Burnout is resistance to not living in accordance with the natural cycles of life. I've recently realised that I tend to get burnout in the summer because I’m going against the grain. Summer is a time to socialise, connect with others and be in nature. The social thing hasn’t come easy to me and I often just keep going with work. I can feel deep down inside how sad this makes me. I don’t know if any of you feel this way?
In a nutshell….
Too much ‘doing’ energy leads to burnout. It’s your body’s natural response to saying, “stop now please! If you want me to carry on, you’re going to have to re-charge your batteries.”
Never ignore burnout, it’s serious and can lead to hospitalisation if you keep trying to push through.
How do you know you’ve got burnout? For me the symptoms are:
1) a very heavy feeling of dragging myself around,
2) tired all the time, with short bursts of energy after rest, only to feel exhausted again;
3) apathy, not giving a shit about anything I used to care about, lack of motivation;
4) tearfulness and a sense of wanting to throw the towel in;
5) wanting to retreat, no energy to smile or listen, let alone communicate with anyone.
We’re living in a culture of burnout and we need to change the ‘you can sleep when you’re dead’ attitude right now, so watch for the signs and put some plans in place.
So here are my little nuggets of wisdom from me, a fireball.
Tell The Truth.
1) What’s draining you? For me it’s spinning too many plates. I have many side hustles which all form income streams. I do singing lessons, hypnotherapy, I run Inspiring Talks Brighton and I’m in a vocal harmony trio, all of which have to be executed as well as marketed. In amongst that I’m trying to maintain an exercise routine, prepare and cook healthy meals, manage two properties, nurture my relationship, keep in touch with my parents and wonder whether or not I should have a baby at 42! I bet you’re exhausted reading this. For me is wasn’t about the physical time these things consume, it was about the headspace they consume. When you’re headspace is full to the brim, making any decision seems impossible. “Should I have eggs or avocado for lunch? Sod it, Deliveroo it is”. That’s unsustainable. One thing I did know, was that I needed to streamline, I couldn’t continue throwing energy and all these different tasks. I needed to find out what was actually working for me and what wasn’t. I had to start measuring the effectiveness of what I was doing so that I could stop throwing energy at stuff that wasn’t giving me anything back. Sounds like more works hey? Well it is in the short term, but longer term, it pays to know the truth rather than having false facts rattling around in your brains. I also then had the slightly scary realisation that I was working too hard for too little money and that I would have to put my prices up. I knew my services were worth it, I was getting fantastic transformations but I had to value myself, take a deep breath and JFDI.
Jiggle to Find That Wiggle.
2) Accept what’s happened and put the breaks on. In that moment of acceptance you release all resistance and this feels sweet. Admitting that you can’t go on, that you’ve fucked things up a bit and you need to re-group is like a breath of fresh air. I hit my brick wall at a conference. I literally got up and walked out. I then spent 3 days on the beach reflecting, rethinking and actually getting re-inspired. I’ve recently heard the saying, ‘you’re either tired or inspired’ and it made me realise, how could I do my job if I was tired? It’s ok to be tired, but know when enough’s enough. For most people stopping completely is not an option, so how do you put the breaks on and still do what you need to do? Answer: cull what you can that’s going to have the least negative impact in your life and the most amount of energetic return. For me, I felt like everything around me was getting messier and messier, so by doing simple things like like organising my wardrobe, my paperwork and my kitchen really helped to create more space in my head. I tried going to the gym, but my body didn’t like it, so I stopped heavy exercise and replaced it with lighter exercise. I took a couple of weeks off from my Facebook Group The Anxiety Compass to rethink it's strategy. I asked for help. I got someone to do my cleaning and washing and I spoke to friends and biz buddies about where I could make improvements. I did what I could with the energy and money I had to lighten the load. I soon started to feel better.
Love What Is.
3) Look at what’s around you and nurture THAT - I was trying to get more friends, more projects, more qualifications, more love, more money…. stemming from a belief that I wasn’t already enough… it’s the equivalent of hoarding. Streamline, simplify, love what is, focus on what is and accept things exactly as they are. I kept saying to myself, even if I was homeless on the street, I’d still be enough. So I did an audit of everything I’d had … clothes, friends, family, income streams, qualifications and realised I had everything that I ever needed right here right now. Being popular has always been a high value for me, however, I realised that it was a JUNK VALUE and was not going to make me happy. Despite my need for popularity scheduling social stuff always got shoved to the bottom of my to do list. I never saw it as a priority, however as I’m getting older I’m realising that friends are actually more important than anything you can physically own. They are your support, when the shit hits the fan, and it will. Loneliness is something I’ve battled with my whole life. I’m an only child with no family peers in the UK. So I wrote down a list of all the friends I’d got in Brighton and instead of trying to make more of them by attending yet MORE events, I decided to just focus on my nearest and dearest. Keeping my circle focused and close enables me to build strong foundations rather than trying to spread the net so wide, which is energetically draining and unstable.
I’ve recently came across the concept of Tiny Habits (by BJ Fogg) from a wonderful doctor called Katherine Hickman who experienced so much burn out she couldn't even open a tin of beans for her kids.
Tiny Habits is a way of making big changes in your life in small ways.
Here are some of mine:
After I stop the car in traffic I will take a deep breath (to stop me from getting stressed).
After I have a shower I will use shower cleaner (to stop me from looking at limescale build up and stressing).
After I finish an RTT session I will write up my notes straight away (so that I don't forget them and can repurpose them).
After I finish teaching singing, I will file my lyrics (so that my office doesn't get messy).
Before I watch TV on a Sunday night I will do my online shop (so that I'm prepared for the week ahead).
Double Bonus Tip
Slow your brainwaves down. As a hypnotherapist I'm lucky enough to be able to hypnotise myself anywhere but I'd forgotten to get this into my daily routine. When you slow your brainwaves down you allow your mind to process all the information it's taking in every day, so it can catch up with itself. 10 or 20 mins of relaxation can give your body's mental energy a huge boost and stop you feeling so overwhelmed. All my clients who sign up with me on my monthly packages receive my whole catalogue of hypnosis recordings that they can do daily.
Be a burnout rebel. What amount of work is realistic for you? Say no to bosses who are working you too hard and people who are expecting too much of you. Cull, prune and streamline your projects... only do what works. This is called Essentialism. Keep your environment clutter free for more headspace. You're not a snowflake, you're a human with a heart and a history. A certain amount of pushing is ok, but know your limits, be brave, speak up and pave the way for other humans to feel like they can speak out too. Health always comes first, without it, we can be no good to friends, family or our communities.
HOW CAN I HELP YOU?
If you've got unhelpful habits, beliefs and behaviours that are burning you out that you want to change (and are finding it difficult to change them using will power and logic alone), Rapid Transformational Therapy can help you. Click here to book a free consultation with me.
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