Are you resisting rest? How to avoid burnout.



Pssttt. Lean in; I have a secret to share. I think I'm a workaholic! Eeeekkkk!


Yep, I hate to admit it but even spiritual, make sure you love and look after yourself old me, has her flaws.


If you're lucky enough to do something you love for a living, you may find the lines between work, life and fun get blurred.


Sure, invoicing, business planning and admin feels like work, but when I am delivering workshops and classes, writing guided meditations, playing my gong or chatting to you Clear Clubbers I feel alive! It's my happy place.


What's that old saying,

"do something you love, and you'll never work another day in your life."

Right?! 


So why would I rest? What's the need?


Well, if you stick around, I will tell you why.


First, I have a rather embarrassing story to share.

Please, be kind. It took me ages to decide whether to share this or not, but as always, the truth-teller in me overpowers my shame that wishes to be silent. Recently I was presenting a talk on burnout and as I read out the symptoms:

  • It's challenging to get out of bed and equally to get started once at work.

  • You may experience physical symptoms, such as headaches & backaches.

  • You feel sapped of energy and can't follow through with projects.

  • You find it hard to concentrate on one task. (er... hello multiple tabs and thinking I have finished things I've not done).

  • Sleep & appetite may be affected. You may use substances, food or distractions to avoid feelings. (bonjour monsieur take away and mademoiselle ice cream).

  • You have a short fuse with colleagues and client's and may behave in ways which are out of character.

  • You can become suspicious of other people.

  • Your emails and communication are becoming passive-aggressive.

  • It can feel like the whole world is getting at you.  

I had this horrible realisation, Rachael; you're pre burnout.

I had this horrible realisation, Rachael; you're pre burnout.

How embarrassing!


I am the one hosting the discussion on burnout, and I have at least six of the symptoms. What a joke! How did this go un-noticed until now? WTF? 

I began asking myself a few questions: 

  • What's lurking underneath this busy? 

  • Is there something hiding in this continuous distraction of the scroll.

  • Am I addicted to my phone?

  • Will my business completely crumble to the ground if I switch off for seven days? 

  • When the f*ck was your last holiday? 

I didn't like some of the answers which came up. So I decided I needed a break. A real break, not my usual 'weekend' where I "just do a few emails and a couple of social posts" or teach one or two classes, no I'm talking a proper rest. I would force myself to slow down and take stock. I'm pretty sure the world will survive without me for a few days.

So I've booked a holiday. 

Seven whole days of nothingness and calm. No screens, no social media and no obligation to show up and hold space or take photos of everything I do.

A slow meandering, rough outline of a plan to get out the city, dive naked into a lake and lay for hours in the grass staring at the sky while giggling at the chat from friends and their children. 


Space to discover if I am still capable of walking barefoot down the pebbles of my hometown beach without flinching. And, as I dive headfirst into the ocean with reckless abandon, and the embodiment of deep appreciation of someone who spends way too much time looking at concrete, I will find out if my nips freeze off my citified body.

Sounds great. 


So why the hell am I so terrified? 

I can't remember the last time I slowed down. I like being busy, I'm super creative and a doer, so I need constant stimulation, but you have to fill your cup first. I think the insane times we're living in, having to restructure Welford Wellbeing overnight to move the business online and well, being locked in my flat alone, for a few months, probably caused a little stress that I had let slip under the radar. And if there is one thing I know for sure, sneaky stress is the worst kind. It's the kind that pretends everything is fine until you burn yourself and I am not going there again! 

sneaky stress is the worst kind.

So here's to resting in all its terrifying glory. 

Here's to embracing who you are without work. 

Here's to reconnecting with nature and the outdoors and here's to paying attention to our subtle but definite signs of stress and to catching them before they catch us out. 

I'll see you on the flip side! 

Much Love

Rachael 

ps: the first gong back is Monday 17th August. If you can't wait that long, click here to get £5 off Live From Lock Down, seven guided and gong meditations that you can listen to whenever you like. Call it a going away gift ;-)

East London, UK | Rachael (at)welfordwellbeing.com | 07912 638 966

© 2019 Rachael Welford

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