Who would have thought being a high achiever and driven person who wants to do so much to help others could have such an impact on my body?!? Surely not this girl… but here we are.
Over the years, running at full speed, and frequently overdrive, has physically taken a toll on me. Not overnight, but slowly and then to the point where it’s smacked me hard.
One of the benefits of working from home is that only those who love you know the real struggle, and most days, you can drag yourself through the bare minimum without others knowing. But I want to change that, and I want to help you avoid it if possible.
I don’t crash as hard or as often with better energy management, projects I say yes to, and the clients I choose to serve.
I’ve had to learn to cancel or delay things occasionally, and take a nap when needed. To turn away business, change programs, and say no, even though I’d rather not. But even that’s not always foolproof, nor an easy fix. Recently, out of nowhere came three days of exhausting fatigue and being of little use for anything. Feeling better today, I have to resist the urge to cram three days of work and household chores into one day. Laundry and emails will wait.
This isn’t a new thing for me – it’s been a struggle for a long while, but not one I’ve shared with many. Thanks to the support I have around this condition, some days, weeks, and even months are better than others.
My honesty here is to encourage you to listen to your body. And while we can’t change the past, we can change today, which can change tomorrow. Perhaps some of the following can help you avoid being in my boat. They are not only for you my friend, but reminders for me.
⦿ Don’t push yourself to a breaking point.
⦿ Don’t ignore the signs or symptoms of stress.
⦿ Don’t say yes if you mean no and are worried about disappointing someone.
⦿ Don’t work with demanding or abusive clients – or employers for that matter – you deserve better.
⦿ Don’t let anyone tell you to “just try harder” when you’re exhausted.
⦿ Don’t volunteer for all the activities out of working mom guilt.
⦿ Don’t buy into the hustle life you see online – much of that is not real anyway.
⦿ Leave time for fun and hobbies.
⦿ Leave time in your calendar for doing nothing.
⦿ Tell your inner perfectionist, high achiever to take some time off – possibly forever.
⦿ Take lunch – like away from your desk lunch. And with a friend if possible.
⦿ Go outside. Soak up the fresh air and sun when it’s out.
⦿ Lay in the grass and look up at the clouds.
⦿ Ask for help and be willing to receive it – even when it’s not exactly how you’d do it – does it really matter how towels are folded?
⦿ And for gosh sakes, when you’re tired, leave the dishes dirty, or the laundry unfolded and take a nap instead to avoid tiredness turning into exhaustion.
Sometimes our soul needs a little quiet time and our bodies are a bit resistant. I think this is when it takes things up a notch and we’re forced to rest. It’s not always at the most convenient time, but neither is burnout.
If I can help you in any way, please reach out.