As we go through life, we hear so many stories about success and how it should look and feel like. And while a lucrative career is usually our default solution, it’s not always aligned with our soul mission and purpose.
Underneath the surface, it’s not really a job we’re looking for. We’re seeking a way to create a life we love — one of joy, freedom, fulfillment and peace.
Many of the incredible women that I serve in my transformational health and wellbeing coaching practice often come to me feeling extremely burned-out and not feeling their best, to say the least. (Not feeling great in their skin, not feeling motivated in their area of work or vocation, and ultimately wanting a reset.)
So today we’re going to be talking about the primary signs of burnout and what to do about it. Because the truth is, there is a refresh button. And once you discover it, you can use it to beat burnout and overwhelm at its source.
What is Burnout?
One of the most painful parts about burnout is how it can damage your relationships, health, and wellbeing.
Arianna Huffington, author of “Thrive” has been sharing her own story of severe overwhelm in the face of great success. As the President and Editor-in-Chief of the Huffington Post, she is considered one of the most influential women enjoying extraordinary success.
But in that role, her body, mind, and spirit suffered.
She was constantly exhausted and after taking numerous medical exams, Arianna realized that her traditional pursuit of money and power led to burnout, stress-related illnesses, and low-quality relationships between family, love, and career. It wasn’t until she reinvented herself and regrounded her energy that she started being able to reconnect with what truly mattered.
If those experiences sound familiar, you’re not alone. I know a thing or two about overwhelm myself. About 15 years ago, I got to the point in my life where I was extremely burnt-out.
Below is a list of some of those signs of burnout and overwhelm:
- Under sleeping, under resting, and suffering from insomnia.
- Frequently feeling unmotivated and uninspired, which results in a lack of creativity and joy in work.
- Constant frustration and irritability.
- Disconnect from your sensual/romantic nature.
- Neglect of self-care practices.
- Exercising less frequently.
- Eating less nutritious food.
- “All work, no play.” (Working too many hours and not creating enough time to focus on loved ones.)
- Lacking connection to spiritual self (meditation, religious practice, being in nature, stillness, etc.).
The truth is, you can look successful on the outside and feel all these things and more from within. So let’s pull back the curtain and discover what’s really happening behind the scenes.
3 Easy Steps That Busy Women Can Take to Overcome Burnout and Become Vibrant & Healthy
1. Notice Your Behaviors That Lead to Burnout
Here at Brave Thinking Institute, we often talk about the empowering method of “noticing what you’re noticing.”
You see, when we get so used to a certain lifestyle or belief system, it’s easy to set ourselves on autopilot. We simply go through the motions and surrender to the mindset of “it is what it is.”
But when we stay on this default way of thinking (we refer to it as “common hour thinking”), in a way, we’re also giving up our power.
But the first step in activating that power is by noticing the thoughts and actions that create your results.
As an example from back when I was stuck in a cycle of burnout and overwhelm, I noticed myself spiraling into the following behaviors:
- I was getting up at 5:00 AM, but the issue wasn’t how early I was getting up. The issue was, I was going to bed oftentimes at 1:00 or 2:00 in the morning. So I was often getting less than five hours of sleep at night.
- I was no longer exercising regularly or moving my body in ways that I loved. I had stopped feeding myself nutritious foods, which meant I didn’t have the proper fuel for my body.
- I was extremely unmotivated, lacked creativity in my daily life, and lost a sense of joy doing my work in the world. So I was feeling extremely frustrated and not creative at all.
- I was also not feeling connected to my sensual, sexy self. So I didn’t feel like I was being the best wife. I was not feeling very romantic because I would come home so totally burnt-out.
And I think the most painful part of this vicious cycle was how it impacted the relationship I had with my children. I would call myself “cranky mom”. I had small children at the time and I would snap at them. I would bark orders, which was not the loving mom in my vision or my dreams.
You may be feeling the same signs of burnout, so let’s talk about the fastest, most effective methods of reinventing yourself and overcoming this hurt and exhaustion.
2. Get to the Root
Most of us don’t just “fall” into a cycle of burnout.
Often, women find they were raised into a lifestyle of burn-out.
How we’re raised, and the I flick of society especially in our beliefs about work, rest, and personal care, create the subconscious patterns we fall into.
For example, if you were raised in a family where having more than one job was the norm – you might carry the belief that rest means you’re not working hard enough.
The voice in your head that bullies you whenever you try to pause and take care of your needs and blocks you from joy is called your inner critic.
Your inner critic uses paradigms (thought patterns) from your upbringing, family, friends, schooling, and other lifelong influences to keep you in the familiar. In your comfort zone.
It may whisper things like, “Your mother never took the time to rest, who are you to take a day off from work?”
Or, “You should be able to ‘do it all’ what’s wrong with you that you don’t have it together by now!”
It might even stem from school, when your peers bragged about how little sleep they got and how much work they had to do.
