Lessons and Life After Burnout
“I’ve been running on empty for so long.
I’m so exhausted.
Yet I can’t stop. I can’t relax.
And honestly, I don’t really want to because there’s more to do.”
I had burnt out again.
The thing was I just couldn’t stop until all my ducks were in a row. But someone kept on sending more ducks!!
How had it happened again?
I had burnt out once before, and thought I was handling things better. Although reflecting, my perfectionist and people-pleasing tendencies took over again.
I was exercising, meditating… and thought I was practising self-care. Yet I was just going through the motions and never really switching off.
It happened in just over 6 months. During which time, I organised my wedding single-handedly, experienced family illnesses and challenges, moved house, organised Christmas, supported everyone around me who was going through a lot and all whilst running my business.
I took on too much and was there for everyone except for myself.
Have you ever felt like that? Like you can’t relax.
You try but you just can’t switch your brain off. You try to read a book, or try having a long bath. Yet your mind is always on other things. Thinking what next, what’s on my list – the list that’s getting longer and longer.
I tried asking for help, but I didn’t truly believe I was worthy of receiving. And so those I’d asked weren’t able to really help me as I wasn’t open to it.
You can see what you’re doing yet you can’t stop!
You’re trying to control everything right down to the very last detail. You’re not sleeping. And you’re just so tired.
You’re running on empty. Nothing is what you really want. And you’re ignoring your inner voice.
You’re on high alert. You just don’t have any more energy to give. Yet somehow you end up giving even more.
Your Outer World Reflects Your Inner World
You’re stressed and tired. And then more stressed and tired.
The thing is when you are always stressed and tired, you invite more stress and tiredness in. Just as when you are always running around after everyone else and doing, doing, and doing more. You get given more to do.
Everything outside of us reflects what is going on inside. If you are struggling to set boundaries, you will be consistently challenged until you set boundaries. If you can’t say no, you’ll keep attracting situations until you learn to say no.
We have to do the inner work for our outside world to change. We need to be learning and growing all the time.
Your health and energy deteriorates
You are pleasing everyone except yourself. You lose or gain weight. You can’t get out of bed in the mornings. You’re tearful. Run down. And quite frankly exhausted. Yet you keep on going as others need you. And you make excuses as to why they can’t do x, y or z themselves.
Soon you’re just going through the motions, barely keeping your head above the water.
Until one day you realise you can’t go on like this. Something must change.
For me the turning point was being ill on my wedding day.
I finally decided that I was worthy of being the centre of my own world.
I took me another month to actually stop.
And then I took two months off. I completely took the pressure off.
I took time to learn how to relax and found myself again. It was a steady process. I still overdid it some days. But slowly I learnt to let go. To switch off and started enjoying life again. Even if all my ducks weren’t in a row!!
My energy slowly started to come back. And you know what, all those things on my list got done one by one as and when I had the energy. Nothing happened because they weren’t completed right away.
My health became my Number 1 Priority & I found Inner Peace
Sometimes you need to take a big step back and simplify things. I had too many priorities and I came last.
I changed that. For once my health was my absolute priority. And it felt good.
I started saying ‘No’ a lot more and not feeling bad about it. No more guilt.
I started slowing things down – everything from eating to driving to walking.
I started really listening to my body and what it was telling me.
I started speaking up about what I really wanted and stopped putting up with all those things that weren’t what I really wanted.
I got up in the morning, without a rigid routine. I did what I felt like. I started enjoying life’s little pleasures again – my new husband coming home from work, a lovely walk in nature with the sun shining, I started baking and gardening with the robins.
The more I slowed down the more things around me started to slow down. I found my inner peace. Something I’ve not had before.
Awareness is the first step
Becoming aware of what you are doing and why is the first step to recovery after burnout or if you’re on the brink of it. If you’re low on energy and struggling what’s really going on?
Some questions I asked myself were:
Where in my life am I not being true to myself?
How can I be the centre of my own world?
How can I allow more support?
Where am I giving my energy away?
Honesty is key
I had those conversations that I needed to have. Those ones that you’ve been putting off. Yes it can be scary speaking up. Yet the more you do it the easier it becomes There’s no need to force yourself or put pressure on you. It will happen naturally when you are ready.
I set and reinforced my boundaries and got super clear on what I really want and need.
I decided I am worthy of having support and of having my needs met.
I’ve come out the other side stronger and more determined. It’s about the journey rather than the destination and I’m excited for the next chapter.
I know I’m exactly where I need to be right now. Everything is unfolding perfectly with divine timing.
I love myself and I love my life.
How about you?
Love Claire xxx