The Gift of Burnout
We are life-givers. This is who we are at our core. And, all too often, we do it all! Remember the commercial from the 70s that said: “I can bring home the bacon, fry it up in a pan and never let you forget you’re a man…cause I’m a woman.” We went from singing the song and wearing the perfume to living the life.
Or, so we thought. Unfortunately, trying to do it all and have it all comes at a very steep price: we’re looking and smelling good while we’re crashing and burning to the detriment of ourselves.
This is not the sweet aroma the Bible speaks about in 2 Corinthians 2:15. Overwhelm and burnout is real.
And yet…I believe burnout was God’s gift to me. I vividly remember the day, December 5, 2015, that I came face to face with it but things weren’t terrible, they were actually wonderful. My business was thriving! I was coming off of the heels of teaching personal branding to job seekers at one of our local community colleges, traveling and speaking, and hosting my signature event, The Remarkable Woman Conference.
That morning as I was preparing to speak to a large women’s conference in my city, I was exhausted, self-deprived, and slowly fading. The cry in my heart was, “God show me how to rest and build! I promise that if you get me through this I will get off of this ‘hustle and grind’ treadmill.” God met me in that cry and burnout led me to a self-awakening.
I took a two-year sabbatical, set out to change my life, and reconnect with my core values. I determined to live my best life restfully. I also made the decision to scale things back, simplified in order to meaningfully live an overflowing life.
I choose to no longer brag about having a full calendar, being overcommitted, living off of three and four hours of sleep and having my hands in so many pots. I have learned to work heartily as unto Him without feeling overwhelmed and burned out. I refuse to allow those two realities to become a part of my leadership brand.
What about you? Where are you when it comes to the topic of burnout? Please know that I’m speaking from a heart of compassion and not condemnation when I ask these questions:
- Do you constantly feel overwhelmed and “stressed out” over events and challenges in your life?
- Are you dealing with anxiety due to your lack of sleep?
- Do you lie awake at night tossing and turning over trying to accomplish everything that is on your plate?
Living in this state of mental frustration is not good for your health. This state of overwhelm can lead to burnout. According to The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in the United States, a full 90% of all disease and illness are related to stress.
Have you like most women, made feeling anxious and stressed out a normal way of life? Left unaddressed, living this way can definitely lead to burnout.
Burnout is the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual fatigue you get for any number of reasons. Even King David experienced burnout:
“When my spirit grows faint within me, it is you who watch over my way. In the path where I walk people have hidden a snare for me. Look and see, there is no one at my right hand; no one is concerned for me. I have no refuge; no one cares for my life,” Psalm 142:3-4
Burnout can happen to the best of us. I know this firsthand. I don’t want to see any woman struggle without having the necessary support to guide her from the edge of burnout or help her move from it and towards a path of hope and wholeness. In my online membership community burnout sometimes shows up in the form of moodiness, frustration, forgetfulness, irritability, lethargic presence, disconnection, being withdrawn and even zoning out.
Self-awareness is key. Look at your life and listen to your body. Be aware of the signs that burnout could be near:
- Poor concentration
- Anxiety and depression
- Change in eating habits
- Digestive problems
- Heart palpitations and lightheadedness
- Sleep problems and exhaustion
Remember: Burnout is real! And for me, it became one of my best Christmas gifts ever. It helped me to slow down, rest more, reclaim my life and restore my passion for fulfilling my purpose and aligning my core values. If you are ready to stop and live a better life, help is here. This is one of the reasons that I started Remarkable Living Institute. To help women move from overwhelm and burnout, and find strategies and support to live full and meaningful lives in Christ, with grace and ease.
Living in a state of overwhelm and burnout is not the life to design. If you’re ready to take that first step to do something different, would you reach out and consider joining the Remarkable Life By Design community. I’d love to connect with you and provide some more tangible ways to help you rest and build a life that matters. You deserve to live your best remarkable life by design and not default.