The emotional heaviness of the past three months got to me and at the beginning of June. I had nothing left to give.
- Didn’t write a newsletter or publish a podcast (Will be restarting this week!)
- Cancelled one of the virtual gatherings
- Felt lost and unsure of where I fit in the “Covid world” and amidst racial unrest
- And almost cashed in my chips to pursue a career in stand-up comedy (this option is not completely off the table)
I’m blessed to have friends and colleagues who helped me gain clarity about why I might feel this way.
- Joy? Totally missing.
- Energy to promote or facilitate a gathering? Non-existent.
- And fun? With all of the suffering in the world, having fun didn’t feel right.
Have you ever felt weighed down?
Taking Time to Recharge & Refocus
So, I decided to take a break and spend time refilling my own well so I could come back refreshed and stronger than before. Some of those activities included…
- Taking a break from the news
- Lots of yoga and walks at a local park
- Zoom meetings that I didn’t have to facilitate, yet still offered meaningful conversation
- Kept learning about Black Lives Matter, white privilege and how I can be anti-racist (to some this may sound heavy. Educating myself and engaging in meaningful conversation has proven useful and productive.)
- Signed up for an online stand-up comedy class (hence the near career change)
And now, I feel ready to get back to work.
Burnout Is Real
How are you feeling, truly feeling, with everything going on?
Burnout is real. It’s different and often more severe than stress. And burnout doesn’t only happen during global pandemics, civil rights movements, and the attack of the lion’s mane jellyfish. Burnout can happen anytime stress goes unchecked – stressful work, relationships, poor health, etc. (For more on the differences between stress and burnout, check out this article for a simple breakdown.)
What might burnout look like for you?
- Short tempered with others?
- Exhausted and lack of energy for work or other tasks?
- Withdraw from friends, family, colleagues?
- Eating, drinking alcohol or sleeping more than usual?
- Feel like giving up and starting a stand-up comedy career? (Is that just me?)
Banishing burnout requires more than a massage or a manicure (which until this week we couldn’t get anyway!). Those help, no doubt about it. And they are fleeting. Instead, true self-care is…
- About boundaries, not balance
- Spending time on activities that fill you up instead of deplete you
- Reconnecting to the purpose or why behind your work
- Reconnecting to YOU so you have what it takes to connect, in meaningful ways, with OTHERS
How are you taking time to recharge?
Here are a few resources…
- Do Less, Be More Yoga. My friend and colleague Tina Walsh offers this Tuesday night series, currently on Zoom. I take the class and it’s SOOOO relaxing! Learn more here.
- Stand Up Comedy. My teacher Kathe Farris is offering another bootcamp next week. Comedy is not easy yet it frees you up and the goal is to laugh. So there’s that. Click here for more info. It’s online and only $30.
- Trustees of Reservations. World’s End is closest to me yet they have parks and locations throughout Massachusetts. Visit them online for a park near you. Check out a park near you.
I’ve long believed that the relationship you have with yourself is the foundation for all relationships. So, the next time you feel weighed down, be kind to yourself and take a break. Then, when the time comes, you will have what it takes to show kindness to others. And there is nothing comedic about that.
Your voice matters. Be well and keep shining.
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