Updated: Feb 16
OK, I reached ‘burn out’…! I didn’t practice what I preach for a little while and this ended in a much needed full day of rest and self-care (eye roll at myself for letting things get this far). Why did I do this to myself? Let me explain, and as I do, you may relate to this somehow, and hopefully it will help you (and I) to avoid burn out in the future.
As I write this blog post, I am reflecting on the past 3 months of life in “lockdown” for a holistic therapist. In theory, I could have had a 3 month long ‘break’ as I am not allowed to do my usual therapies until the government decide it is safe to do so. However, for me and many others (I salute you!), being a holistic therapist doesn’t stop at the physical treatments and face to face interactions with clients. You may have seen social media posts or benefited from my distance healing methods such as meditation and mindset coaching, studio recorded meditation tracks, sound healing, an online retreat and more recently, luxury healing hampers.
For the last 4 weeks, my entire focus has been on my business. It hasn’t been on me. And I know that I am fit for nobody if I don’t do my self-care routine and stay balanced. This is the key word – balanced. This is the bit some of us seem to struggle with. I believe to find balance it takes practice, dedication, commitment, will power, routine and self-awareness. If one of those things gets forgotten, we can fall off track end up losing sight of ourselves and our needs. Sometimes this happens and you don’t realise until your body or mind screams out “stop!” This could be with physical pain, stress, anxiety, tension, moods, disturbed sleep etc. There are so many ways our body communicates to us, but we need to be able and willing to listen. For me, last week I felt run down and had a niggly throat (first signal), then what was mild sciatica became excruciating pain (second signal), then I just felt fed up and tired (third signal), then I began to feel low and agitated (fourth and final signal for me to admit I need to stop). It is so out of character for me to feel low. This is rare and I know when this happens there is something wrong. Immediately I started to reflect. I started to put all the pieces together and then worked out my self-care plan. This gave me a focus and even just the thought of it perked me up!
I knew what I needed to do, and it began with rest. Just 100% rest, lying down, switching off, letting my body just ‘be’. I knew this wasn’t a fix all, so I then set out to get a diagnosis on my sciatica (luckily, I am able to do this myself - with the help of a trusted loved one). It turns out I have piriformis syndrome and two knots the size of golf balls in my glutes. Ouch! I needed physio and massage (so grateful for my hot salt stones right now). What a difference. In 3 sessions I am pain free and feel like I have a new lower body! The exercises are the ones I usually do in my yoga practice, but I had been neglecting this. I had been sitting at my desk for long periods and this made it worse. Basically, my bum was saying, “get up and move!” I was so relieved to discover it was muscular and not a herniated disc. OK, physical body feeling lots better - check, now what about my mood and my disconnection from myself? I knew I had to turn inwards. I even said to myself that I need a long deep meditation, not just 5 minutes here and there. My instinct told me what I needed and so I took the time to go within. I had a vision of me lying on a giant white lotus flower and it was turning. As it got faster, I began to float up above it and got a feeling of weightlessness. This was awesome, because only last week I was craving the feeling of being weightless. I wanted to feel like I was floating in deep water and I wondered why that was. On reflection, I guess I felt heavy and weighted down.
The final thing I did for my self-care routine was to take my own advice and treat myself to one of my healing hampers (no marketing plug intended). I took a bath with salts, aromatherapy and rose petals and I sank into that bath like it was a deep ocean of healing water. Afterwards I lay in a yin yoga pose doing pranayama (breath work) while my head was throbbing with the rush of freshly oxygenated blood that it had been so badly craving.
What I have since done is write a schedule for daily self-care; a reminder that will soon become a habit once more. Will I ever reach burn out again? May be. We are all human. We can have the best intentions to live perfectly holistic and balanced, but the reality is, we can only do our best. And I am proud of me for doing my best. Would you agree that most of the pressure we feel is the pressure we put on ourselves?
Please reach out for holistic wellness advice or therapies. I am balanced again and ready to help.
With love and healing light,