10 years ago, I had everything I had worked for; a thriving and growing business where I was making a real impact on the people I was working with, on a daily basis. It had been my sole focus for years and my hard work had paid off, I was living my dream.
At that point, if you had asked me to write a list of all of the things that I valued, it wouldn't have occurred for me to put myself on it. A thriving business, great relationships with my family and friends and knowing my contribution was making a difference to real people were all there, but I wasn't devoting any time and attention on myself.
That is, until I hit a wall. I found myself burnt out: exhausted, mentally and emotionally drained and not knowing what to do or where to go next. My drive and determination that had fuelled my work for all of these years had actually been covering up the fact that I hadn't been looking after myself.
Ultimately, I made the decision to leave the business. It was one of the hardest decisions I've made, but I knew it was what I needed to do to start making myself a priority. I was the only person who could get me out of the hole I'd fallen into, and I knew that I needed the space and time to do it.
So, I embarked on a journey to make myself feel better. The main problem being that I wasn't 100% sure what was actually wrong with me. I knew I wasn't happy, but I wasn't really sure why, or how to go about fixing it.
These are the steps I took to find balance after burnout - give them a try, it might just change your life!
A quick google and you'll be flooded with information about how to get better work life balance- but the key really is about finding what balance means to you. Think about it- if you're not happy in one part of your life, then you're not happy. If one part of your life lacks boundaries, other parts of your life will suffer as a result. It's about defining where you want to put your energy, your goals and then working out what you need to support you so that you can maintain that focus.
There are certain things that need your attention that you need to spend more time making adjustments here, like your work and family obligations. It’s about being really conscious and aware here and learning to say no. Learning to be authentic. You might be better off declining an invitation in favour of a night on the sofa, or you might feel better with less TV and more time outdoors.
Your first moments of the day can have such a huge impact on the way the rest of the day pans out. It’s something SO simple that can make a massive difference. Starting the day with exercise releases feel-good hormones that lift your mood and help you focus throughout the day. If I miss my morning walk now my day doesn’t have the same impact.
This is about learning your likes and dislikes and where you are prepared to compromise or not. When your boundaries are not strong some things can feel out of your control - start to pay attention to how often your friends or colleagues lean on you and don't be afraid to say no if you find yourself over-giving all the time. You don't have to always step up when people reach out and if you find yourself always fixing other people's problems, it's time to redress your boundaries.
Looking after yourself is something that you need to keep on top of. Your physical, mental and emotional wellbeing is something only you can manage and take care of, and not staying on top of it can have serious consequences. It’s and ongoing learning. Create space in your daily schedule for a little bit of you-time, even if that means sitting for 5 mins with a cuppa or setting your alarm a little earlier than usual.
Setting your own guidelines, rules and limits to live a life on your own terms is key. It’s developed through personal growth and continued learning about yourself.
I am now doing so much better. I am not perfect but I am in fact 86% of the way there. (Find out where you are at clicking the link below!) Finding balance does take time, and maintaining it is a skill that needs practicing. It’s the basis for achieving your goals and work life vision.
If you're not sure where to start, try taking our Work Life Balance test to find out which areas of your life need the most support and attention!
Reach out and connect with me personally here. I am here to support you to live a life on your terms, create your work life vision and reach your goals with ease.
Take care of yourself