#30 - On Burnout, Slowing Down & Giving Yourself What You Need
Friends, I have a cold. And even though I game planned content for today that had a lot to do with MOTIVATING you the EFF UP to take ACTION on the things you want, it didn’t make sense to talk about that today when I’m so low energy and when I’m still trying to recover from my cold. So today, in the spirit of my cold and what it’s telling me about what I need in my life right now, here are 3 tips I have based on how I’ve been feeling lately on burnout, feeling the need to slow down and why it’s so important to tune in and give yourself what you need in your current season of life!
WHAT WE TALKED ABOUT IN THIS PODCAST
How sickness can take you off your game, but also be a valuable sign that you need to take a pause.
Seasons of Life and how knowing what season your in is important to give you permission to let some things go to the backburner of your life.
Giving yourself what you need and how sometimes it may not be what you want to give, especially if you’re very achievement oriented.
Self-compassion and why it’s so crucial when you’re burned out!
RESOURCES FROM THIS EPISODE
My FREE Video Series addressing the 3 Missing Pieces in making a big life change can be found here.
Hey everyone and welcome to The Growth Tribe podcast, where we’re all about growing ourselves and empowering us to create lives we f’ing love on our terms. I’m Ellyn and I’m a former biomedical researcher turned coach who fell in love with personal growth when it empowered me to transform my health, quit my Ph.D., travel the world and start my own business. But don’t get me wrong. I’m still figuring my shit out too and I’m so pumped to share what I’m learning along the way. We’ve got amazing interviews, tips, tricks, and no-bullshit action steps that we can all learn from. So, with that, welcome to this episode of “The Growth Tribe”….
[Ellyn] Hey guys and welcome back to the Growth Tribe podcast. If I sound any sort of stuff today, it’s cause I am! I have a cold. But I wanted to keep the podcast rolling and I wanted to continue to give you guys content, but it’s funny how just a change in how healthy you feel or varying circumstances can change your level of motivation.
I am game plan out my content for this podcast and my game plan today was to talk about “What are you Waiting for?” and just to really give you kick in the boot-ay to start pursuing the things that you wanted. You know? That would’ve made so much sense coming off the interview I did with James and just talking about making those big life changes. I really wanted to provide you something that would pump you up for that. And I plan to in the future. But it just didn’t seem to make sense to talk about “What are you waiting for?” when frankly I’ve been dragging my feet this week because I’ve been sick.
I think it’s important in today’s episode because of how I’m feeling right now, the weekend I’m coming off of – I just spent a weekend at PODCON in Seattle, a podcasting convention, which was AMAZING. I learned so much and I cannot wait to apply it to this podcast. But it just didn’t make sense to me to talk about “What are you waiting for?” when I’m not physically at my 100%.
I am not physically in a place where I feel like I can put pedal to the medal and really pursue the things that I’ve felt like I’ve been waiting on in my own life and motivate you to do the same. It just didn’t feel right.
So, what I really want to talk about is how to navigate burnout today. I feel like anytime I get sick, which doesn’t happen often, but anytime I do, it’s my body’s way of telling me, “Hey girl! You need to slow down. Hey girl, you need to take care of yourself.” And I’m not saying I didn’t do that this weekend. A big reason why I’m sick is because I slept on a couch in an Airbnb for 3 nights and sleep is my miracle cure. If I am feeling ill, I can usually just sleep it off and it goes away after a good night’s sleep. Because I was sleeping on a couch for 3 straight nights so that I was very easily able to get to PODCON, that knocked my health and I’m paying for it a little bit right now.
But I also think that’s part of the lesson here.
I want to give you 3 takeaways today. 3 takeaways for ultimately how to manage and navigate the burnout.
And the first takeaway is to work in seasons.
There are going to be seasons in your life where you’re really really focused on moving the needle forward in your business. There’s going to be seasons where you’re really focused on your health. There’s going to be seasons where you’re really focused on your finances. Maybe you’re saving up for a downpayment on a house. But there’s going to be seasons to everything.
This is a season for me where I’m really focusing on my business. This is a quarter for me when I’m really focusing on my business. And this is a really good example of a sacrifice I felt like I needed to make to have that focus. I had to sacrifice my health just a little bit. I had to sleep on a couch and get 3 really shitty nights of sleep so that I could glean all I could from PODCON to really take my podcast and my business to the next level.
That was a sacrifice that I decided was necessary. When I could feel the cold kicking in this weekend, I literally paused and asked myself, “should I not stay at this Airbnb?” We stayed at the Airbnb a) because my friend is from out of town, but I stayed there because it was a 15-minute walk from the convention center. Whereas if I’d been at home, and I live in the same area, it would’ve been a commute into the convention every morning.
It crossed my mind over the course of the weekend, “Do I go home tonight? Sleep in a real bed? Get some real rest? That means I’ll have to commute in the morning but is that all worth it and I ultimately decided it wasn’t. That I really wanted to be present in the convention space and really present with my friend, who was also attending the convention, and that was a sacrifice I was willing to make.
