If you or someone know you may be dealing with burnout, be gentle. It is very much a real thing and can be devastating but they can/will survive burnout. Just know symptoms look different for every single person. Hold space for loved ones, they need you now!
I hit a wall in June or maybe it hit me but oh did it ever hit like a ton of bricks! I completed the Sun Run and then I shifted gears into market prep for Shop Ava To Zoe doing the most markets I’d ever done in one month which also happens to be more markets than I typically would do in an entire year! I had been unknowingly pushing myself directly into a burnout.
I’m a pretty tough gal or at least I like to think I am! (truth is, I’m a real softie) With two brothers, I had a lot of male influence in my life, so “weakness” was simply not an option. This seemed pretty normal until the words “Have you ever considered that maybe you’re burnt out?” stopped me dead in my tracks.
As she asked me that life-shattering question, I heard myself say two things…
- “Is that even actually a real thing?” (tough girl moment)
- “I don’t have time for this” (Emotional trigger)
The kind and loving individual who is a dear friend of mine that said those words to me doesn’t know this but it literally brought me to my knees in tears. And then all I could think was would I survive burnout?
Memories of life growing up, the traumas of the last 5 years and the inability to keep up with the juggle of everyday life flooded me emotionally. I sat in my kitchen chocking on my tears while my Zoe played house in the living room just steps away.
The sentence, “I don’t have time for this” triggered something so powerful in me. It is a sentence I remembered my mom saying to me growing up that I hated and then all I could hear was myself saying it to my children. I cried.. hard!
This sentence brought me so much sadness as a child and now I’m unleashing it onto my two girls for what an IG algorithm? A blog post?
I withdrew and cried! Zoe would walk into the kitchen and I sucked in my tears and hid my face from her so she couldn’t see the tears! I tried to justify my actions by telling myself that I was just protecting her from my sadness but I will fully admit but in my head as untrue as this sentence is, “crying is for the weak!”
Children can cry because they are children but this grown woman doesn’t cry because she is strong. (ps.. I cry in the isle picking out greeting cards, so I am fully aware of how silly that sounds.) My head wasn’t in a good place, honestly, I didn’t know if I would survive burnout?”
I was convinced that medically something was very wrong with me. I did have a bit of low iron but nothing too alarming but every other test came back saying that I was fine. Dr. Google and I totally had me diagnosed with a few things and as the results came back ok, I cried, I was devastated.
I needed something medically to be wrong with me, it couldn’t burnout.
As I emotionally began processing what burnout looked like to me, I noticed my burnout lessening. I turned to the people I love the most and one friend in particular who I didn’t know as well and I poured out my heart. Once I turned on the emotional faucet, there wasn’t much that was going to stop it from coming out! I’m pretty sure I let out a few years worth of tears over those few days. She helped me see I would survive burnout, I just needed to hold space.
I haven’t even begun to process the hardest parts of it but I honestly can say that I finally feel very ready to face my fears, deal with the past and be ok with letting go; whatever that looks like. I’m looking forward to reconnecting with my intuitive self and reconnecting with the spiritually inquisitive girl I once was. I am ready to stop letting my body carry the emotional weight of my past. I am ready to drop my shoulders, loosen the hips and cut the ties that don’t lift me and my family up.
I reflected on my ‘why’ and my personal mission statement in the darkest moments and as I see the light on the other side, I found comfort in making my own list of ‘what I am nurturing in 2019’ as inspired by Alex Elle! If nothing else it is one more small step in a series of many to realizing I would survive burnout, I will be ok!
What are you nurturing for the rest of 2019?