Have you ever experienced burnout?
Did it make you want to pack a bag and just leave everything and everybody behind?
Well that’s how I felt.
So that’s what I did…well, kind of.
I’m still on a high from hubby and I’s childless weekend getaway/business trip in Orlando, Florida that we took at the end of last month. When I tell you that break was a much-needed one, it was everything that we both needed and more.
Earlier this year, I was so burned out as an entrepreneur, mom, and wife, that I really contemplated shutting down my entire childcare program, giving up on expanding outside of my home and taking an extended vacation by myself. Don’t get me wrong, I love my children, hubby and childcare family, but trying to do everything for everybody, by myself was/is stressful.
And I want the same for you. So since today is Labor Day, it seems like the perfect time for me to show you how to overcome and prevent the feeling of burnout in your life.
1. Be on time!
With 4 kids, multiple sports schedules, a home childcare program and a hubby who coaches everything, our family may be the masters of rushing (not a title I hold proudly). Over this last year I’ve realized that rushing is a true energy drainer! By the time we’ve made it to our destination all I really want to do is lay down and go to sleep. I’m now taking the time to become more intentional with setting up our day, the night before. That means lunches have to be made, clothes/uniforms must be prepared/ironed, bookbags/sports bags must be packed and hair has to be set up so that I spend a minimal amount of time fixing it in the morning. We haven’t mastered this quite yet, but we’re working on it.
2. Exercise Intentionally
So here’s the deal. I know that because most people/blogs/”gurus”/experts like to say that you should implement exercise into your daily routine, that it may sound very cliché. But it’s not. While I’m no fitness expert AT ALL, I do agree. Unapologetically, my version of exercising is chasing kids around all day, walking up and down the basement stairs as I do everybody’s laundry and doing laps around my kitchen as I cook. But now that I’m striving (well not really striving, more like succumbing to my body’s cry for help) to be more intentional with the overall health of my mind, body and soul, I innerstand that exercising is meant to be an intentional act. Something that is done with purpose. According to Harvard Medical School, there’s actually 4 types of exercises that we should be focusing on, not just 1 or 2. So it’s time to cut the excuses and make time to exercise. It doesn’t matter if you’re at your local gym or at home, just get it done. We can do this! (I’m going to need some accountability partners though; who’s with me?).
3. Find Your Tribe Or Accountability Partner
Not having someone in your corner who’s going to hold you accountable, celebrate all of your wins with you (no matter how small they are), correct you when you’re wrong and just do life with you is the loneliest feeling ever. Trust me, I know. That’s why I wanted the community for this blog to always feel like they had a go-to person in me and pretty soon, in other members (a whole lot of goodness is coming soon!). So go ahead and follow one of my favorite bloggers’ advice and make new friends as an adult(Mattie is awesome!). I promise you it’s not as scary as you think.
4. Make Time To Sustain/Rediscover Who You Are
My biggest pet peeve nowadays is to hear a parent (particularly moms) say “I’m just a mom” when you ask them what their occupation is. You’re more than just a parent! Find, create, join something that you can call your own, that makes you happy and gives you a sense of fulfillment. For me, it’s this blog. I love sharing my life and intentional journey with you. I love inspiring other people, especially parents. This is like having the last brownie to myself and not worrying about my family asking for any…excuse the food analogy. I’ve been sooooo hungry lately lol.
5. Be still
There’s a book that I can’t wait to read when it’s released next month entitled “Stillness Is The Key” by Ryan Holiday because it’s a principle that I live by daily. Learning how to tune out the noises and distractions of the world not only allows you an opportunity to relax your mind and body, it also allows you the ability to hear from God in a powerful way. (This blog was actually birthed from one of my “still sessions” because I was able to focus on listening to God’s voice instead of my own, which produced an amazing sense of clarity for me). Every day, usually as soon as all of my babies leave for the day, I take 30 minutes to 1-hour unwinding from the day’s activities. I typically start off with a really hot shower (where I do some of my best thinking), then pour all of my ideas into one of my many journals as I lay across my bed with the door closed and only the sound of the birds from the tree outside of my window keeping me company. It’s always the perfect ending to a really stressful day for me.
6. Meet Your Children Where They Are…Not Where You Think They Should Be
So hubby and I use to go back and forth on this more than I would’ve cared to (thank God for alignment), but I strongly believe that to effectively raise, teach or coach a child (anybody for that matter), you have to start by meeting them where they are, and not where you think they should be. My goal for my children is for them to be the very best version of themselves and not the best version of someone else. Sure, you can implement the wisdom from others, but at the end of the day, you should only strive to be who God created you to be. So to cultivate that, I have to be willing to set aside my own expectations of them, past personal experiences and feelings and help them build from where they are. I promise this will not only help you to prevent burnout, but you’ll also reduce your feelings of overwhelm and frustration.
7. Identify Your Triggers
When you’re able to put a name to whatever it is that causes you to feel burned out, you can find the solution before it spirals out of control. For me, it’s having to do things by myself for extended periods. Since I’m aware of this, I’m able to not only communicate that to hubby but to my kids as well. They don’t always get it, so I have to repeat myself a few times (what’s parenthood and marriage without the frequent repeat?), but they are clear on what it could lead to, and that’s procrastination. They innerstand (far beyond comprehension) that it will cause me to fall behind in laundry, meal & lesson planning, etc, and once I’m off track, it’s going to take a while for the momentum to build back up which means less time for them. Nobody likes to hear that. So learn how to not only identify what causes burn out in your life, but what you need to implement to get through it.
8. Make work less of a priority and family more of one
Yes, you have to make money to take care of your family, but you don’t have to miss out on quality family time because of it. This year, I’ve already implemented more days off for my own mental health sake (and therefore my family’s) and my hubby and I have planned a big family vacation for November and lots of weekend getaways (new environments allow me to be creative and ignite different passions and gifts I never knew were there). You have to start giving fuel to the things that fuel you.
UPDATE: We created a family vision statement and it’s been so helpful thus far. Come check it out.
Not only do my children and husband deserve to have a stress free, not tired all the time, fulfilled happy wife and mama
I deserve to live that type of life for myself.
And that’s exactly what I plan on doing.
What are some things that you do to prevent or overcome burnout that you think I should add to this list?
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