Every year, about this time, I begin to feel exhausted and that I need a break, but I’m aware I have too much to do. With my workload, my family and the increase of pressures such as organising Christmas for home and a business, it can begin to feel a little overwhelming.
I’m constantly guiding people about how to put in better boundaries, manage their workloads and avoid burnout, so why do I sail so close the wind? To be honest, I don’t know. Every year I think it’s going to be different, but I do seem to still be affected. However, it’s work in progress and I’m getting better.
So far this year, these are some changes I’ve made to help me manage getting close to burnout:
- This year I’ve been working on better boundaries, so that when I take a day off, it is a day off and not catching up on admin. I would often just nip onto my laptop to just do this or quickly get that sorted so it’s out of the way. Now? It gets left until my next working day or until I get time to do my admin. And for a while, that made me feel a little bit uncomfortable, but it’s now quite liberating. Every now and then I do slip up, I may answer a text or an email, but it’s not something I’m going to spend hours doing.
- With the start of the new school year and the realisation of how many more things you have to plan for when your children are in school, I felt the run down feeling slowly creeping up on me. This year I’ve decided to avoid feeling like this until Christmas, so I started a multivitamin, took Echinacea and booked some weekly therapies.
- I use my essential oils to help me stay alert and clear my nose. I never think it’s great for a therapist to be sniffing their way throughout your session, so, I’ll often raid my box and have a quick sniff of potent oils before a session. It usually reduces my sniffing, helps keep my nose clearer, and then minimises germ interaction.
- Indulgently, I’ve booked some extra days off. During the summer holidays I felt as if I hadn’t spent much time with my children, so this year I actually planned their half term week with only a day and half working. I’ve also booked in a midweek break once a month between now and Christmas, when I have clients on a Saturday and would otherwise be working six days. This backfires a little for me, as it has meant I’m working later on my days I am working, but I’ve decided it is a good compromise and means I can take quality time breaks, rather than little snatches here and there.
- Sometimes I’ll escape for lunch or coffee with a friend. It may only be for an hour, but it reminds me to be social and helps me reset the balance of a busy working week.
- I’ll also use my downtown to catch up on reading, take a long hot bath, go out with my family or just head outside for a little walk. Anything that helps me to get into the moment and remind myself that I don’t need to be focused on work 100% of the time.
While my list isn’t exhaustive, for me it’s about getting the right balance. I need to walk my talk and telling people what to do without trying to manage my own stress and health levels isn’t very good.
Have I got it right?
Not really, but it’s work in progress. My body will tell me what it likes and where I’ve got it wrong. We all need to start somewhere and then build on it. Each one of us has our own challenges, our own difficulties and need to put in our own extreme self care plan. If you’re doing too much your body will stop you if you don’t listen to and work with it. Can you afford the downtime?
Louise is an holistic therapist who owns the Therapy Centre, BS14 9HB, a clinic offering a range of holistic and beauty therapies. Louise offers reflexology, aromatherapy, aromatology, holistic massage, Indian head massage, reiki, baby massage and story massage. She is a mum of two boys and when she is not working she enjoys getting outdoors with her family. For further information visit louise-morgan.co.uk or contact her clinic on 01275 217160