I’ve spoken about managing burnout before in a previous post. But something I want to explore today is the notion of self-care being a reward for working hard, rather than a necessity for working productively.
How do you know when you are in need of a break? Do you only let yourself take a break when you feel like you deserve one? Perhaps you wait to take a break until you are worn down and have worked “hard enough” to warrant taking some time off.
So many health professionals (despite being totally awesome at helping their clients manage pacing, fatigue, and self-care) fail to apply these same principles to their lives and business.
So what suffers as a result? Your health and your bottom line.
We are living out the same cycle of boom and bust that we actively discourage our clients from engaging in.
Would we tell our clients that they should only rest when they’re on the brink of fatigue? That “rest” is just plonking ourselves in front of the TV after a huge day or week, sitting there mindlessly, not having the energy left over to meaningfully engage with the people and activities we love?
Let me repeat this again: Self-care is not a cure!!! Self-care is not an event! Self-care is health-maintenance; it is prevention. Self-care is a habit we have to work on every. single. day.
What happens when we don’t exercise our self-care muscles? We might feel fine at first, satisfied to push through and keep going, to keep serving others but not ourselves.
But, eventually, the cracks start to show.
For me, the first crack is poor sleep. Poor sleep quality means low productivity, which only feeds back into anxiety, a sense of not being able to keep up, and…. you guessed it – even poorer sleep.
Wash, rinse, repeat.
I want you think about your early signs of burnout. How does the need for self-care manifest in your life? Increased mess? Poorer eating habits? Lack of engagement with your friends, families or hobbies?
Please, share with me below in the comments. Let’s stop the status quo – we don’t need to be martyrs to do our jobs well.
Your burnout is not a badge of honour.
And if you’ve ever experienced burnout (come on, raise your hand), you KNOW that our work, our health, our sanity, suffer as a result.
Take the time to identify your signs of burnout – because next week’s post will be about how to address them before you get trapped in the cycle of incapacity.
Here’s to your success,