Have you ever found yourself tired, exhausted, and unmotivated to do anything, and yet you continued to grind it out because that’s what you believed you should be doing?

Have you ever commended yourself on your mental toughness to push on through those rough days? For your ability to stay focused and stick with it, when many others would have given up?

Have feelings of guilt led you to believe if you didn’t do ALL THE THINGS you weren’t working hard enough? Even though you knew you were putting your health in jeopardy?

If so, you’re not alone.

I’m fresh off a week with very minimal work and a lot of sleep, and I can say I’m starting to feel like the driven, passionate human being I know I am again.

9 months of intense work with just two little breaks (I’m talking frequent 70 hour work weeks here) combined with a pretty rigid training schedule and insufficient fuelling strategies led me to the dreaded burnout.

rest

A typical month of work and training

Two bouts of a cold in less than one month. A sprained ankle. No desire or motivation to get back to work after a relaxing week off. And dare I say…thoughts that maybe it would just be easier to toss it all aside and go back to being a full-time employee at the hotel.

 

*gasp*

I’m not going to talk to you about the negative aspects of stress. I’ve already done that here, here, and here.

And I’m not going to talk to you about the importance of rest. You can read all about that here. (Apparently this isn’t the first time I’ve done this to myself 😉 )

What I am going to tell you is I ignored the fact that my training sessions were starting to feel more difficult. I told myself needing mid-day naps was just a part of the daily grind.

I put my blinders on and pretended not to know ANY of the things I’ve studied about nutrition the past two years and ate with the goal of reaching a particular racing weight. And when those daily cravings for salt, sugar, and fat kicked in, I told myself it was okay to cave because I’d been exercising so much willpower on everything else.

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“Treat yo’self”

Basically, if I was one of my own clients, I’d be really pissed off at myself.

When I came home from a relaxing week in Hawaii feeling completely unmotivated to do ANYTHING, I knew we had a problem.

I flew home with a cold and ended up missing the first few training sessions I had planned. Then I sprained my ankle and missed the rest of my training for the week.

rest

It took some coaxing, but I ended up taking the following week off from working on my business. No marketing. No daily to-do lists. No blogging.

Just working with my clients, focusing on getting motivated to train again, and resting. Lots and lots of resting.

I’ve come out of that week with a new perspective.

To say I didn’t know how important self-care was before all this happened is a lie. I can’t pretend I didn’t know I was doing myself any harm. I work hard to help other women realize they are their best assets, and they can’t take care of others and excel in their lives if they don’t take care of themselves.

And yet I didn’t pay attention to any of that.

I don’t think I believed I was immune to the effects of burnout. I think I just chose to ignore it, because grinding it out just seemed easier than learning how to incorporate balance into my life.

So now comes the tough part – learning how to balance running a business, working a part-time job, indulging in my love for fitness, and taking care of myself.

I don’t have it all figured out yet – I have a feeling it’s going to be a bit of a long process that involves some trial and error. But here are a few places I plan to start:

  • Learn to ask for help. Contrary to popular belief my beliefs, I can’t, and shouldn’t have to, do it all. There are people who are better qualified than I am to do certain business tasks. There are people in my life who are willing to help me out, and I need to accept that help!
  • Learn when to say no. As great as an opportunity may seem, I don’t have to pick it up. I don’t have to attend every networking event that pops up in my calendar. I don’t have to run every race a friend suggests. I don’t have to have coffee meetings with every network marketer that wants me to join their team, just because I feel bad saying no.
  • Learn to prioritize. I’m pretty good at prioritizing my daily to-dos, but this extends beyond that. I need to prioritize what actually makes it onto my to-do list. There are lots of ways that will get me to where I want to be in my life, but I don’t have to do all of them.
  • Schedule “me-time” into my calendar, just like I do with any other appointment. I’ve been saying for months now that I’m going to start doing a weekly float session, or a weekly massage, or a weekly manicure. But do I actually do these things? Nope.
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I’m sure there are a lot more things I could be doing to incorporate balance into my life, but I’m slowly learning that I don’t have to do all the things. 😉 Baby steps, right?

Rest yo'self before you wreck yo'self #health #wellbeing Click To Tweet

Have you ever found yourself in a situation where you’ve been totally burned out? Any awesome tactics for finding balance in your own life you want to share? I’d love to hear them! 

Showing 10 comments
  • Nikki
    Reply

    I remember when my shop went nuts and I had so many orders. I had to go on vacation, haha.
    Nikki recently posted…Recipe / Smoothies!My Profile

    • Ariana
      Reply

      Haha, yes it can definitely be overwhelming! Good for you for taking some time for yourself though 🙂

  • Reply

    It’s ironic that I’m reading your post when I should be in bed – trying to balance my business, working out, a 3 month old, and a part time job…this lady needs some sleep! Your post is inspiring me to put down my laptop and get some much needed rest 🙂
    Chrissy @ Snacking in Sneakers recently posted…How many calories does a pound of muscle burn? (Hint – it’s probably less than you think!)My Profile

    • Ariana
      Reply

      Sleep is one of those things that’s so important, and yet falls so low on our priority list, hey? At least it does on mine 😉 I hope you managed to put your laptop away and get some shuteye!

  • Reply

    I find I completely shut down when I am over-stressed… like I just become like an obstinate child. I felt that way a few weeks ago, gave myself time off, and came back reenergized!
    Cassie @ Almost Getting it Together recently posted…Now Trending – Best Links Week of 6.8My Profile

    • Ariana
      Reply

      Good for you for recognizing those signs and taking some downtime! Glad to hear you’re back to being your energized self!

      “An obstinate child”…haha I love it!

  • Farrah
    Reply

    I have most definitely decided not to listen to myself before too, and…sigh. Results definitely did not work out in my favor. I like all the things you said you were going to try to work on! They’re definitely super helpful tips!

    • Ariana
      Reply

      I’m glad you found them useful! 🙂

      I think of all people you and I should be recognizing and LISTENING to these warning signs given our choice in professions. Maybe we should hold one another accountable for taking care of ourselves!

  • Annmarie
    Reply

    You KNOW I can relate. Funny that we both posted similar things at similar times. Learning to say no and to ask for help is so important yet so hard to do for drive (stubborn) people like us 😉 Maybe some day we will learn!
    Annmarie recently posted…Wild Workout Wednesday: 5 Ways to Stay Active at Your DeskMy Profile

    • Ariana
      Reply

      Haha yes, it seems to be that time of year! Lots going on with family and friends, race season is ramping up…sounds about right! We will get this for sure, it might just take some time 😉

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