I Experienced ‘Self-Care Burnout’ Several Times—Here’s How To Overcome It!   

A sign of “self-care burnout” is when your relaxing rituals start feeling like chores. 

Cameran Battley's Personal Essay About Self-Care Burnout
Photo by Cameran Battley

I’ve felt firsthand how neglecting self-care can throw everything off balance. It’s like the domino effect— skip a week of caring for yourself and suddenly everyday tasks become ginormous, sleep begins to vanish, and your body starts to protest every move. 

Working as a licensed massage therapist, nail tech, and esthetician for nearly a decade, I know the benefits of creating space for self-care and wellness. However, what happens when you find yourself experiencing self-care burnout?

What Is Self-Care Burnout?

For those who never heard of self-care burnout, let me fill you in. A sign of “self-care burnout” is when your relaxing rituals start feeling like chores. 

For context, let’s say your morning self-care routine consists of stretching, tea, and meditation. You feel great whenever you start your day with this ritual, however, on a hectic day, you are suddenly thrown a curveball and you manage only the stretch. Cue stress and guilt because you didn’t tick all the boxes. Or worse, you force yourself through the motions even when your heart isn’t in it. Sound familiar? That’s “self-care burnout.”

The Moment I Realized I Was Experiencing ‘Self-Care Burnout’

As a business owner and caregiver to a parent, I’ve experienced self-care burnout several times in my life. In my opinion, it’s like realizing you’re overwatering a plant because the guide said so, not because the plant needed it. 

I used to have this elaborate nightly routine: wine, journal, pray, meditate —the whole nine yards. And I loved it until I felt obligated to stick to it religiously, even when I craved simplicity or something entirely different, like diving into my favorite comics.

How I Overcame ‘Self-Care Burnout’

Before the feeling of self-care burnout became too overwhelming, I had an epiphany: Self-care shouldn’t be stressful. It should rejuvenate, not exhaust. 

This ultimately inspired me to revamp my routine. 

Cameran Battley's Personal Essay About Self-Care Burnout
Photo by Cameran Battley

Some nights, I’d do my full routine. Other nights, I’d strip it down to the basics with ten minutes of journaling instead of an hour, or a quick two-minute meditation to slow down and find peace. Sometimes, I’d skip it all and go straight to sleep. And you know what? It’s liberating!

What’s the lesson in all this? Your self-care doesn’t need to resemble a Pinterest board. It can be as uncomplicated as a power nap or a mindful cup of tea. 

Listen to what your body and mind truly need, not what the latest trend dictates. And if self-care starts feeling burdensome, dial it back. 

Remember, simplicity is sometimes key to a softer, more fulfilling life.

Editor’s Note: This story has been edited and condensed for clarity.

Cameran Battley is a licensed professional excelling in clinical massage therapy, esthetics, and nail technology. Holding licenses in both Indiana and Illinois, her specialization lies in the art of manual lymphatic drainage, where her skills truly shine. She finds immense joy in the profound transformations she facilitates in her clients' lives, helping them navigate toward reduced stress and discomfort post-session. Outside of her professional endeavors, Cameran enjoys the simple pleasures of life. You might catch her strolling along the beach, engrossed in webtoon comics, or simply cherishing moments with friends. Her multifaceted passions and dedication to wellness reflect her vibrant approach to both work and leisure.