The best way to overcome this inner critic voice is to learn how to forgive yourself. Here are a few resources I’ve compiled over the years that have helped me silence my inner critic for good and create healthier thought patterns:
- 3 Journal Prompts to Heal Your Inner Critic
- 21 Affirmations to Calm Your Inner Critic
- 31 Quotes to Tame Your Inner Critic
After you uncover the reasons behind your thoughts and actions, you’ll be better equipped to shift your subconscious patterns. Once you’re aware of your inner critic and start the healing process, the next step is to set healthy boundaries for yourself and others.
3. Setting healthy boundaries
High-performing women, especially change-agents, often put their own needs on the back burner to take care of others. So if you find yourself pouring energy, attention, and time into everyone but yourself, it may be a sign that you’re operating from the common hour limiting belief, that others’ needs are more important than your needs.
You see, when you also pour into yourself, you create an overflow of love, support, and positivity. But what most women do is try to pour into others from an empty cup.
To help you remember how to say “YES” to yourself more often and set healthy boundaries, I invite you to use the following acronym:
Y – You (are the highest authority of your life).
E – Energize (yourself first).
S – Serve (yourself in the center of your circle).
You can discover more ways to stand up for yourself and set healthy boundaries here.
On the other hand, I know that the simple recommendation of “setting healthier boundaries” isn’t going to change overnight.
But instead of expecting instant change, let’s talk about the Kaizen principle.
“Kaizen” means continuous improvement. This philosophy was developed by the engineers working at Toyota. Essentially, the concept refers to continuous improvement over a long period of time, which can result in a quantum leap!
To paint a picture, it’s like working out consistently over the span of a year without checking your weight or measurements. If you only looked at your numbers at the beginning of the year and then at the end of the year, you’d notice a positive difference!
And while it might seem like a drastic change, it’s actually the accumulation of small changes over time.
In the same way, you can set small, incremental boundaries that will eventually lead to a big, positive change.
One way to start this keystone habit is by setting aside small amounts of time for yourself.
This can look like reviewing your calendar or routines and penciling in small pockets of space for self-care. For example, you can:
- Set aside five minutes in the morning to journal or meditate.
- Take a portion of a healthy dinner as meal-prep for the following day.
- Place a book in your bathroom and read it little by little with each trip.
- When you notice yourself scrolling through your phone, slide out of your chair and do a couple squats (or whatever feels good for you). If you’re laying down, you can do leg raises or sit up and stretch.
- You can take a few fun free dance breaks in the middle of the day.
Whatever those small, easy solutions may be for you, I encourage you to get creative and work with what you have, with where you are! Soon enough, you’ll be able to get into a rhythm and naturally beat burnout and overwhelm with healthy boundaries and vibrant thinking!
Beat Burnout and Overwhelm (Faster) with Support
So far, we’ve talked about putting yourself at the center of your circle. Another simple solution highly successful and healthy women implement is asking for help and/ or delegating a task to make yourself a priority.
The thing is, reaching out for support can be difficult for high-performing people. Especially when we’ve been trained as a western culture that “over-work” can feel like something to be proud of.
But the truth is that the easiest way to break the cycle of overworking/under resting is reaching out for support.
This isn’t a sign of weakness, it’s actually a sign of leadership and great strength.
The three steps I outlined in this post can be summed up into one main idea: creating a pattern interrupt in small snippets of time can help you beat burn out and overwhelm.
Becoming aware of my own self-sabotaging habits and disrupting them was the key to my breakthrough. I got support. I got transformational life coaching and I began to shift this neglect of myself, my soul, and my relationships one powerful action at a time.
And eventually, I got trained and certified as a mind, body expert, and transformational coach. I began to help hundreds of women, and now as the founder and creator of the Vibrant Healthy Woman program, I now live a life I love. I transformed myself from being burnt-out to creating a multimillion-dollar health and wellbeing business, where I have created highly successful health and wellbeing coaching programs for busy women to help them feel more beautiful, alive and vibrant.
My client Tina Aiton has this to say about what she’s been able to accomplish by working together:
“I have installed new patterns and habits of self-care that have been easy to maintain, and I feel at peace and comfortable doing so… I have released 18 pounds and gained lean muscle. My clothes fit better, I feel more energized and confident in my skin… I am forever changed by the growth I experienced during the program because the shifts have gone much deeper than just changing a habit or activity and then trying to maintain that…the change came from a much deeper place and feels permanent.”
The same results are possible for you.
To give you a taste of what it’s like to work with me, I have a free gift for you!
This is an incredible opportunity for you to hit that reset button, reboost your energy and move yourself in the direction of living a life you would love.
In the comments below, share the little (or big) ways you’ve been able to make time for self-care!
And remember to grab your free confidence kit here!
Until next time – think bravely and act boldly,
Jennifer Joy Jiménez