So, it’s important to work in season and have the season of your life that you’re in help dictate some of your priorities. The season that you’re in is really going to dictate a lot about your priorities and is going to influence your priorities a lot. So, you have to decide what that season is and let your priorities and your actions be in alignment with that season.
Importantly, in this context, that means somethings are going to fall to the wayside.
I’m going to a podcast episode on how I think balance is bullshit. Kacia talked about it as well in episode 25 – our first interview of the new year. She talked about how she thinks balance is bullshit. 100% agree with that girl. 100%
But I want to reiterate it again today because this is an example of a time when you can’t be balanced. You have to drop the ball somewhere in your life to ultimately make progress on what you’ve decided is the priority.
Maybe you have a family focus and maybe that family focus, for however long the season is,, means that you don’t pedal to the medal on your fitness quite as much. Allow yourself that. Allow yourself to focus on your season.
Soo, if you haven’t decided what your season is yet, take a moment to do that. So that how you prioritize your time, your actions and ultimately the thing that you focus on, you can feel a little bit better about channeling a lot of your energy into that one place.
So, I think that’s takeaway number 1. I’ve decided that this is a season of focus on my business and it was worth it to me to get a few bad night’s sleep and to have a little bit of a cold.
Now this next tip I have for you guys might seem at odds with everything I just said here, but the next tip I have for you guys is to give yourself what you need.
If you are burned out, if your health is taking a nose dive…
This cold, I know I’m fully capable of managing. But I can’t work my business quite the way I want to when I’m sick. I can’t. So, how am I giving myself what I need in this instance?
As I said already, I know that sleep is my miracle cure. I know that when I’m ill my body often just needs rest. So, I’ve given myself what I need by going to bed at like 9:30 pm the last 2-3 nights. I’ve given myself what I need by not working out hard. I’ve been focusing on hydrating, resting, and if I get a little bit of stretching or yoga in, great! But I’m currently in the middle of a lifting program that can be kind of high intensity, but I’ve made the decision to give myself what I need and not do those workouts. Give myself rest.
Sometimes giving yourself what you need is going to run contrary to that mindset that says “I need to be productive. I need to achieve. I need to check things off the list.” Where are my achievers at? Seriously – did any of you take the Enneagram?
I refer to Kacia’s episode all the time because it was so good, but KAcia talked about in episode 25 about doing the Enneagram and testing yourself with the Enneagram test to get a feel for what your personality is like and how you’re motivated.
You know how she was talking about Seena, her boyfriend, and how he’s a type 3 and he’s an achiever? I’m a type 3. Where are my type 3’s at?
*laughs* I’m an achiever. Through and through. And sometimes it’s really hard for me to not achieve, to not be productive, to not check shit off the list. And half the time, that’s my workouts. Sometimes I beat myself up if I’m not getting my workout in. If I have a workout written into my planner and I don’t cross that sucker off at the end of the day. Sometimes it’s really hard for me.
But I also recognize in those moments that sometimes I legitimately have to give myself a pep talk to recognize that this is okay. I have to in those moments say, “That workout’s not what you need right now hun. Ellyn, that workout is not what’s going to get you healthy so that you can show up the way you want in this season of life.”
For me, giving myself what I need was rest, hydration, stretching and not doing all the things. Simultaneously, giving myself what I need wasn’t going through my to-do list and checking off my weekly goals. Giving myself what I need meant chilling, drinking some tea, reading a book, watching a book. The most productive thing I’ve done in the last 48-72 hours since I got home from PODCON and since this cold has really kicked in, has been going through my notes from PODCON and made a little bit of an action list. Something that was super easy and kind of mindless.
I gave myself what I needed in that sense. So are you giving yourself what you need? Once you’ve decided what season of life you’re in, ask yourself what you need to show up best in that season of life.
And you know, I’m a big believer that one of the things we need to show up at our best in our season of life is our health.
So, if you are not taking care of your health, maybe that’s giving yourself what you need. And again, I’m not necessarily talking about hitting the gym and doing some crazy, intense workout. That might be what you need. You know, if you’re struggling with your energy levels, exercise might be exactly what you need. But if you’re like me and you have a cold and you’re sick, maybe what you need is rest, hydration, tea, some relaxation. Maybe giving yourself what you need is a little time away from the computer and the to-do list. Maybe giving yourself what you need is some alone time, to recharge and rejuvenate.
Girl, Go get a MASSAGE! *laughs*
Maybe that’s what you need! But give yourself what you need.
So, if you can’t think of what you need right now, please reach out. I would love to help you figure out where you can find some space in your life to figure out what you need. Maybe it ‘s just an hour to journal.
I’ve been really bad at this of late, but I shoot to give myself a month full-day that’s a ME day. Where I’m not checking into social media. Where I’m not thinking about how to game plan content. Where I’m not necessarily even engaging with people. I go into massive introvert mode and just give myself a ME day.
