Yes, I did burn out. Here is how it felt
Updated: Apr 18, 2022
I don't usually get personal with my blog articles. However when I sat down and tried to figure out what to write about, my recovery from burn out was pretty much all that would come to mind. Yes, your health coach and mentor fried herself. I always thought that if I ever experienced burn out, it would be truly spectacular. I thought my whole body would shut down or I would end up in a rubber room heavily medicated. It never occurred to me that burn out would sneak in through a side door like an unwelcome guest hiding in the shadows. With all my training, insight and knowledge, surely I would know when such a guest had arrived. However, it was my spouse who identified the interloper. I was completely unaware that anything was amiss.
The guest made its appearance one unassuming Saturday morning as I had breakfast with my spouse. The poor man was enjoying his coffee and his daily scroll through Facebook, remarking on the latest meme when I ambushed him. I started to apologize for not getting the video training done for Kerrii (some software we are developing together) , and then apologized for not getting the marketing done and then began to apologize for letting him down. The apologies began simply enough but were quickly interspersed with bouts of hyperventilation. The panic breathing morphed into tears and by the time I was done flagellating myself verbally I was in a full on ugly cry with snot running down my face. My stunned partner looked at me as though a being from another world had possessed my body. He handed me a tissue, waited until I had blown my nose and then gave me the biggest bear hug of my life. He hung on until the sobs toned down to whimpers of apology.
The good man took my head in his hands and very firmly told me that I was to take a sabbatical from Kerrii. Under no circumstances was I to spend any thought, effort or time on the project. I was now on a Kerrii vacation. He had identified what I had completely missed. I was frazzled, fried and burnt out. He knew that unless he took control and forced me to take time off, I would keep going until my body gave up. He was not going to let that happen.
It suddenly occurred to me that I had been going full tilt since 2019. I hadn't taken any real time off since our last trip to the coast. The holidays that I had taken, I spent working on Kerrii. My weekends and evenings were spent working on support, training and marketing materials for Kerrii; making remedies or seeing clients. I was spending all my time doing things that should get done and no time doing things that I wanted to do. I was in a constant state of anxiety worrying that something terrible would happen if I didn't get everything done on my list. In short, I was a mess.
I knew that if I didn't start addressing my endless need to do, that my body was going to quit on me. If I got seriously ill, we would be in serious trouble. It was time to re-evaluate, organize and re-structure my life. It was time to quit surviving and to start thriving. It was time to really live my life instead of just being a passenger, but most of all it was time for a rest.
First up, I had to reschedule and change my priorities. I had to make getting rest my number one goal. That was going to mean getting to bed early. I bloody well hate going to bed. Sleeping is the biggest waste of time EVER! But that is all my body wanted to do, sleep. So I started listening to it. It took me two months to get there, but I eventually succeeded in consistently getting to bed at a decent time. How did I get there? I made a mental shift and accepted that I needed to be kind to my body and treat myself as if I were recovering from an illness. I used the alarm on my phone to remind myself it was bedtime and told myself I deserved rest when it went off. However, I was still a long way from feeling rested. After all, I had years of sleep deprivation to make up for. However, I was on my way.
What to do next? I have to figure out a way to reconcile the reality of the time that I have with the number of things that i want to do. That my dear friends is a topic for another article. Time for me to get to bed.
Want some help recovering from burnout? Book a reiki treatment.