I have a confession...
Can I tell you a secret? Well, I’m not going to call it a secret. But let’s talk about being run down, being worn out by schedules and commitments. There is something you can do today to prevent burnout from being life stopping. If you can get into the habit of taking care of yourself on a regular basis, you will prevent the burn out from being that stop you in your tracks, need to spend all day ( or maybe all week) in bed, type of burnout.
You can’t prevent all burnouts and this may not apply to everyone. But, we all have seasons in life where you don’t think you have the time to stop and evaluate, even when it's the best thing you can do for yourself.
I’m the worst at this. My self talk is positive. I tell myself to push through, it will get easier and when it doesn’t I wait till the next week. But, this summer got the best of me. Between an “ I can conquer all” plan for childcare this summer, coupled with a whopping illness that still has me off track, it’s truly been a recipe for disaster. I can point to some very specific decisions I made, or didn’t make that led me to this exact moment. It was a degradation of being present in my decisions in multiple aspects of my life. And now, when things should be getting easier now that the kids are back on a regular school year schedule, I am having to take some time to rebuild my stamina/health in order to hit the ground running this fall like I had planned.
What should I have done differently? What would I have told myself ?
#1- No, you can’t do it all so don’t even try!
Don’t try to take on added responsibilities during or any other time when there is a break in your normal routine. Yes, your schedule is different, but don’t think that means everything will be quieter. It’s just different. I repeat don’t cut back on childcare or instances that give you the time to get done what you need to get done, redistribute. This applies to all of us, not just moms. Responsibilities like keeping up with housework and laundry can get out of hand for anyone.
#2- Don’t stray from your self-care routine without replacing it with something better. Taking a step back from yourself is not the answer. Just because it was summer.. well that didn’t mean I should have taken a step back from the great routine I put in place for nutrition. Instead of setting myself up for success, I basically cut off my energy supply by not allowing myself the time to prepare breakfast or pack a lunch for myself.
#3- Do not IGNORE the first sign of distress from your body or schedule. Do not assume it will go away in a week. Completely pause for a moment. Give yourself that pause to reevaluate make a small adjustment, and then keep going.
I don’t know all the answers and I’m learning along the way just like everyone else. I hope these three basic tips will help prevent you from hitting the proverbial wall like I did this summer.
Just repeat after me, pause and reevaluate!