When you’re feeling burnt out.

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I was exhausted.

 

I’d lost motivation and just wanted to watch Homeland marathons on Netflix all day long.

 

I felt vaguely anxious but couldn’t really pinpoint any one thing that was causing it.

 

I started avoiding the things I knew would make me feel better (yoga, meditation, SLEEP!) because there were too many other things to do.

 

I wasn’t even particularly looking forward to our holiday because it just created a whole other list of things I ‘needed to do’ before we could go.

 

My lower back had that familiar ache by the end of the day.

 

Burn out looks differently for everyone but for me all of these were signs I was headed towards it, and FAST.

 

Since we’ve come back from holidays there has been a different kind of pace around here.  Taking time to completely stop made me take a look at all the things I was doing, why I was doing them and how I actually want to be spending my days.

 

I have a tendency towards busy.  I can’t help myself.

 

Everytime I keep adding and adding to my plate and only ever realise when I start dropping things that … oh you know…. I’ve probably taken on too much.

 

I guess I like to please others. I don’t like to say no to people, especially those I care about …. so I keep saying yes, SURE – no worries!

 

In some warped way I also think it’s a way to prove myself.  Although I’m not 100% sure who or what I am proving myself for.  I KNOW I am enough just as I am but I still like doing lots of stuff anyway.

 

Bali was good so good for me.  No it wasn’t exactly relaxing BUT it forced me to completely stop.  For two weeks I was just me. A woman. A wife. A mother.  Nothing more. Nothing less.

 

I did no work. I didn’t respond to email.  I tried hard not to think about the ever dwindling bank balance and just enjoy our adventure.

 

It wasn’t until I stopped that I realised exactly how close I was to total burn out.  I’d list for you here all the projects I’d been working on in the past few months leading up to our trip but the list is far too ridiculously long to even recount.

 

I’d put in late nights to work on one thing and then get up before the kids to work on another.  I often didn’t feel like I was getting anywhere with anything. (which is often the case when you have kids anyway but was definitely exaggerated for me.)

 

Now that I’m back I don’t want to jump straight back into it.  I’m giving myself time to ease back in and trusting that the things I’m working on will wait, if I’m meant to be working on them afterall.  The trouble is also that I do actually want to do all of these projects but I’d been expecting too much, too fast.  I’m not giving up but I’m definitely slowing down.

 

So how am I (trying to) avoid burn out this time round.

 

+ I’m limiting the time I spend on certain tasks. Some of my work I do at home is paid (writing, online managing/ VA stuff for another website), some is not (my own stuff mostly – this blog, etc).  I have the tendency to do more of the paid work then feel frustrated that I’m not getting any of my own stuff done.  So I’m scheduling the work stuff better so it doesn’t creep into my every day and giving myself space to do the other stuff I love.

 

+ I’m giving myself a big ol’ break and not expecting so much.  Our own expectations are the worst aren’t they? I wouldn’t expect so much of a friend so why do I expect so much of myself?

 

+ I’ve taken away the timeline and embracing as SLOW. I still have goals, for sure, but things will happen when they happen and I will trust in that.

 

+ WAY more self-care. I talk about self care in yoga classes. I tell the women who come to my circles that it is ESSENTIAL. Hell I even have an ebook about it. Yet I’ve let my own slide.  So I’m going back to looking after myself better. More time for yoga and walks without thinking “I should be doing….” More afternoons spent lying in the grass in the backyard or at the beach.  Taking nights off to watch netflix marathons if I feel like it!

 

So that’s it really. Pretty simple but the good things usually are, yeah?  We are the ones who complicate them with too much ‘stuff’.

 

Are you feeling burnt out too? What are you doing to help it?

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