Slowing down to avoid burnout & recharge

I have a great morning ritual where I get up early and make myself a cup of tea then read a passage out of the book, Simple Abundance, A Day book of Comfort and Joy by Sarah Ban Breathnach.  Earlier this week, I read a passage that talked about burnout on one day and then how to take your crazy work life down a notch and not be such a workaholic. These two passages, really made me look back on my life and see how far I’ve come in this area.  I have been slowly taking it down a notch with my career or my j.o.b. and my lifestyle for a little more than four years now.

In 2014, I quit my corporate job and went out on my own to be a marketing consultant for other small business owners.  That was great and it was really working for me until a crazy ice storm came in one Saturday night in January 2015. It was “Saturday night book club”.  I fell and shattered my left ankle and after this, my marketing consulting gigs didn’t work so well for me any longer.

My work strategy at that time was where I physically went to other small businesses and did whatever marketing and admin work they needed on my computer, at their location.  My mobility was more than challenged and this changed the trajectory of my fairly new business plan. I tried to work remote after my injury and during my recovery, but that didn’t work so well for me or my clients.

I was forced in January 2015 until around May of 2016 to really take it down a notch and regroup both career and lifestyle wise.  I had to figure out what I was going to do with my time and as a career after 4 surgeries and 4 very long financially draining and emotional recoveries.

During this time, I managed to get married & go on an amazing honeymoon. I planned my wedding while my left leg was in a cast and propped up on pillows most of the time. This wouldn’t have ever been possible without the help of my awesome girlfriends.  At this time, I had great help from friends, family and my amazing husband. He never missed a beat when I needed him to help out or take care of me.

Of course, there were days when we were both miserable and I definitely shed my fair share of tears. I remember clearing the room at my book club when I had gotten a ride, hobbled into the host’s house on crutches and then with the room filled, when asked how I was, I broke down in tears and said I wasn’t good.  The room pretty much cleared, except for a few of the ladies who stayed to make sure I was ok.  At that time, I really wasn’t OK. I was feeling lonely, afraid that I wasn’t going to ever get better and still in a major amount of pain. I felt so bad and a little ashamed that I made some of the ladies uncomfortable. I hadn’t been in the book club that long at the time and obviously, they didn’t quite know how to handle my breakdown.  I feel like if I broke down now like this, the reaction would be much different. My connection to them is at a much deeper level now five years later.

So what does this have to do with me taking it down a notch?  Well…I feel like the Universe has been preparing me for the last four years to become pregnant with twins and then have a healthy pregnancy by throwing things my way that has forced me to slow down and essentially, take life down a notch.  Being pregnant has definitely made me slow down. I’ve managed to continue to work (In May of 2016, I started working for a small dental practice as the Office/Marketing Manager) and then in August of 2017 I renewed my Esthetician license and started doing skin care (as my own business) at the Dental Practice.  That doesn’t sound or feel like slowing down, but compared to where I was in April of 2014, it really is.

Fast forward to today, October 5th of 2018.  I’m four months pregnant with twins. My exhaustion level is at an all-time high.  I’m managing to work 4 full days at the dental practice and then do skin care service on Friday’s and every other Saturday. To manage my energy, I have had to limit how many hours of skin care services I work on Friday’s and every other Saturday.  I know as I get bigger and my pregnancy progresses, I will have to stop doing skin care services altogether until after I return from maternity leave.  That’s ok. It does make me a little sad, as I love performing services on others and helping them with their self-care routines, but growing babies is my main priority & gig right now.  

As women, self-care is one of the first things to get put to the side when life gets hard.  I love that I can give a woman (or a man) an hour of pure relaxation and comfort. Even though some weeks I essentially work 6 days a week, it’s nothing like when I had a corporate job with tons of travel.  I really have slowed down and taken my life down a notch over the past four years. I know the more my pregnancy progresses, I will be slowing down even more. Socially, we aren’t as active as we used to be.  On the days I work a full day, I basically work and go home and put myself in bed to rest. On the days I only work a few hours, I still come home to rest, but do have more energy, later on, to get things around the house done or write a blog post, or just read a good book!  Naps are essential for me right now and I welcome them openly!

Are you the type of person who is burning the candle at both ends non-stop all of the time? Are you consumed with work and have a hard time shutting down your computer or turning your phone off?  If you could have the perfect work/life balance, what would that look like for you? For me, I have a great work/life balance. I have a job I enjoy. I don’t ever bring work home. Once I’m home or off, I don’t have to log on or do anything extra.  It can all wait until the next time I’m working. This type of lifestyle works so much better than the 24/7 corporate culture I used to work in. I’m so thankful that I experienced burnout and it made me make different choices for my life. I’m healthier and happier now because of it!

Please comment below and let me know how you have handled your burnout or how you balance work and your real life.