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How to Shift from Burned Out to Thriving

Like many modern women, I've experienced total burn out. Totally unmotivated, dissatisfied with life and struggling with anxiety. I even sought medical help but didn't get any answers. My doctor looked at me like I was nuts when I suggested adrenal fatigue. I also stopped caring about myself and didn't bother to take care of myself, neglecting my appearance. I went through periods of stress eating or not eating at all.

I eventually decided I no longer wanted to feel this way, I wanted to THRIVE and enjoy vibrant health.

To me, thriving means waking up daily happy to be living the life I live. It means I wake up able to do things I once was not when my health crashed and I finally realized that I had adrenal exhaustion, to now being able to wake up and make breakfast for my kids in the morning with the chance to bond with each of them.

Now, I can take leisurely walks during the day and actually have the energy to get in my 10,000 steps. I get to wake up and do the work I love with clarity and energy. As well as, the energy to be a solo parent to my four boys and help them with homework, go on hikes in the woods, make them dinner, and even cook dinner together. And even have some energy left at the end of the day to enjoy time for myself.

In 2009 I was beyond burned out. I was not happy; I was not healthy. I knew I had a better life ahead of me and I wanted a chance to experience it.

At that time, I had four kids (my youngest was 2), and I had served my ex with divorce papers. I. could. barely. make. it. through. a. single. day.

I remember taking the boys to camp every day that summer, and I only had enough energy to pack them up and all their camp stuff and drive them to the YMCA. I chose to drive through McDonald's on the way because I couldn't even make them breakfast. Feeling terribly guilty about it, but I just could not even muster the energy to feed them myself.

At that time, I also didn't have any energy to figure out how I was going to earn money, to provide for my kids. I also felt terrible shame that I was so unable to be the fully loving capable mom I wanted to be for them.

I was so stressed out falling asleep at night was difficult; I literally had to talk myself out of panic attacks. I had high anxiety, and I didn't even recognize it. Getting to meetings with my lawyer and counselor were a huge challenge. I could barely comprehend anything I needed to.

I used to wonder how on earth was I going to hold down a job to provide enough income for my family AND raise four boys on my own. And how was I going to have enough energy left at the end of the day for them if I couldn't even get through ONE meeting without a major health reaction like dizzy spells or visual disturbances?

That's when I knew I need to make a change and get help, but it took me awhile to move past the worst of my symptoms.

It doesn't have to get this bad and I'm here to share my story so other women can recognize burnout before they get too deep into it. Here are some key things that indicate burn out:

Are You Burned Out? Do you struggle with several of the following?

>> Anxiety or panic attacks
>> Feel like you need to seek medical help
>> Lack of motivation
>> Negative emotions more than positive ones
>> Dissatisfied with life
>> Neglect your appearance
>> Over or under eat because of stress
>> Unexplained aches and pains
>> Sudden digestive complaints
>> Insomnia
>> Forgetfulness, lack of concentration
>> Short fuse, irritability

If you're not experiencing any of these issues, that's wonderful! Keep these warning signs in mind though, and remember that burnout is  insidious, it can creep up on you if you're living a continually stressful life.

If you are experiencing 3 or more of these symptoms, this should be a wake-up call that you may be headed down a dangerous path. Take some time to honestly assess the amount of stress in your life and find ways to reduce it before it's too late. Burnout isn't like the flu; it doesn't go away after a few weeks unless you make some changes in your life. And as hard as that may seem, it's the smartest thing to do because making a few little changes now will keep you from years of struggle to recover.

It took me years to pull back out of the deep burn out I found myself in, and if I can save you from that by all means that's my goal. Here are some steps you can start to take NOW, today after reading this post so you can build in some consistent stress relief practices.

3 Steps to Stress Relief & Relaxation

1. Identify Your Biggest Stressors So You Are Aware of Them

What are your current top 3 stressors right now, what is keeping you up at night or causing your angst. I want you to really think about it and be honest with yourself and WRITE them down. It's important to recognize what they are so you can then shift your mindset and take appropriate actions to shift you in the right direction vs. staying stuck and causing your health to go downhill.

2. Re-define Your Perception of Stressors

We can learn and grow from conflicts rather than feel victimized by them. When you look at the stress in your life objectively instead of reactively, you can use them as an opportunity for growth instead of failure.

Ex. your co-worker is stressing you out because they keep interrupting your during work. Your reframe could simply be that you need to prioritize your own sanity and put better boundaries in place. Meaning, you just need to have an honest conversation with your co-worker.

3. Incorporate a DAILY Stress Relief Practice

Here are some ideas for you, feel free to come up with your own that you resonate well with.

>> Take time in nature
>> Practice guided meditation
>> Create a gratitude list
>> Take yourself out to lunch alone
>> Practice yoga or another form of gentle movement
>> Enjoy a magnesium bath with essential oils
>> Read a book for pleasure
>> Enjoy a massage (personal or professional)
>> Receive a facial
>> Indulge in a creative project (like a vision board)

It's so easy to get caught up in all the of the 'have-to's' of life and never leave time for yourself. BUT, it's imperative to shift this and put yourself first so you don't burn out. What good are you to anyone when you are flat-lined and always tired anyway? So here's to making YOU a priority from here on out.

If you try any of the tips I shared in this post and found it helpful, leave me a comment below and let me know what came up for you. If you liked this post, please consider being a part of the tribe that is being built here. A good way to begin is to sign up for my newsletter.

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