Okay, we have all been there at some time in our lives….BURNOUT….that dreaded state as defined by England’s “The Lancet” medical journal is “physical, emotional, & mental exhaustion resulting from long-term involvement in emotionally-demanding situations.”
What are the typical professions that experience BURNOUT?? Doctors, nurses, EMTs, police, firemen, teachers, etc.…..but anyone is susceptible.
SO….most of us, if we are honest with ourselves, will admit that at some time or another we experienced BURNOUT!! How do I know??
Ever experience any of these symptoms….
• Overly tired
• Exhausted physically
• Exhausted mentally
• Exhausted emotionally
• Feeling ill all the time
• Unable to concentrate or focus
• Routine, mundane tasks become almost impossible to complete
• On & on…..
If, as a nurse, I did not take care of myself, I did not have anything to give my patients!! “If the tank isn’t refilled, the car ain’t goin’ anywhere!”, to quote my Dad when I would forget to refill the gas tank after using the car. The same is true with us!!
SO, how do we “refill our own tank”??
The rage of the day is “self-care”!! While everyone is talking, blogging, & teaching about it, are we listening, learning, & putting it into practice??
Oh, we listen, take notes, put things in our planner, but then do we follow through?? Are we making it a priority or is it the first thing we omit from our busy schedule when we need to reprioritize??
As women entrepreneurs & businesswomen, we go…go…GO…wearing many hats & having a lot of responsibilities. Then add to that our personal lives & families, & it is no wonder so many of us BURNOUT & quit!!
IF you don’t take care of yourself, you can NOT be valuable, helpful, useful, etc. to others!!
We can’t give out what we don’t have!!
So here we are….what is the answer….more hours in the day?? I wish….but NOT happening!! More help?? Maybe!! Taking the reins & doing something for ourselves?? YES!!
Here are some examples….
• Eating healthier
• Proper rest & sleep (2 different things!!)
• Physical activity
• Relaxing our mind
• Do something creative – let the child in you out!!
When we feel the pressure of the responsibility to benefit others through our success, it can be overbearing & taxing!! Our spirits falter & fail & we lose strength, courage, desire, resilience, conviction, & determination & this is where we give up!!
Everyone out there is touting a different remedy. One thing is certain….you have to find what works for you….what refills your tank!!
Here are some examples of things that you can do….
• Drink a cup of tea while reading your favorite book in a quiet place.
• Light some candles & take a leisurely bath with your favorite bath salts, make it special & relaxing
• Take a walk, a leisurely stroll, outside in nature & fresh air
• Fix a healthy meal, eat at the table with ALL electronic devices turned OFF. Enjoy the conversation of everyone’s day.
• Develop a morning routine – wake when the alarm goes off….NO snooze alarm, do your personal hygiene, do some stretches to wake up your body.
• Develop a night routine – ALL electronic devices off at least 20min before bed!! Do a brain sweep, relax, read some in a favorite book, enjoy a cup of herbal tea
• Sleep at least 8 hours
Here is my routine:
Shut off all my devices about 30min before I plan to go to bed.
Do my personal hygiene
Make a cup of “Sleepytime” herbal tea, grab whatever book I happen to be reading & go to bed, & read for about 30min.
I have a special journal at my bedside that I use every night before I turn out the light & sleep
I write EVERY single word that is thrashing around in my brain!! This is my “brain sweep”. If I think of a word or phrase more than once, I write hash marks by it for every time I think of it. I completely empty every thought out on to the paper. This is not in sentence, not necessarily sensible, but it gets all that “stuff” out of my brain. Then I go to sleep. After my morning routine, the first thing I do is look at my schedule for the day. Then I take about 5 – 15min to go through last night’s brain sweep. I categorize things, then I prioritize the list of items. I plug the items/tasks into my planner when & where appropriate. Anything on the sweep that I have NO control over, I draw a thick red line through. That is like throwing it away for me. If something is really bugging me & I really have no control over it, I write it on a planner page I call my “Birdfeather List”. Then at the end of the day, I take the lit outside & burn it!! I am releasing it back into the Universe for someone else to handle!! It is very satisfying & relieving to see that smoke dissipate into nothingness!! I put my journal back on my nightstand & am ready to start my day!!
When I am placing items in my planner, I try to be as realistic as possible when it comes to the time required to complete the task. Then, I add 10-15 min as a cushion. If I need the time, I have it, if not, I have a few min for self-care!!
I also PLAN self-care into my schedule & then, I DO IT!! If you get in a time crunch & think you are not going to be able to do it, see if there is anything you can delegate!! Say “No!!” Set boundaries!! (This is a topic for another day!!)
NONE of this is new!! We just need to make it….make OURSELVES….a PRIORITY….Priority #1!!