My biggest challenge of 2017 was my health!
This photo was taken in July 2016 at a meet-up of friends in London. I had been on school holidays for about 3 weeks and was still completely exhausted. I was also 50 pounds overweight, drinking like a fish and feeling dreadful.
This photo was taken exactly one year later.
When school went back in August 2016 I tried very hard to keep going. Despite all the signs, I was in complete denial about burning out. 3 weeks later, I was back in bed, 3 months later I had to admit to myself I was not going back to school.
Someone asked me today what I did to recover from my burnout.
I did the obvious things like sleep (20 hours a day for a while) and when I had a tiny bit of energy followed a pacing schedule. I sorted out my diet with the help of a fabulous naturopath and started to do some very gentle 5 minute yoga practices.
There were 2 extremely challenging parts :
1. The rigour of the pacing schedule. I had to accept how little I could do in the beginning , 5 minutes activity in an hour, followed by 55 minutes rest. Any more than this caused a worsening of my symptoms. Activity is defined as ANYTHING other than lying in a darkened room with my eyes shut. It was incredibly difficult, mainly because I couldn’t see any improvements at first and thought I was never going to get out of bed.
2. Analysing all the reasons I had got into this state. I had to look at my perfectionist, Type A, high achiever, people pleasing tendencies. I had to be honest with myself and it was very, very uncomfortable. I had to admit that I had done this to myself, I knew it was happening, I had burned out before in the 90s and I knew the signs and I ignored them. I thought I could push my way out of it, but my body was having none of it. In the end , I had to forgive myself and begin treating myself with self-compassion and kindness.
It has been the most challenging year of life and I have learned so much. I have been to the abyss of everything seemingly going wrong and yet, now, sitting here, writing this, I can honestly say I wouldn’t change a thing.
I have no regrets, now. I am grateful for the experience and I want to use that to support other women who are experiencing some of the signs of burnout. If I can help even one woman avoid that abyss, the experience will not be wasted.
Do you relate to this?
Leave me a comment below and let’s connect to see how I can support you.