As I talk about burnout today, something I've touched upon before, I think about an afternoon several years ago...
It was a wonderful afternoon. We celebrated with guests, and back before Dengue met special parenting, I adored having guests. But it was also an afternoon that filled me with frustration. Despite having worked all week, on top of caring for my infant son, I had not even once voiced what I needed for (or on!) this day. I needed help. I needed a nap. I needed someone to tell me it was okay to take a break. I really needed to sit. My back ached.
I didn't do any of that, though. I said I didn’t mind – and so the dishes and I partnered in an angry scrub-fest that didn’t serve either of us very well.
While I walked away from the situation feeling broken, the dishes didn’t. The dishes dried up and moved on – waiting for the next opportunity to be used. I did not seek out this opportunity, and in fact, avoided hosting another large gathering for quite some time.
Today, as a lifestyle and wellness mentor who specializes in acceptance and adaptation, I know better.
You should know that shortly after that event, I herniated a disc in my back. It was clear my body needed more than what I was giving it. I re-learned how to walk, and by God's mercy and grace I entered into the field I am in now.
And what I consistently tell women today who are burnt out or burning out is this: take care of you. Self care is absolutely other care. No one else is going to say, "Sheila, take a break!" Unless you are visibly unwell.
So, Sheila, I'm going to tell you today to take a break before you are visibly falling apart. First and foremost, I urge you to rest in your Father's arms (as a woman of faith, I pray before I act almost always) and see how He's encouraging you where you're at. Then, create a personal action plan to serve your current space.
A note to my special parenting tribe, if you are already in burnout, these tips will still add life to your life. But, also you might need to create a support system so that you can actually tend to your needs.
Here are three super simple tools that I use daily. You can support your body before you hit the wall. Read on!
Adrena-what? I know, I know! I didn't even you the word adrenal yet. But your adrenal glands (the ones responsible for your hormones) are reacting to every single stressor on your life. Think of your adrenals as critical in the fight or flight response. Sometimes, that response is necessary. And sometimes it's not. Adrenal fatigue is when your adrenal glands have worked too hard for too long.
Interesting fact - I heard on a podcast the other day that every four minutes the part of the brain responsible for our stress-response is checking our environment to see if we're really okay!
You can incorporate any or all three of the tips above to send signals to your brain, that yes you are okay.
I could ramble on and on about this adventure called stress prevention, but today I'll leave you here. Do your own research (pinterest is great!) on healthy fats, support supplements (this one is my favorite), and movement/meditation, and tell me how you're going to avoid burnout during this season - or a season that hasn't even found you yet. As my Pastor says, you're either in a storm or you're headed toward one!
Life is real while we're still here on earth. I'm so glad to do it all with you!
love sharing helpful resources! I may also make a small cut that keeps me fully caffeinated and my brain research-packed (because we can't serve from an empty well, and I really love collecting all the knowledge, understanding, and wisdom I can for both of us.) Always, I'll do my best to keep you on the right path, but I'm no doctor even though I play one at home - often - and mostly for myself. Life with CFS sure keeps things interesting! Life with you + CFS keeps things full of JOY, too.