28 September, 2017
I was day-dreaming about my childhood this week.
I grew up on a kiwifruit orchard in Pakowhai, a small rural community in Hawkes Bay. The sun shone. We had no need for shoes. My mum brushed the wildness out of my hair.
Luckily for me, I was allowed a childhood. I was responsibility-free, ignorant of the world, outdoorsy. A Pizza-Hut-dessert-bar-loving kind of childhood.
There’s a powerful energy in childhood that we all long to reconnect with.
It’s where our ego isn’t quite yet formed. We haven’t mastered the ability to block ourselves off from our internal, abundant source of energy.
If you’re a mum, or spend time with nieces and nephews, or perhaps students if you’re a teacher, you’ll know that kids can have a high level energy that some adults find intolerable to be around.
You’ll hear people describe their beautiful offspring as ‘full on’. ‘They have no off switch’. Like having lots of energy is a negative thing, which needs to be controlled.
Instead, maybe we could look at our own lives and witness the ways in which we control our own energy…
Somewhere along the way as adults we just got a bit busy and had too many responsibilities. As a woman I feel it. The pressure to have it all: a nice tidy house, healthy diet, successful career, rewarding relationships, confident body, talented children, money, abundance, more money, a Kitchen Aid cake mixer. The list goes on.
When did we get so busy? Why do we feel the need to take on more than is comfortably possible to achieve? Where does the drive come from to prove? Who the hell are we proving to?
In an attempt to regain control, and in response to the stress of constant busyness and rushing, our bodies will manifest burn-out. We will be forced to slow down.
This looks like...
- Chronic fatigue
- Terrible, broken sleep
- Irritability & mood swings
- Digestive issues
- Poor immunity
- Inability to unwind
- Limited energy
- In the long run, very serious illnesses
Do you witness yourself in this cycle sometimes? Regularly? My dear, we have all been there. I’ve put some thought into this for you! Here are my top 5 strategies to help you avoid burn-out.
1. Repeat the mantra
I don’t have to do more to be more
You are the fulfilment. You are the gift. It is complete. Enjoy it!
Perfect – Perfect = Perfect!
2. Learn to say no. Set some boundaries: for yourself, for others. Acknowledge that there are only so many breaths in a day.
Sit down at the beginning of the week and assess where those breaths are going to make the biggest impact. If something doesn’t flow – say no!
3. Meditate daily. No this is not just another thing to add to your to do list! This is about setting time aside every day to allow a deep state of relaxation. With the correct practice we have the ability to release deep layers of stress from the body and mind.
Over time, we have the ability to rewire our brains.
Meditators have greater clarity, better overall health and an optimistic attitude. Meditation is a simple, effortless process. Ignore anyone who tells you otherwise! Schedule a mentoring session now and I can help you to develop your own personal practice.
4. Cruise control. Allow time every week to just cruise and do something randomly. Being scheduled up to the eyeballs can be exhausting.
It’s healthy to have free time for yourself each day to attend to simple things – like writing your mum an email, baking a cake or popping out to a movie (although I’ll admit, as a mum to two kids under four, that last one is a dream… for now at least!)
5. Sleep well. Although many people believe getting a good night’s sleep to be an enigma, of course it is not.
The way we lived our lives the day before will be reflected in the sleep.
Look at your diet, look at your exercise, look at your ability to switch off and relax. Look at the stories your mind plays over: what could be improved, what could be removed?
Grab your notebook and pen and take a little time to explore these self-reflection practices:
1. What are your ‘tell tale’ signs of burn-out in your life? Do you notice any patterns emerging?
2. Out of the 5 strategies above, what is the one you are going to implement this week and how will you know if you’ve been successful?
3. Underneath all the busyness, do you feel like you’re trying to prove something to someone? Where is that desire coming from? Who are you proving to?
If you’re concerned that recurring burn-out is literally draining the life out of you and you could do with some personalised nourishment, please click here to book a one-on-one A Yogafied Life mentoring session, and reclaim your flow of energy.