Having burned out twice in the past, I am now acutely aware of the signs ahead of time. Actually I’m regularly grateful that it happened, because I can spot it a mile off in my clients and help them avoid it.
One day last weekend I was spent. I had been working really hard, too many long days and the weekend wasn’t bringing the renewed energy it usually does. Of course the little gremlin in my head suggested that I should give up.
I’ve met her before. She means well but is misguided. So I ignored her.
Instead I listened to my own body and mind and asked what it needed. I took a full day off on Sunday. No devices, just pottering around the house, clearing out cluttered wardrobes, in no particular rush or hurry. I even enjoyed (!) hanging 7 machine loads of clothes on the line (you know, my own family’s plus the family obviously secretly living in our attic and sending their washing down some chute I’m not aware of). I stopped to listen to the birds and hear the wind in the trees and allowed the warmth of gratitude wash over me that I have a washing line, I have a washing machine, we have clothes, we’re safe.
A good night’s sleep and my restoration was complete. I woke up refreshed on Monday, full of ideas and enthusiasm for work, and hope for what unexpected successes the day might bring.
Sometimes, it’s time to just rest. Stop. Breathe. Reset. We’re supposed to do it every day, not just at the weekend or when we finally can park our weary bones on a sun lounger beside a pool somewhere.
I know the science. I know it works. I watch my clients for signs of exhaustion and spend my working days helping them build rest into their schedule. But even I (the expert!) still slip out of the habit.
Are you as a leader in your family, workplace and community, tired now after over a year of ‘holding the fort’? Resting doesn’t mean you’re lazy. Sometimes even housework can be rest when viewed with the right mindset because it’s something different, it’s active and allows for daydreaming which is crucial for our mental health.
Is it just time for you to rest?
(I could send you some washing if that would help… 😊 )
All the best,