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“There is no illness of the body except for the mind”Socrates
You don’t get what you wish for. You get what you work for. Wishing for a healthy body won’t get it for you. You have to work at eating healthy and moving. If you say “I never stick to diets” you won’t, intention’s been set. Mindset work is necessary.
Wishing to run a marathon won’t get it for you. It takes work putting in hours to train properly to avoid injury. The same is true about training your mind. If you think it’ll be hard, it will be. Wishing for a successful business won’t get it for you. It takes work to make it successful. Setting solid foundations lets you build one step at a time. Again it requires mindset work.
But without action that’s ALL it will be. A dream or wish for a healthy body; a marathon run; successful business is all it will be without action.
Hard work is what ultimately gets results. Women are good at it, often making heart wrenching sacrifices in the process. When the pandemic hit in 2020 many women found their businesses would likely close as a result. Women gave more time than men to unpaid care, often receiving far less public support than men in business and for many it was a struggle to juggle family responsibilities, schooling and remote working. It begs the question why, when women entrepreneurs are often the backbone of economies around the world, the silent support if you will.
Women reported stress and anxiety levels increased during the pandemic, health habits changed regarding food choices and exercise, and alcohol intake rose. I personally knew a number of women who missed doctor’s appointments for fear of being seen as “dramatic” and decided to just get on with it as best they could. We supported each other with texts and zoom calls yet I myself often felt I wasn’t doing enough for them.
Women are incredibly good at pretending to be “fine” or “ok” when they’re not. Maybe you can relate. We often suppress what we’re dealing with, cover it up, carry on, leading to all sorts of physical and mental issues. We have a tendency to help and support others even when facing challenging situations ourselves. Instead of putting our oxygen mask on first we make sure everyone else has theirs.
The Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA) says that, “from puberty to age 50, women are nearly twice as likely as men to develop an anxiety disorder.” Stress and anxiety are often the precursor to a burn out. In fact the physical signs of a burnout are similar to stress and anxiety.
I had one too many burnouts before I finally realised that I nearly didn’t survive. Fatigue? I’d work through it. Pain? I’d move through it. Self doubt? Buried myself in it. Emotional numbness? Couldn’t feel anything. Anxiety consumed me.
In 2021 I was neither “ok” nor “fine”. Burnout four was on the cards, only I didn’t see it or maybe I didn’t want to. I’d pressed my self-destruct button and nearly achieved destruction.
Didn’t I learn anything from before? Yes, I did. But my mind changed the format, each experience was different, yet the same. This time worrying about how the pandemic was affecting my loved ones and my clients just added to the weight I was piling on myself.
I also didn’t see the patterns in myself. Excessive drive and continuing to push myself harder only to neglect myself in the process causing extreme fatigue and a feeling of inner emptiness. I’ve worked with some incredible people who “hit the skids” whether health, business, monetary or relationships. I also saw them come out the other side stronger and more resilient yet I was struggling. Instead of acknowledging it, I blamed external circumstances.
“Fine” and “ok” were robotic answers, a Barbie smile permanently on my face. Fatigue I covered up with coffee and other stimulants. Self doubt was covered up with training courses. Emotional numbness became my new normal. Slowly, I shut down. Chronic pain coursed through my body. After 10 months I was on the floor contemplating ending my life.
I needed help but I didn’t want pills. I wanted to sort out my repeating patterns once and for all. I wanted to find the root cause. As a coach myself I thought I’d failed. It took another coach to show me otherwise. Six months of hard mindset work later I finally saw the story behind the story.
Here are some ways that I beat my burnout.
I moved with purpose by going on a walk in nature which is especially wonderful for your physical and mental health. I ate healthy and incorporated omega-3 to boost my mood and lower my blood pressure. My nightly routine became simple with guidelines like no caffeine before bed and the phone stays outside of the bedroom. Finally, I asked for help. Not asking for help ultimately affects your growth professionally and personally, and I didn’t want to end up there.
If you’re ready, know that it is not a sign of weakness to ask for help. It takes courage, strength, and humility to become your own superhero so that you can operate at your highest level. This means you can avoid serious consequences like burnout. But please, no capes, they get stuck in things. Don’t believe me? Watch ‘The Incredibles’ and you’ll see.
About the Author
Name: Deborah Sankey
Professional Title: Mindset and Pilates Coach
Bio: Deborah Sankey is a Mindset and Pilates Coach. An anxiety and burnout survivor, she has a unique ability to take clients from stressed and overwhelmed to calm, efficient and powerful so they operate at their highest potential.
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