Up at 430am, a quick brush of the teeth, throw on clean workout gear and head to the SUV with any equipment for the various clients training that day.
By 5:15am, I'm on the road and practice my medication by listening to my daily Calm app. More often than not, the words that resonate from the device ring true to some extent or perimeter of my life that perhaps I'm not giving attention to.
6am Monday to Friday clients, and booked up through to noon or 1pm more days.
By training end, the real work (because training my clients is rewarding and I don't consider it work) begins. Marketing for small businesses, updating my client programs, building meal plans, replying diligently to copious emails, trying to timeblock and not get pulled into social media is the legwork.
Day quickly turns to evening and I realize I've been sitting for the last 4 hours. Time to work those avascular joints so they aren't too stiff and prepare some dinner for when the boyfriend finishes work.
Alright. Suppertime, then relaxation- right? Sometimes. But more often than not, it's a satiating meal then Zoom calls, more work to catch up, invoicing, planning events and answering questions.
Wash. Rinse. Repeat.
Now - it may sound like I'm complaining. Nope, I take full responsibility for my level of "busy-ness" in my business and my current role(s). I can choose or unchoose my own path, and this is the one that's currently a reality. I love my life, my clients, building my own schedule and even how many tasks I have at once.
But as you can imagine: "with great power comes great responsibility"
"Burnout" is a term that is thrown around loosely and often misconstrued for being tired. A burnout is, by definition, 'physical or mental collapse caused by overwork or stress.' We all can recognize physical exhaustion, but do we know our own mental limits?
I challenge you to think hard about this one.
Have you ever reached a high peak state of stress where you were paralyzed for an extended period of time, and instead of taking one step forward, you halted altogether?
Have you ever felt your heart racing for no one single concern but rather a heaviness, like a 20lbs weight strapped to your chest, and couldn't slow your resting rate or your racing mind?
Have you or do you live in constant anxiety - calling attention to negative scenarios, what ifs, and not being able to see the silver lining?
When was the last time you took a REAL day "off" where the main focus was your mental health and total body, mind and spirit rejuvenation?
If the answers above were yes, yes, yes and I can't remember the last time - you may be on track for a burnout or in one as we speak.
I hit that point recently. It was it wasn't because of dissatisfaction, or being unhappy, it was overwhelmed to the extent being incapable to move forward without first changing my mind set and without first changing my mind set and coming to terms with prioritizing my life goals.
Let's face it, multitasking is a big fat lie. Sure, we can get a few things done simultaneously, but how effective can we be without direction, planning and even a hint of structure.
Multitasking isn't a skill, it's a deterrent From success. My decluttering and prioritizing are tasks, focusing solely and 100% on each one to completion, we can reduce our overall stress load and competently and confidently Forge ahead without as much undue stress.
Easier said than done, right? Of course we all want to have less stress, but often are thoughts run rampant like a waterfall in constant motion. The difference between thoughts and awareness is that awareness is stepping through the waterfall and being able to perceive a situation and then react to it.
Our fears about not getting work done or failing are what I like to call Dirty fears; they are fabricated in the confines of our mind but may not actually be true. When we experience the fear but then do it anyways, we start to step outside of our comfort zone and expanded and great things can happen.
But that takes me back to the burnout. It's not easy to organize and compartmentalize all the various tasks and activities you have each day. It's like a muscle, you have to develop it over time and find new tricks and tools that work for you, it may not work for everyone else.
Why are the burnouts changed my life for the better is that I hit what I felt like was Rock Bottom in terms of my energy expenditure, my anxiety, and my fears. If this was Rock Bottom, that means there's only up from here!
Suddenly, I started to shift by perception from the woe-is-me attitude to "okay, I guess this is the lowest, may as well start to figure out how to turn it around". One of the most important pieces of this intricate puzzle called life is having a supportive system of peers, family, or friends that can help to add that extra inspiration and reinforce that you are in fact worthy and capable to achieve your successes. External validation is not the most important piece, self-acceptance is the best form of gratification.
From this experience and in sharing it, my hope is to shed some light for those on the brink before they take a deep dive into the abyss of self despair.
You've got this. Let that inner critic become your inner coach. Shift your mindset and take yourself out of your current situation to focus on what lies ahead IF you put your intention and positive energy towards it.
The only burning you will be doing, is the rubber on your tires are you drive into your future with the gas on the pedal!