Avoid Being Burned by Burnout

Today’s topic is one that I think a lot of us can probably relate to on some level either professionally or personally:

How to Avoid Being Burned by Burnout:

Have you ever let yourself get burned by burnout? I know I have! I’m a working mama, a wifey, a bestie, yoga addict, a blogger, the list goes on!

We live in a busy world that is getting busier. Our friends, family members, and coworkers are now able to reach out to us immediately through our smart phones or social media.

There are so many studies about our brains and how they react to the notifications on our smartphones. We do not even realize how deeply we have become conditioned to seek out the brain boost we get from a chemical called dopamine. Dopamine is a chemical that is produced by the brain. This chemical makes us feel good so we respond right away to the message in order to get another quick fix. The notifications we choose to respond to may or may not actually be urgent but we treat them as such because our brains wants another dopamine boost…BAD!

We are all a part of a society that sees exhaustion as a status symbol. Being busy may just feel like it’s the norm; especially if you have young children. It is no wonder that burnout is becoming such a huge problem!

So what exactly is burnout and what types of things can cause it?

Burnout is a state of extreme physical or mental fatigue. When suffering from burnout, one may feel a sense of physical, emotional, and mental exhaustion.

Burnout is caused by prolonged periods of excessive stress. Burnout occurs when we feel overwhelmed or emotionally drained and are unable to meet our daily demands. When one is burnt out, we feel like we are  have nothing left to offer which can ultimately lead to lack of motivation and can even spiral into symptoms of depression.

Some symptoms of burnout can include:

  • Feeling critical or cynical about your work or home life.
  • Trouble sleeping or waking during the night and having a hard time falling back asleep.
  • Physical symptoms including headaches, stomach or bowel issues, aches and pains, stiffness in joints or muscles.
  • Difficulty concentrating for extended periods of time.
  • Becoming irritable with the people you interact with on a daily basis: family members, co-workers, or customers.
  • Lack of energy. Inconsistent bursts of productivity.
What are some things that can cause burnout
  • Lack of control or perceived lack of control:Feeling as though you are unable to influence important things about your work or home life including schedule, routine, assignments, tasks, family obligations or responsibilities.  Having a lack of support or resources required to carry out these tasks. Even perception of a lack of control can be quite stressful.
  • Unclear expectations: Unsure about what is expected of you in regards to responsibilities and authority. Lacking support to carry out things you are required to do.
  • Work-life imbalance: Not making the time to interact with coworkers, family members, or friends socially because of fatigue or stress from day to day obligations and responsibilities.
  • Extremes of activity: Working in a fast paced environment can become overwhelming because you are constantly putting out energy.

Consequences of Burnout:

If the symptoms of burnout are not addressed, the consequences could be significant to our physical and mental health:
-Fatigue
-Sadness, symptoms of depression
-Excessive periods of stress
-Isolation from social activities, friends and family members.
-a suppressed immune system and serious risk of disease such as high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes.

What to do if you or someone you know is suffering from symptoms of burnout:

  • If it’s work related, speak to your manager about your concerns. Maybe you can work together to reach a compromise or create a few options for solutions.Have the hard conversations with your friends or family about how your situation is making you feel and let them know what they can do to help support you. 
  • Seek out support. Your community could have free services available that can help you! If you’re local, check out this link: https://www.lcss.ca I found my life coach at Langley Community Services Society and took a parenting course and couples communication course here as well.
  • Try some relaxing activities such as yoga, reading, or meditation.
  • Listen to some audiobooks! I am currently listening to “Take Control” by Mel Robbins and “The Subtle Art of Not Giving an F” by Mark Manson.
  • Exercise and physical activity will help with these symptoms and may even allow for you to meet others in your community with like minded goals.

So above all, it is SO IMPORTANT to take time to give yourself a break from whatever is taking your attention or intention. It is important to make time to recharge ourselves as often as we charge our phones. Do the things that give you energy whatever that looks like. For me, it’s a night just like this on my patio with my fave blanket sharing these thoughts with you.

Thank you for stopping by my blog! I really appreciate your support. If you know someone who may benefit from this read, I’d be honoured if you would share it with them.
Wishing you a quiet mind and a still heart.

 

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When Motherhood Kicks Your Ass…

I remember this day. Motherhood kicked my ass that entire morning.

