The Secret to Loving Your Life Without Feeling BurnoutSep 14, 2021
We all experience stress. And when stress goes on for too long, it can lead to burnout - that run down, I'm-tired-all-the-time-and-not-enjoying-my-life-make-it-stop-already feeling.
I had it. Ended up quitting my job over it. Yup.
I was an elementary teacher and the mother of two small children, at the time. I had been in full-on Zombie mode for a while - you know the numb to the world, just put one foot in front of the other and make it work state, where all you do is stuff for other people and never have time for yourself, and every single thing about your life is a chore. For me, I managed this with lots of wine and chocolate, taking turns yelling and then crying about it. It was a regular ‘reality’ show with all the drama, conflict, and oh, snap, what is that crazy B gonna get up to now? Entertainment.
Only it was my life and I was not enjoying it all. And perhaps you are thinking, well, I can’t quit my job, so maybe we’re done here. Just hold on a moment. The answer to loving your life without feeling burnout is not to quit your life, it’s actually to FLIP your life. Stick with me as I explain. Even I did not just up and quit one day. There were steps, a process, to getting myself out of burnout and into a life I love.
It never ceases to surprise me how little women question the path of their lives. They simply take what was given to them in the form of programming from their parents and culture and off they go - attempting to fill their lives living up to other people’s expectations. I know that’s what I did.
And it’s super exhausting! So, if you’re feeling exhausted, start asking some questions:
- What do you care about?
- How much time are you committing to your own personal development?
- What does success mean to YOU (not anyone else)?
- What processes in your life are causing you to feel struggle and conflict?
- Why are you still doing them? What makes you feel like you have to?
- What might be a better way to organize the resources of your life - your time, your energy, your desires? Because they are the real fuel available to you.
- What are you committed to - check your behaviours - are they more about pleasing others, getting approval, trying to control or manipulate, trying not to “rock the boat”? Because all of this takes a tremendous amount of energy to maintain.
Asking all these questions, helps you get clarity on YOU, the real you, not the you formulated when you were a child under your parent’s roof and under their influence. It’s not that there's anything wrong with how you grew up - it’s that part of your life journey is to deepen your relationship with yourself and you can’t do that when all your attention is focused outside of yourself.
This brings us to boundaries - boundaries are what we set to say to the world, this is where I begin and you end, this is how I want to be treated, what I will accept for myself and what I will not accept. They are a necessary part of respect and self love for yourself, because without them, we can get confused and spend our precious time and energy taking too much care of someone else and not enough care of ourselves.
No one is worth sacrificing yourself for - not even your kids. Yes, I stand by this. I love my boys to death, and would do most anything for them - except run myself into burnout trying to do all the things for them.
I say this for two reasons:
- It is not my job to do all the things for them, they need to learn to take responsibility and grow up to be men who contribute in all areas of their lives and not be expected to be served and waited on simply because they are men.
- I will not have them thinking women are there to wait on them and serve them, and that they don’t have to participate fully, emotionally, mentally, spiritually, and physically in the life they are creating. Women are equals (by which I really mean better in most ways, lol) and they need to respect this truth. Period.
If burnout has taught me anything it is the importance of personal responsibility and a good measure of fun in balance and harmony with each other.
In order to get clarity - you need time to reflect! In order to have time to reflect - you must make it!
It seems simple enough - but when your mind has been trained from very young to care for and serve others, and you believe this is who you are and what you are “supposed” to do, going against this programming can be really...uncomfortable. And you will find almost any excuse to not do it. You will distract yourself with any number of tasks and busywork to avoid the much needed transformation of accepting the truth which is this:
Giving yourself at least 30 minutes a day to work on yourself is paramount to loving your life without feeling burnout. 30 minutes minimum.
Without this time, you will fill it all up with other people and whether you admit it in your conscious mind or not, your TRUE SELF knows this is garbage and doesn’t work. This behavior (which is changeable!) teaches you to ignore yourself, override your aches and pains, and otherwise treat yourself in a manner that you wouldn’t do to anyone else you say you love. So why do it to you?
And I don’t mean time to scroll through social media or distract yourself with other things that don’t get you turned inward. The 30 minutes is to spend time with YOU.
- Reflect and ask yourself questions
- Look at the wider view and remove yourself from the narrow focus that stress often brings
- Brainstorm ideas about your passions, desires, dreams
- Read and learn about stuff you enjoy
- Move your body and care for yourself physically
- Consider what you allow you to feel safe, and powerful in your life
- Feel into what might be causing your heart to close up
This is personal development at its best and is the key to enjoying your life!
- DEAL WITH YOUR NERVOUS SYSTEM!
Engage in Energy Work
Our bodies are a collection of our past experiences, thoughts, emotions, traumas, and memories. It is all stored in the body. This is why you react sometimes without thinking. Your mind can’t process as fast as your body can and it moves you into action sometimes before you know what’s happening.
But as I said, it’s running on the Past. And each time it gets triggered and throws you into the stress of reaction - your adrenals and your nervous system get weakened.
When we are calm and feel in control it’s like we have a thick buffer between ourselves and the rest of the world. People can say and do lots of things without you feeling like it “gets to you.” When that buffer is gone - depleted by chronic stress over time and not caring for it - everything “gets to you”! You have no patience, no calmness, no understanding of what is happening to you even. It all feels like chaos and overwhelm and you are simply trying to manage.
This is no fun.
Energy work clears off this energetic plaque and resets you back to you. The real YOU. But it takes some time and commitment to do it. This type of work is transformative, it is deep. It requires you to leave the surface level of your life - where the “identities”, chores and tasks live, and go deeper so you can learn to know yourself.
When you know yourself better, then you begin to defend that precious time to be with yourself, to love, support, nurture, and accept yourself, so you can align with your true self AND THEN show up in the world. This way, you care less what others think, don’t need their permission or approval, because you trust in yourself and have confidence to know what is right for YOU. Plus, you really start to get the reality that other people are on their own path so what works for them may not for you and this is no longer a source of stress, but of liberation - freeing you even more to be yourself!
Energy work is the process of cleaning off what is not your truth, so you can experience and express the real you. This is fun!
Learning to love your life without burnout is about flipping the switch from spending all your time and energy on the outside world with nothing left over for you - to spending your time and energy on you first and so you can decide how much, to whom, and how often to give to the outside world. With you first, you will have more fun doing, giving and being, while reducing how often you end up going beyond what is healthy for you. This is personal empowerment and it’s the real secret to loving your life without feeling burnout.
If you’d like to see an example of the two sides available to you, check out this blog post which demonstrates what life looks like from the perspective of burnout and from the perspective of personal empowerment.