Aw I was so good at this in grad school! I would block out a day and I would go get a massage, I’d bust out my camera and I’d just go walk around a park to take pictures. I’d read. I’d journal. It was just an epic introvert recharge day.
And I understand that some of you out there might be moms or have a significant other. You need to ask in those moments for what you need from those people. Ask your family. Ask your significant other. Not even ask, tell.
“I need this time for myself. I need this space for myself to give myself what I need.”
This is super important. Just make some space in your life for you and for what you need.
The last piece of it all if you’re struggling with burnout, if you’re struggling with overwhelm. If you’re struggling with that, give yourself some compassion. Maybe that’s what you need!
Talk about giving yourself what you need! Maybe what you need is a little self-compassion, my friend!
Again, if you’re an achiever like me, you’re that person that wants to be productive, wants to be at their best 100% of the time, who wants to be producing and doing all the things, all the time for all the people…a) you’re my person and we understand each other. But b) can we just take a moment to appreciate the fact that we’re not all magical unicorns here? That we don’t all have some bottomless energy to pull from?
We only have so much energy in the world friends. We only have so much bandwidth. There’s only so much we can handle in the world at any given time. We’re not superhuman.
So have some compassion with yourself when you have to drop the ball somewhere. When you have to take a moment, take a beat to give yourself some downtime. Some space. When you maybe don’t want to hang out with your significant other or your family for the night. We can be so thankful and so grateful for the relationships and the things that we have and also just need some space from them. That’s allowed. Give yourself some compassion if you feel that way. It’s completely human and it’s completely okay.
Don’t feel like you’re any less of a good mother, or a good husband or a good friend or a good daughter or whatever. Don’t’ feel like you’re any less of that if you need to take a beat and take some space from those people in your life. Have some freaking compassion.
If your best friend, parent, daughter, spouse, significant other came up to you and said, “You know, I’m burned out, I’m frazzled, I’m overwhelmed….and I just need some space for myself?” Would you give it to them? You probably would, right?
If it’s someone you love and someone you care about, you would give them what they need. I feel like this is point #2 and point #3 wrapped together.
Give yourself what you need. Give yourself some compassion.
In the grand scheme of things, I really feel like when I’m burning myself out, these are the missing pieces.
I need to figure out my season.
I need to give myself some compassion for the fact that I’m going to drop the ball on some other things when I’m in that season.
And then, I ultimately take a step back and give myself what I need.
It’s odd that this conversation was spurred by the fact that I’m sick. Or maybe it’s not. Maybe this is me trying to tell me something about giving myself what I need. Or maybe this is me just trying to give myself some compassion and acknowledge some of the things I’ve done right over the past couple of days! I don’t really know!
But it’s a far cry from what I planned on talking about today. You know, “what are you waiting for?” and that motivational kick in the butt. But sometimes I feel like you know, we’re at the end of January. And sometimes we all look back on the end of the first month and kick ourselves for not doing more, but that’s not the headspace we should be in. The headspace we should be in is that compassionate headspace. The headspace we should be in is that headspace that says, “Okay, this is what I’ve done. Maybe it’s not where I want to be, but what can I give myself right now to get myself right now to get myself where I want to be?” And maybe what you can give yourself is a little downtime, a little space, a little time to recharge.
All I know is, when I’m overwhelmed, when I’m burned out, my body sends me and my head sends me some pretty damn obvious signals to make it better, to make a change, to get that energy and that zest and that passion and whatever I’m missing. To get that back, my body sends some pretty damn obvious signals. My head. MY heart send me some pretty damn obvious signals. And I feel like I’m getting pretty woo-woo today, but just roll with it my friends because sometimes this is exactly what we need to hear.
And I want that for you. I want you to acknowledge that you might be a little burned out right now and you might need to take a pause and take a breath. Acknowledge what season you’re in. Acknowledge that some of the things you’re juggling, you’re probably going to drop the ball. Acknowledge that. Have compassion for that. And give yourself what you need to recover and get back on track.
I hope this was helpful to you. I hope it served you. And I hope at the VERY least, it resonated with you on some level.
All my achievers out there, all my type 3 Enneagram peeps out there, I’m sure some of this resonated with you. You’re who I’m talking to. You’re who I want to help and who I want to serve. And I just felt like maybe this was the message I needed to hear today and I hope that for some of you it was the message that you needed to hear.
So with that, friends, I hope you have a great rest of your week! I hope you think about these things as we head into the next week.
And if you haven’t plugged yourself into my GROWTH series yet, please head on over there. I want to know what you guys think. I want to know if it’s serving you in the way that I hope it’s serving you. We talk about how you can really dig into your why, how you can identify your values, and ultimately how you can take transformational action toward achieving that big, better life that you freaking love.
Thank you, friends, so much for listening! And I will talk to you all next week!
Thank you so much for listening! If you loved this episode, please share it with your friends so that they can join the tribe as well! Or, better yet, share it on Instagram stories so that I can shout you out and send you a huge thank you! Your support means the world to me, and, of course, I want to thank you for being a part of the Growth Tribe.