I must have overdid it on my work out the night before because I woke up with a huge knot in my back on the left side. This was not the greatest start when as my then 4 year old still liked to be carried everywhere (and to be honest, still does!)

I remember I woke up in a lot of pain and hoped that letting my babe watch some tv and catching some extra zzz’s would help me have a bit more patience throughout the rest of the day. I was so disappointed when it didn’t.

I had a play date set up for 3pm and wanted to avoid a 5 pm nap on the ride home and a long night. I fixed dinner at 12:00 noon in my crock pot and waited quietly in the kitchen praying for my babe to nap..the nap never happened.

We started gathering ingredients to bake a cake when I realized we were out of baking soda.

I was so overwhelmed that I went and sat in my closet and closed the door hoping if she didn’t see me cry she wouldn’t know.

Suddenly, I felt her tiny arms around me and heard her little voice in my ear “it’s ok mommy, let’s go for a walk and get baking soda. I really want to bake that cake for you.”

Just like that, I summoned the strength to get up, throw on my leggings and coat and off we went. We had a wonderful walk together laughing, singing, and looking for birds and squirrels.

I stopped at a crosswalk. I gave her a hug and said “thank you” for pulling me out of my funk. I told her that we’re a team and promised I’ll always find a way to cheer her up when she needs it too.

She did finally take her nap…in the wagon…just in time for the biggest hill ever and our 3pm play date.

Gotta love it right? I think God has a sense of humour and my lesson from this mess was that I need to just stop putting so much pressure on myself.

I’m sure a lot of us can relate and have had a day much like this.

Take a sigh of relief babe, because you aren’t not alone.

Lifing, wifing, and mothering takes such a toll and can really skew your perspective.

You don’t have to be so hard on yourself.

Your babe is alive, there’s food in the fridge, and you’ve got clothes on your back, you’re doing a great job and so am I!

Looking back and reflecting, I realize that all that really matters is that I’ve got myself an amazing little lady in my life. Her empathetic response to me in my time of need shows me that, although I feel like I’m failing at this momma stuff a lot of the time, I must be doing something right.

Thank you for taking the time to stop by my blog!  If you know someone who could relate to this post, I would be honoured if you would share it with them.

Wishing you peace, love, light and tranquility!

Why I Gained 15 Pounds On Purpose:

This is a different kind of transformation post.

I struggled with self esteem and self worth for much of the first half of my life. I went to a tiny Christian School a 20 minute drive from my from home where everyone had already picked a best friend long before I ever came along.

Needless to say, I did NOT fit in! I was loud and feisty! I looked different from everyone with my dark hair and dark eyes. I loved Halloween and Harry Potter didn’t go to church. Everyone was shocked when I did a book report about Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson’s Autobiography. I was one of the few girls who wore makeup at 13 to cover my awful skin. Boys were so cruel I gave up on the idea of being loved by one early on in life. I spent the first half of my life feeling pretty lonely.

There was was very little about the long 7 years I spent at that awful school that I felt I could control. I was trapped in a school where I knew I’d never belong and 7 years is eternity before you turn 25.

I figured out pretty early on in life that I could control what I ate so I did for a long time. I’d skip meals often and look at all of the women in magazines hoping one day I’d be as happy. I was never good at making myself throw up otherwise that likely would have been a big part of my high school years.

Fast forward 15 years, I had a 13 month old I was still breast feeding round the clock and came down with a bad bug. I spent the better half of two weeks in the bathroom while my momma in law played with my babe and made me some soup (she’s a saint!). I got down to a shocking 94 pounds.

The funny part? At 94 pounds, my “problem” areas did not look any better. I’ve shared this story with all of my closest friends because that was the moment I realized that the scale really meant absolutely nothing. If you want to look healthy and strong, losing weight is a small part of how you get there.

There is a 15 pound difference between these photos and 3 years. I finally put a battery in my scale last fall weeks after using it as a door stop for 6 months. I was stunned for a minute when I saw that number and then, proud.

My clothes all fit and I LOVE having curves and feeling more like a woman. Not that I really care what anyone thinks but it’s nice to not be told to “eat a burger” ever anymore.

The scale is a thief of joy and it LIES! My advice is to stop weighing yourself. SERIOUSLY! I take progress pics because photos don’t lie.

