never escape from the responsibilities that life presents us. But one of our main responsibilities should be ourselves, after all, there’s only one of us anyway.
― Vanessa Autrey, The Art of Balancing Burnout

If your working circumstances are costing you your physical, mental, or emotional health, it’s too expensive.
― Robin Kirby, The Sparkle: How to Beat Burnout, End Exhaustion and Find a Career that Lights You Up.

We’re totally guilty of doing too much at once, all while trying to manage the noise in our heads that says we’re not doing enough.
― Vanessa Autrey, The Art of Balancing Burnout

I’m not making sense, and I’m so tired of having to make sense. I’ve even more tired of talking about how OK or not OK I am. I’m not. I’ve failed. That’s it. People should stop going on about it.
― Corinne Duyvis, On the Edge of Gone

I’m getting old, thought Eileen Calder. Old and worn out and cynical. And being cynical is a lot worse than being old or worn out.
― Charles Sheffield, Brother to Dragons

The only thing I was good at was winning scholarships and prizes, and that era was coming to an end
― Sylvia Plath, The Bell Jar

Your worth is not measured by your income level, job status, job title, productivity, popularity, or performance ratings.
― Robin Kirby, The Sparkle: How to Beat Burnout, End Exhaustion and Find a Career that Lights You Up.

Our jobs were never meant to become the center of us. They were never meant to be the source of our worthiness. They were never meant to become the start and end of our identity.
― Robin Kirby, The Sparkle: How to Beat Burnout, End Exhaustion and Find a Career that Lights You Up.

Balance is the epiphany that you don’t have to be everything to everyone, all of the time.
― Vanessa Autrey, The Art of Balancing Burnout

Despite the pain that these quotes may evoke, know that there is hope. Talk to a friend, seek the help of a therapist or coach, and start to take steps to unfurl yourself from the grasp of burnout.

If any of these quotes resonate with you, please let me know in the comments. I’ll be looking out!


With kind wishes,


All images created using DALL.E.
All quotes pulled from
About Kerry-Ann Thompson


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