Helping mamas have freedom in their lives is one of my core passions and motivations behind the work that I do. Having shouldered my own burdens of guilt and lack of freedom over the years I know the issues that try to attack us as mamas and ruin our joy.
One of the main ones? You guessed it--burnout.
Signs of burnout:
- you typically enjoy your days, but now everything seems like a drag
- a task that you usually love, like writing, you wake up dreading instead
- life is good and nothing is "wrong" so what's with all the tears and heaviness?
- you feel like if you could only sleep, watch movies in bed, and read for a week or so everything would be good again
- aches, pains, colds, illness--your body trying to get your attention
Some of these symptoms may mirror those of depression, but depression isn't what I'm talking about here. In depression these symptoms would be magnified and extended and seeing a doctor would be a good idea.
Tips on avoiding (or finding your way back out of) burnout:
- recognize that daily time for yourself is crucial, not only to your self-care, but to the care of your whole family
- understand that your resources, especially your time, are finite. This means that there is an honest-to-goodness limit to the number of things you can do
- cut something out of your day. Your day may overflow with good tasks, things that you value. But even too many "good" things lead to burnout, so choose the absolute best and let go of the good--at least for a season.
- learn to spot your personal signs of burnout when they first start so you can make a change before you plunge into a full freefall
Years ago, in the name of productivity, I would simply ignore these symptoms and continue on. The results for my own mental/emotional health and for those I love, were far from pretty. I refuse to do that anymore!
This is my way of telling you something. I notice a few of these symptoms slowly creeping their way across my path. I have been blessed lately with many excellent writing opportunities for which I am wildly thankful.
But too many good opportunities are still too. many. My family comes first, not out of some pious calling or sense of duty, but because time with them is what I love most in this season.
I also want to be able to enjoy the awesome opportunities coming my way, instead of being overwhelmed by them. So I've decided to take a little break from writing here at Steady Mom.
Please don't unsubscribe or go anywhere!! I still plan to write when inspiration strikes, and when I have something worthwhile to share. I just need to release myself from the pressure to post a certain number of times each week for a while so I can give my attention to other things. I will be back!
If I preach a message of authentic, intentional living to my readers, it goes without saying I better live that authenticity myself. Otherwise my words count for nothing. I say no to burnout this time around, and yes to life. I encourage you to do the same.
"The world is too much with us; late and soon,
Getting and spending, we lay waste our powers;
Little we see in Nature that is ours;
We have given our hearts away, a sordid boon!
This Sea that bares her bosom to the moon,
The winds that will be howling at all hours,
And are up-gathered now like sleeping flowers,
For this, for everything, we are out of tune;
It moves us not.--Great God! I'd rather be
A Pagan suckled in a creed outworn;
So might I, standing on this pleasant lea,
Have glimpses that would make me less forlorn;
Have sight of Proteus rising from the sea;
Or hear old Triton blow his wreathed horn."
~ William Wordsworth