Healthy living is a journey. You will have days where you just need to go to bed early or days where you can’t help but have extra cake. Do it! No regrets! I love my body so much and am so grateful for what it has done. My body has grown a baby and it’s not perfect but it is mine and I love it! I’m not as strong as I was in the photos on the left. I can’t plank for 10 minutes anymore. I don’t have abs of steel and my jeans take longer to put on but I am so happy and feel amazing.

Love your body babes at every stage. I’m proud of my body! I’m so strong! I can make it up a massive hill with barely breaking a sweat! I can carry my 40 pound kid, her backpack, and mine out of a place when she needs a minute without having someone hold a door for me. I’ve never been more proud of myself.

Throughout my self love journey, I have learned to understand that beauty is something so personal and no one will ever be able to love you as much as you can love yourself.

I am so proud of my progress and am so grateful to have learned these lessons in the first half of my life. I still *hopefully* have many years ahead of me to be good to my body and to love it for all of the things it allows me to do and for this beautiful life I’ve created.

Thank you SO SO MUCH for stopping by my blog and for your support! If you know someone who could relate to my story or benefit from loving themselves a bit more, I’d be honoured if you would share this with them!

Wishing you a whole lot of peace, love, tranquility, and blessings for you and your family!

Living with Mom Guilt, PTSD, and Anxiety

“Good morning Mama!”…Is it really? How could it be morning again already? I just shut my eyes for a minute…My face hurts…

“Good morning baby” I shiver. Why am I cold? It’s July…Suddenly I realize that the sweat is all over me. Another nightmare. Will I have to wash the sheets again? I wonder. I move around a little. “yeap…gross.” 

My mind reaches out desperately to hang on to a brief snapshot of my nightmare, to attempt to create a memory of what this nightmare was about so I can go over the possible message later, but it slips away as the shock sets in when I look on my left wrist and see the digits “5:30” flashing at me.

“Mama my tummy hurts!”

“You probably need to put something in it babe, it’s empty. Can I bring you something? It’s early babe we have to go back to sleep.”

“No!!! I want to go see!!!”…of course you do…

My face hurts so much. I shut my eyes for what feels like a second. “MAMA LET’S GO!!” and just like that, I roll over and somehow pull my zombie-mombie body up into a seated position.

I head downstairs with her on my back. I pour some Cinnamon Toast Crunch into a bowl. My babe is sitting in her red stool with her elbows on our island in the kitchen watching me. I bring out her almond milk as I start to tell her that we’ve gotten up too early and need to go back to sleep for a few hours. As soon as I finish pouring, she looks up at me with her beautiful brown eyes.

“I didn’t want milk in it, Mama.” Awesome. Looks like I’m having Cinnamon Toast Crunch for breakfast too! I pour her cereal into another bowl.

The rest of the morning is usually uneventful. She doesn’t typically go back to sleep (what a miracle that would be!) but will usually watch a show in her own room until I’m ready to get up. She used to wake me every 15 minutes with questions but these types of mornings thankfully don’t happen as much anymore.

She’s gotten much better at taking initiative with putting on her shoes and getting herself into her car seat. Sometimes she’ll even buckle the chest clip for me. I always double check it just to make sure she’s got it right and she smiles up at me proudly.

“Thank you so much for being so independent this morning! I only had to ask you to put your shoes on one time. I really appreciate that.”

“You’re welcome mama.”

I’m getting better at remembering to tell her how much I appreciate her. These things may seem little to us as adults but I know how important it is to reward small wins. I realize how important the way we talk to our children is.

As soon as I’m in my driver seat, the negative mindset sets in.

Driving is a big trigger for me, or I should say, other drivers are the real trigger. I don’t have “road rage” but not knowing what the other cars around me are going to do makes me uneasy to say the least. I hold a lot of tension in my body and grind my teeth when I’m in a car even when I’m not driving. Thankfully her day camp is a short 5 minute drive with minimal stop lights.

“I don’t want to go to day camp today Mama! I want to stay with you!”

“I know you do babe but you’ll have way more fun at camp than you will doing what I’m doing. Stay little as long as you can because being an adult is a lot of work.”

Hello mom guilt, my old friend. I do my best to switch my thoughts by reminding myself how important it is to look after me and that time away from me is not a bad thing with “back to school” season only weeks away. Did you know you can choose your thoughts? More on that in another blog post but I only learned this in January. Yes, thoughts are a choice, and you can choose them but it’s hard and it takes practice.

