I experienced burnout for the first time when my daughters were tweens. I had spent the past 10 years focused so intensely on their growth, their development, their needs, their passions that I hadn’t really put that same energy into building true thriving foundations for myself.
That was when I realized I needed to make some serious changes — and fast.
But it’s not always easy to stop all the patterns that lead to burnout such as …
- How we give all of ourselves to others without holding any sense of respect and worthiness for own personal wellness.
- When we serve others before ourselves repeatedly until we collapse of exhaustion or illness.
- When we ignore our own basic needs.
- When we practice bad habits that lead us to a less fulfilling lifestyle.
Women who are also caregivers of parents, partners or children are unable to care for themselves like they should be in order to really feel whole and complete. They are in a survival mode of constant giving and giving and being on for others. Even though a caregiver may make time for self-soothing like a bath or a bit of meditation, this is not an appropriate recovery to truly refuel and recharge.
How do you know if you are suffering from burnout? Here are some of the signs I’ve noticed from my private coaching clients …
- You feel unmotivated to do anything — especially your own self-care.
- You feel numb and cannot seem to experience authentic joy.
- You feel a constant heaviness holding you down, dragging you along that makes it hard to take action.
- You feel negative and frustrated about many things in your life but you feel powerless to change anything.
- You feel resentful for any rest or fun your partner or ex-partner has in their life.
- You feel like you are being swallowed up by constant responsibilities and feel overwhelmed with where to begin to change the pattern.
What does unaddressed burnout do in the long run?
It is easy to blame parenting on your burnout. You just have so much to do and so little time to do it.
However, operating in extreme physical and emotional fatigue is not good for you and it’s not good for your child and family.
Of course you go through the motions and operate on auto-pilot to make sure everything gets done. But your lack of energy for true joy and connection becomes more and more apparent.
This creates a lack of bond and connection with your family. They will pick up on your exhaustion and disinterest as well and act accordingly.
Burnout shows up in your work, too. It shows up in mistakes and an inability to make sound, intentional decisions. And it shows up in how often you end up saying yes to doing things you don’t want to do because you are so busy trying to prove you are enough on the outside because you do not feel enough on the inside.
All of these results of mom burnout can lead to intense feelings of guilt, shame and loneliness.
What can you do about burnout right now?
It’s easy to think that what you need is a rest and certainly good sleep and more time to relax is going to be a great start.
But the only way to really tackle burnout is to create a foundation of true self-care that leads to a greater sense of purpose and meaning in your life. Figuring out what brings you alive so that you can BE YOU, FINALLY again is the secret.
When a new client comes to me facing burnout (or overwhelm, stress or exhaustion) we begin the hard work of digging her out of the rubble of the life that she feels trapped in. Let’s face it, everything we do feels important and it can be really hard to decide what needs to change.
But the truth is that we have to start to figure out where your patterns of resistance, people-pleasing and settling keep showing up.
Once you can reclaim yourself and your energy and start living a more bold, beautiful life you start to feel more whole, more enough.
This self-discovery work that you must do on yourself to figure out what you need, how to make it happen and how to sustain it, pulls back the layers of shoulds, expectations and of lifelong habits that led to your burnout.
Ready to Dig Out of Burnout? My Rise Stronger in 2021 7-Day Challenge walks you through my 6 science-based strategies that absolutely work to lift you up out of the Land of Bitter and Sour and into your own light to shine. Register here.