#RealTalk - Been there for sure and actually feeling it right now... it’s been a really challenging last few months. In September I realized I've actually been BURNT OUT all this year. That felt right but sounded like a bit of a shock. I mean so often you hear about burn out being these life shattering stops and breakdowns, but I was still pushing on. However, I've realized burn out can also be a SLOW EROSION. Slowly loosing motivation, passion, energy, drive, joy, until it's just so hard to keep pushing through and your body starts forcing you to stop.
So over the last few months I've been pulling back - this has been one of the most challenging journeys I've been on.
It’s been this huge internal struggle knowing I need to rest and really trying to, but feeling lazy, unproductive, useless, like I’m failing and letting people down.
I felt like I was failing my mission, failing at resting well, and just failing at life.
I realised I put a lot of my worth and identity on what I do, on making a difference, so when I stripped that back, I felt lost, flat, and purposeless.
For the last 6 years I’ve hardly stopped in my pursuit to equip and empower girls and women. From working over 100 hours a week while developing Esteem Designz and working as a graphic designer to pay for all the resources in 2012. And then not taking one day off while developing ChooseREAL Campaign in 2015. I’m not proud of this crazy working, I was just so blindly passionate.
Since 2016 I’ve been trying to prioritize rest. And things really have changed. But I think the constant push really took it’s toll... This year discovering I have adrenaline fatigue and extreme iron deficiency leading to dizziness, fogginess, extreme constant exhaustion, depression and sickness.
Why does our society wear busyness like a badge of honour? It’s glorified as achievement, but it’s slowly eroding our lives.
This year I’ve had to fight against the grain, and against my natural inclination to go go go. I’ve had to pass up opportunities I really wanted, I’ve had to learn to trust again, I’ve had to fight against all the “shoulds” and unrealistic expectations (mostly my own), I’ve had to let go of time frames and others’ opinions, and doing things like everyone else.
I’ve HAD to rest.
And now I’m choosing to rest.
It isn’t easy for me, but I’m taking it one day at a time. Some days I feel good about embracing rest and know it’s purpose. And some days I stress about all the things I haven’t done, could have done, should have done. Wish my body would allow me to go, wish I could “rest better” instead of just only having energy to blob out.
But I’m learning to be kind to myself. That this journey is one of ups and downs. That rest is not an overnight fix or a lesson to learn, but a LIFESTYLE TO CULTIVATE. And that takes time.
I share this not to bring attention to myself, but to say, "me too". We all struggle some days, weeks, months, seasons. My struggles might look different to yours. But we all have them. YOU ARE NOT ALONE.
So let’s be kind to ourself whatever season we’re in. Let go of the “shoulds”, the badge of busyness, the lies we listen to of failing, of not being enough, the unrealistic expectations.
And cultivate the life we want. The life we CHOOSE. One day at a time.
Lets give ourselves grace as we figure it out. Invite people into the journey with you. You don’t have to do it alone.
And remember, no matter what’s happened, or didn’t happen, what you’re going through or been through, YOU ARE MORE THAN ENOUGH, just as you are.
Hope this encourages your journey x