My babe suffered from separation anxiety from me basically from a year old when I went back to work part time until last September when school started. Working and being a mom is legitimately the most difficult thing I’ve ever done. No matter what I am doing throughout the day, my mind always seems to find a way to let the guilt creep in. I have spent way too much time wallowing in the feelings that I am unworthy of my blessings and that I’m letting someone down. It’s really hard to manage these emotions but I’m getting better at it with time.

I drop my babe off at camp and I start my day feeling like I’m already behind.

Living with anxiety and PTSD is hard but I have found some things that are making it easier for me.

Some days I get frustrated with my “negative” emotions when they bubble up more than usual but I remind myself that this “changing my life” stuff takes time and practice.

Here are some things I’m currently working on. If you have any suggestions or feedback for me, I’d love to hear it!

  1. Find Your Triggers: Knowing what my triggers are helps me feel a bit more in control when my emotions bubble up because I’m fully ready and expecting them to. This technique is one I am currently working on. Finding your triggers isn’t easy because the process happens so fast! We go from thinking, to feeling, to a “negative behaviour” in seconds! I’m currently working with my counsellor on something called “Cognitive Behavioural Therapy” and it’s a helpful way to slow down this process.” More on this in another blog post!
  2. Meditate, meditate, meditate!: There are so many apps that can help you with guided meditations. I’m not a fabulous meditator by any means as my mind has a really hard time shutting up but it is definitely getting better with practice! I definitely find that slowing down helps me keep my anxiety in check and mediation helps me to slow down. Sleep meditations have been a Godsend for my family and I. More about this in another blog post.
  3. Activity: The days that I’m more active I tend to have a much easier time maintaining a positive outlook on life. Just 30 minutes of activity is a huge motivation boost for me! Here are some of my favourite at home work outs!: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3320EhbImLY     https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wS5NZXdYAg8 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZaVXgohrSZE
  4. Date nights: My husband and I take solo trips every few months and leave our babe with Grandma for the weekend. We also make the effort at least once a month to get a sitter and go out, just the two of us. It’s so nice to be able to connect, swear, and tell adult jokes without sensitive ears nearby and to be able to have a conversation without any other distractions from our day to day responsibilities.
  5. “Me” Days: I regularly schedule a few hours of “me” time to do things on my own such as visit my physiotherapist, get a massage, paint my nails, or have coffee with girl friends.
  6. Find creative things you love!: I love to paint and I love to practice yoga. I recently have been reading about spirituality and pulling tarot cards. Find things you love to do and do them regularly.
  7. Gratitude Journal: I mentioned our gratitude journal in my last post. This is something that I am now incorporating into our mornings instead of a the end of the day. I’m finding it really helps start off the day in a more positive mind set as mornings are not typically easy for me.
  8. Research: I find the human brain fascinating because it’s so empowering when you understand human beings and why we do, say, and think all of the crazy things! The only way to learn to manage these conditions is to give it time, understand it, and practice. I’m learning lots from modules on this site: https://www.cci.health.wa.gov.au

Thank you so much for stopping by my blog today and for taking a peek into a snapshot of my day to day life.

Life is so beautiful and so full of abundance and I am determined to find a way to manage it without allowing my mental illness to deplete me. I hope you found some part of this post relatable.

If you know anyone who could relate or benefit from this post, I’d love if you’d share it!

Wishing you love, peace, light, and tranquility and love and blessings to you and your family!

How is Fear Controlling Your Life and How to Use Fear to Cultivate Joy

Wow..I let the fear keep me from starting this blog for almost 3 years?!

It’s incredible how so many of us allow our fears to dictate our decisions without us even knowing it!

I’m not exactly sure what I was scared of. Success? Like really, what’s so scary about writing a blog? Like what would happen if you actually found my blog helpful and shared it with your friends? Maybe it would somehow help me to feel like my suffering wasn’t in vain and would help fuel my “purpose”? Doesn’t sound too bad right? I didn’t think so either when I finally sat down and thought about why the heck I had put this off for so long.

SO, here it is! Welcome to my blog!

I have been on this journey to become the best version of me for the past 3 years. I’ve had some ups and downs along the way and some crazy curves thrown at me by life…but I’m still here, and so are you and in my short 33 years on this earth, I’ve seen too many things to believe in co-incidences and have come to believe that we are here together for a reason. Human beings were meant to share experiences and do life together.

