The truth about burnout: It doesn’t look how we expect it to…
Friends, we need to talk.
Because burnout is a very real thing and it needs to be brought to light.
Are you squeezing the most out of every minute of your day? Manifesting your dreams? Are you following your ultimate life’s purpose? Making time for self-care?
Are you setting your alarm early enough to fit in an early morning journaling session followed by a deep and meaningful meditation and some yoga stretches, all before the kids wake up?
No. Me neither.
Are you replying to work emails in the middle of X Factor on a Saturday night to show how committed you are to the day job?
Are you keeping the passion burning in your relationship whilst enjoying interesting sex five times a week?
Are you there for your kids every day after school, dishing up a home cooked nutritious meals whilst ensuring you fit in every important work meeting and replying to every email or message?
No, no and no.
Are you monitoring your alcohol intake, limiting your meat consumption, reducing your sugar intake and making sure you and your family are getting your 10 a day?
Is your home clean and tidy at all times and clear of all unnecessary life clutter and paraphernalia?
I didn’t think so.
We’re living in very demanding times, in an age where extreme expectation is the norm.
We are frantically trying to keep all the plates spinning at all times and it’s making us sick. Really sick.
I got sick early this year, it’s a long story that I’m not going to go into today because the healing journey is still ongoing. But this has made me sit up and really look at my life in a different way.
I honestly thought I was Superwomen, throw me anything and I’m the gal to sort it out, I assumed I was capable of taking on everyone else’s shit whilst still managing my own.
Turns out I was wrong. There is only so much shit someone can take on before you break.
I woke up to the fact that I was part of the problem. My life, from the outside, looked like I was doing it all. And from the inside, I was scrambling to keep it all together.
I know I am not alone. I only have to look into the weary wide-eyed moms and dads on the school playground to know this.
You see, if we don’t learn to manage our stress and find balance, eventually we will crash and burn. You may think you’re strong (and of course, you are), but everyone has a breaking point. The key is to find an outlet to the continual life pressures we’re exposed to, in fact, it IS vital to our survival here on planet Earth.
I’ve had to discover what ‘balance’ actually looks like to me and learn how to cultivate it in my daily life. For the first time, ever, I’ve had to give myself permission to STOP and to find a way to bring the pieces of my exhausted and broken soul back together again.
To help me heal, rather than listing all of the things I thought I needed to do more of, like, more meditation, more clean food or more socialising… all these ‘mores’ just added to my ever-increasing anxiety levels.
What I needed was LESS on my ‘to do’ list, not MORE!
I decided I needed to simplify my life. So, inspired by a recent article I’d read I decided to write an ‘I don’t’ list – a list of all the things that I don’t do and don’t feel guilty about not doing.
Creating an ‘I don’t’ list is not the normal advice I dish out as a coach, but I thought I’d give it a go and I’m sharing my ‘I Don’t’ list with you folk today to give you a little food for thought.
1. I don’t pretend to bake cakes anymore. I’m a really crap baker and much better at eating them then creating them.
2. I don’t read bedtime stories to my son every night. Truth is, sometimes I’m just too lazy.
3. I don’t mop my kitchen floor enough. It’s just pointless with two kids and two dogs.
4. I don’t drink green tea, or green anything for that matter. Milky tea all the way for me.
5. I don’t cut sandwiches into pretty heart shapes. I mean seriously?
6. I don’t abstain from alcohol, I tried and it’s too hard and to be honest, I prefer the occasional glass of wine or G&T at the end of a hard week.
7. I don’t meditate every day. Sometimes that extra 20 mins in bed is just too alluring.
8. I don’t cut the grass, put out the bins on a Monday or clean our bathroom – these are my hubby’s jobs.
9. I don’t shave my legs as often I should.
10. I don’t check my kids have cleaned their teeth properly anymore, they’re too old for this and some days it’s enough to just make sure my own teeth are clean.
11. I don’t walk the dogs on wet days, it’s just too messy!
12. I don’t save nearly enough of my earnings; I spend too much on clothes and shoes and I bloody love it. Life is too short.
13. I don’t send birthday cards on time. I’m sorry.
14. I don’t wash my beds every week. Every second week is perfectly fine.
15. I don’t monitor my kids screen time as much as I should. Probably because I’m on my phone.
16. I don’t get out enough with my friends/family because I prefer to stay in in my PJ’s watching reruns of Friends, eating Maltesers and enjoying a G&T.
And I don’t feel guilty about not doing any of these things anymore. I don’t.
Is it time you wrote your ‘I don’t’ list?
Take the pressure off yourself. Decide what you don’t do and liberate yourself. It feels amazing.