4 Ways to Avoid Burnout and Breathe in Life again!Feb 08, 2021
Imagine you’re on an airplane. A storm hits and you encounter turbulence. The oxygen masks drop down. You start putting on your mask and then glance over at your sweet children and change your mind… you’ll put theirs on first. After all, you’re their mother, right?
You have four kids, you put their masks on, one by one. By the time you place the last child’s mask on, your head feels light and you realize you’ve made a grave mistake. You don’t have enough oxygen!
You slowly fade out of consciousness.
Intellectually, we all know the rule about putting on our masks first. They tell us every time we fly. They most likely have to remind us because people don’t do this naturally.
Maybe you’ve thought about how this relates to your everyday life as a parent. Perhaps you’ve heard this analogy over and over again. Therapists, wise mentors, friends (coaches!) use it often. Why?
Because we don’t. Even when we KNOW it’s important to take care of ourselves- filling yourself first, so you can care for others- we find ourselves reaching for others’ masks when turbulence hits.
Believe me. I see it every day.
Week after week, clients come to me with burn-out. Burn-out in parenting, in relationships, in business… you name it. They give and give to others all day, yet slowly fade out of consciousness of who they are. They lose what they think of as “their identity”. This type of loss can take our breath away.
But do you know what? The truth is, it’s not really lost at all. It’s still there, underneath it all… YOU are still there!
You can remember who you are. And breath again.
When new clients come to me, I often give them a few steps to start off with — to start managing their minds and taking better care of themselves. To put on their masks!
1- Take some time to get to know YOU. What do you like? What do you dislike? How have you changed? What hasn’t actually changed at all? Who are you deep down? Spend some time thinking and journaling your answers. What are your hobbies, interests, and opinions? Journal for as long as you can… spend time with yourself, start getting to know who YOU are.
2- Take time for JOY again. Part of getting reacquainted with yourself is remembering what brings you joy. What truly makes you happy? What do you love doing? or what did you love doing as a child? Sometimes it’s hard to remember what we like doing, so just start trying new things!
Yoga, watercolor classes, gardening, baking, martial arts, running …whatever! Find something, anything, that sparks YOUR joy! Once you reconnect with or discover them, commit to implementing time weekly to engage in them. Remember this isn’t extra - this is oxygen!
3- Take time for self-care. I don’t mean eating Nutella with a spoon while binge-watching Grey's Anatomy. Taking time to CARE for yourself… body, mind, spirit. Learn. Exercise. Eat healthily. Get lots of sleep. Spend time with your community. Meditate. Journal. (Things we would encourage our children to do if they are seeming “off”).
While doing so, really cherish the experience. How are you feeling? What are you thinking? Lean into the feeling of rejuvenation. Feel refreshed! Experience the sensation of soaking in what it was you were needing (for extra help with this download my free mini-course here).
4- Manage your mind. This is my favourite form of self-care. I get coached regularly. I self-coach daily. I write out all of my thoughts on paper… not judging, just noticing. How do these thoughts feel? What stories am I telling myself? Are they true? Are they serving me? Do this every day.
I promise. It works. These simple daily habits can be your oxygen mask. You can actually give and parent from a place of fullness. Your well doesn’t have to run dry, it can be flowing over into the lives and hearts of those you love.
Trust me- these little daily habits will accumulate. They don’t have to be large amounts, even little teaspoons.
Get to know you. Love yourself. Feel the joy and love well up within you, so you can pour it out on others!
Fill your cup! Put on your mask! Breath in the joy that is you. The you that is still there. Still breathing. Ready to drink it in!
As always, us before them <3
I can help you become the mother you want to be. I have built By Design for moms like YOU. It is an environment of understanding and growth that provides access to regular coaching that will help you achieve your parenting success.