Warning Signs of Burnout
You know the signs, struggling to get out of bed, yelling at the kids, yelling at the dog, just yelling. Need 5 cups of coffee before 9am, and everything around you is going to sh*t. And don’t let me get started on all the health issues that have arisen in the last couple of months.
Do any of these things ring true for you?
Yep these are the signs that you definitely need a holiday. You need to get away from everything, and everyone and recharge your batteries.
Stops, Blocks or Challenges to Taking a Mini Break
But who’s got the time right? You can’t afford to take a couple of weeks off, you’ve a business to run, or a household to manage, or a job where people depend on you, let alone all that ‘stuff’ that you do that doesn’t get done, if you don’t do it. I get it.
However, if you don’t do something right now you might collapse in a hole that you might take a long time to crawl out of. Take it from me. I used to be the queen of solider on and not listen to my body. I thought I was super woman and I could just keep going and going like a frickin’ energiser bunny with no consequences. Well we haven’t got the time or space here to go into that, but if you’ve read my last blog post you’ll get a glimpse into what went on. Apparently I’m not super woman and I definitely need to recharge my batteries!
Myth Busting Thoughts on Self Nurture
One of the major blocks to looking after ourselves is we’re taught that to put our own welfare before that of others is selfish. To quote the American Psychological Association report on Self Care for Psychologists;
• Promotes psychological and physical health and well-being (Williams-Nickelson, 2006) • Prevents, manages disease, injury or trauma (Williams-Nickelson, 2006) • Decreases stress, depression (APAGS, 2006) • Increases capacity for empathy; improves immunologic functioning; lower levels of anxiety & depression (Schure, Christopher, & Christopher, 2008).
So if its good enough for the trained professionals to look after themselves, it’s good enough for us. We have to choose to take responsibility for getting our own needs met, so then we can have the resources to look after those we love. So the next time, someone either tells you to your face, or intimates something of the kind that you’re being selfish by looking after yourself, you know what to do. Two words come to mind for me!
Introducing the Power of the Mini Break
A couple of years ago when I was recovering from one of my illness ‘flare ups’ and had just got out of hospital, me and hubby went off to a nearby town for a couple of days and stayed in a lovely self contained apartment with access to a pool. The town was only 100 kms and an hour’s drive. And you know what? It was just what I needed. We’ve been doing mini breaks for years, even when the kids were little (they’re now all grown up). It doesn’t matter where you go, you only have to get out of your normal routine for it to get you out of that head space, and do different stuff, or do nothing, as long as it helps you recharge your very tired body, soul and spirit.
Definition of a Mini Break
So a mini break can be a couple of days, sometimes just a day trip, to a week. It’s about getting out of the norm and routine, and something that recharges you. It can even be a retreat, or a personal development course, something that nurtures and supports you. It’s gonna be different for everyone, just be in tune with what floats your boat.
7 Key Points to having a Successful Mini Break
- Give yourself permission to do whatever your heart desires that nurtures you. If it’s sleep, just sleep. If it’s walks on the beach, walk on the beach. If its watch movies all day, do that. Just listen to your body and what it wants to do. Give it a break.
- Self Nurture is Vital. At home you’re always on the go. On break it’s ok for it to be all about you. Self Nurture is a must, if you don’t look after yourself who else will.
- Connect with nature – what do I mean? I mean we are all made up of energy. When we go, go, go, all the time, and if we’re in our head a lot, this disconnects us from our hearts and what is true and real for us. (And that just sucks out way more energy as well.) To get ‘grounded’ or ‘earthed’ again you need to connect with the earth. So literally take your shoes off and walk on the grass, or the beach, walk in the water, go for a walk in the gardens, or the bush, squish sand through your toes, this brings your energy down through your body and reconnects us to our heart and what’s important to us.
- Listening to your body is key. When we get out of our hearts and live in our heads it drains us of a lot of energy. (Sometimes this is necessary to function though.) When I’m busy planning, plotting, and scheming for the year ahead, organizing retreats and doing all the logistics of running groups, it takes a lot of energy, because I’m in my head a lot. That’s why we’re on a mini break right now! Remember when you get connected more to your heart that is what energises you and feeds you. So you need both, head stuff to get things done and then re-energise by grounding
- Eat and drink things that nurture your body, food is definitely our medicine, so look after yourself. This doesn’t mean you can’t have a drink or two but realize there are real consequences for your body if you disrespect it.
- Creative Pursuits – Do something that floats your boat, lights your fire, or rings your bell. Something that makes your soul sing. What creative pursuits do you love? Is it making craft stuff, singing, photography, learning to paint, baking, writing short stories, working with your hands, colouring in, making candles, doing a barista course. I love to collect beach glass and make jewellery with it. So I get to combine 4 of my absolute loves, 1. Be outside 2. Walk on the beach 3. Collect beach glass, 4. Work with my hands making jewellery – it’s a win, win, win, win.
- Be Careful of the Excuses you make NOT to invest in yourself. You’re responsible for your life and you’re the only one who is truly invested in looking after you. Over the years I have invested extensively in myself, either in girlie weekends away, trips away with family, retreats, facials, and massages, professional and personal development courses and trainings. I realized a long time ago I’m worth it!
So remember the key points
You don’t have to go far to have a mini break, it’s about getting out of your normal routine. Remember to Self nurture, listen to your body, when you do a lot of head work, invest in yourself, remember to ground yourself, resting your body, and feeding your soul with creative pursuits. And finally, keep a rein on anything that will cause you more stress, which is counter productive.
Everyone has valuable life experiences that we can all learn from
I’d love to hear your experiences, so what’s one thing you’ve discovered to prevent burnout? Please leave a reply below.