I call myself the “Motivated Mama” which in a way is kind of a given. Like what mom is not motivated? I don’t think it’s an option. When you’re life-ing and wife-ing, motivation is not really a choice because if I stay in bed all day long like I reaaaaally want to some mornings…no one else is going to do all of the mom and wife things. SO, if I embrace the motivation, it makes me feel like I have some sort of control over it all and if I THINK I have it all together then I have it all together right? That’s the same isn’t it? WRONG!

I let fear control most of my life for most of it and I didn’t even know it!

I joined Audible recently and downloaded Mel Robbin’s “Take Control of Your Life” with my first ever credit. This audiobook was PACKED with takeaways.

After listening to this 10 hour audio book twice, I’ve learned that I was letting fear control my life and that my fear triggers me to RUN!

When I am triggered by fear or the possibility of getting hurt, I run as far and as fast as I can from the things or people that could potentially hurt me.

For most of my life, this reaction to fear has worked pretty well for me. I’ve lost some “good” friends along the way but I just brushed it off as ridding myself of the “toxic” people in my life and just moved forward not giving the loss too much thought.

There is a saying that the ones closest to us tend to cause us the most hurt and I’ve decided that I am done walking away from people I love and that I cannot run anymore.

So here I was, standing at the bottom of the mountain, looking up at all of the emotions and pain of the past feeling so very afraid to start the climb.

I am determined to live a life full of joy even if I’m not perfect and the people I love are not perfect. I’m finished with the illusion of perfectionism. I want to ENJOY my life, the good and the bad because it’s MY life! I created this life one brick at a time I love it even if it is a lot to manage day to day.

It’s not easy cultivating joy and inviting it into your life because it requires practice. Sometimes, you can do all of the things (including but not limited to: yoga, meditate, smelly oils, long baths, paint paintings, hug a dog..whatever) and still feel stuck because it takes PRACTICE! This changing your life stuff isn’t an overnight fix so don’t get discouraged and KEEP GOING! You’re on the right track and I am too.

Something in me always wants to have all of the circumstances right before I reward myself by allowing myself to feel joy. I’ve been working at this for a while and although it’s not easy, it’s definitely getting better.

Here are some ways that I invite joy into my life daily:

-I practice EFT Tapping or “Emotional Freedom Tapping.” With this practice, you tap on specific pressure points in your body to release pain, stress, and negative feelings and emotions. Here is a tapping video I use regularly:

 

-My daughter and I have a gratitude journal that we write in every night. We take turns thinking of three things we are grateful for and why. It’s a lovely way to end off our day and really help us focus on the things in life that we are blessed with.

-I love finding guided meditations on Youtube. Here is a video I typically watch before I start work or embark on something that I know will be stressful.

-When I have overwhelming thoughts or feelings that I cannot regulate, I do a “brain dump” and write down every thought in my head. Once I have everything out on paper, I often feel physically lighter. I sometimes will leave this for a few days and come back to it by writing out each concern with a possible solution. This practice gives me hope that everything in my life is “figure-outable”

Now my favourite part! The hard questions. What are some ways you are letting fear hold you back? Are you cultivating fear instead of joy? Are you letting fear control your life?

Think about it, write it down, and then as Mel Robbins says, count back from 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 and then DO IT ANYWAY! Life is short and is meant to be lived and I for one don’t want to look back at my life and wonder what may have happened if I had just taken that chance instead of letting fear dictate what I do next.

So there it is! My first official blog post. I feel really good after sharing this with you. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for being here. I send you love, peace, and tranquility. I hope you find some of this info useful and relatable and come back soon!

Be In Love With Your Life…Every Last Minute.

I was put on this earth for so much more than this…I’ve lost track of the number of times I’ve said this to myself throughout my lifetime.

What is my purpose? Why am I here? How can I leave this world better than I found it?

I want to leave some sort of imprint on this world and maybe you do too. Maybe we can find our purpose together.

I’ll be recording my journey as I progress in my roles as a mother, wife, friend, mentor, fitness enthusiast, diligent worker, and Boss Babe.

If you can find some sort of light, inspiration, or learn from my mistakes, recording the daily struggle is worth the effort on my part.

We are all part of this world. We are in this thing called life together whether we want to embrace the connection or fight it and I hope that we can learn from each other’s experiences along this remarkable journey.

Follow me down the rabbit hole, I promise something beautiful is at the end.