Access the video here:
Thank you for joining me for Searching for Serenity's 7-day video tutorial series, Eliminating Exhaustion.
I can't believe we are on day 5 already! As you will have herd in yesterday's video, for the rest of this week we are focusing on the emotional issues of exhaustion.
You might wonder why emotional and you've signed up for practical hints and tips but this is why. Searching for Serenity was founded by me following my own issues of exhaustion and burnout. There’s s something that I know about every woman that comes to this community.
Tell me how many of these are correct for you:
You are incredibly ambitious;
You are a professional woman;
You have trained a long time to do what you do;
You want to have an impact in this world;
You want to do good for other people;
You are surrounded by friends , family and loved ones that you care for and likely you put yourself last;
You struggle with the concept of caring for yourself and think that there is always more for you to be doing; there is always more on the list, could have done, could be doing, that you want to do for other people, before yourself.
Burnout arises when you put more in to the front end and do not get the rewards you were seeking. Many women come to Searching for Serenity after struggling for a long time with exhaustion because you keep ploughing more resources in to what you are doing without seeing any positive outcomes or benefits. And when you do so benefits, you simply move on to the next thing.
This is a behavioural issue and why we are focusing on this for nearly half the week. I have given you some very structured tools to support your brain, to deal with your physical energy; but I can give you every recipe planner out there, every shopping list, every sleeping tablet, every way of supporting your body but if your mind is not on board you are still going to feel exhausted.
This is something that so many women struggle with.
You may have even found yourself ill or taking time off work, and yet, before you have even gotten back to work you find yourself back in this position of exhaustion, overwhelm and struggling. This is what we are going to address this week; the behavioural issues that you will find in exhaustion. If you make changes, even slight changes, you will see huge rewards.
What we are focusing on today is the first part of behavioural changes.
We are using a common exercise that many coaches will implement to show you what you can be, do and have.
I am flipping this around though. If I know anything about it's that you are constantly run ragged with everything you need to be, do have and all the pressures n you.
Start with a piece of paper and pen, or the notebook you have been using through this week, and start listing out everything that you need to do.
It's a to do list, but this does beyond a simple to do list. This goes beyond work and is about you. What is in your brain as something you need to do, to fix, things you should do better. Focus on the emotional side; are there friends that you haven't seen for a long time and have been meaning to arrange dinner with, does your daughter need to go to certain classes, does your other half need looking after in some way or the things you need to do around the house.
What are the thoughts that keep going through your head or have been going through your head for a while.
Perhaps you feel that there is more that you can or should be doing, or something you have been putting off doing for a while now.
So, today I want you to start listing all those out and I would suggest that you pause the video or audio here, and go do them.
Come back to me when they are done.
Now that you have made your list, I want you to start looking through the items you have written.
For each item you read, focus on how you feel. How many of the items on the list are positive things? Book a holiday, learn a new language. How many of them are looking after you; booking the spa day you have been meaning to do for ages.
If I know you, I imagine that the vast majority of your list will be administrative or to-do tasks that aren't going to bring you joy or happiness.
The first thing to remember when eliminating exhaustion is that you got to this position because you were chasing certain goals. You wanted to be the best of whatever you wanted to be, and you wanted to be the thinnest, or prettiest, or have the best family - whatever it might be, all of these things that you think you need to do and to do them all at once - it's just not the way or the meaning of life.
The secrets for a happy life are not ticking things off your to-do list and the longer you spend chasing things that actually don't mean that much to you, the more exhausted you will feel.
What we are going to do - and I am not judging because I have done this myself - but we are going to consider every item on that list and cross out every single thing that is essentially meaningless to you - the headings that you think you 'should' do but have no emotional attachment to.
This is about going back to basics and getting to the things that really are going to bring you joy.
If on that list you have had certain things that you have been putting off for a very long time but think you should still do, ask yourself why you have them on your to do list still, if you're not getting them done. If you really wanted it, wouldn't you already be chasing it?
Out of all he things that you can do in the world there are so many things that might never happen and we are crossing off the list all the things that you 'should' do or ought to do.
This is an exercise in beating overwhelm and an exercise in rediscovering what is truly important to you. Finally, it is an exercise in meeting go of the 'good girl'.
The good girl is the person inside each of us who does 'the right thing'. For example, you've been invited for dinner at a friend's house. You feel exhausted and unwell, you don't really want to go out, you know that you're allergic to their cat, but you still go anyway and have a bad night and come out in hives.
Why do we do these things to ourselves? It's because we think we should do, it's because it's the right thing to do and don't good people do things that they don't want to do? That's great when you have unlimited energy and resources.
But right now, we are eliminating exhaustion and something has to go (because what you've been doing so far hasn't worked) and so we are going to get rid of all the shit that you don't want to do, all the shit that makes you feel, well, shit about yourself.
This might seem tricky because you feel that you are a good person who has to do the right thing but remember: if you are a good person and you want to make a difference in this world, you have to nurture yourself first.
Furthermore, how many things are on your list are obligations that no one else is putting on you but you?
No one wants you to come around to their house for dinner and have a bad night; they want to see you when you will be happy.
So, for a moment I want you to step back from running on a constant treadmill and feeling exhausted and that you have to do everything and consider instead what is going to bring you the most happiness, the most joy and what will really improve your life. If it doesn't bring you that joy or happiness or bring that feeling of excitedness in the pit of your stomach, you're going to strike it from this list. Put it on a second list ended 'things to do on a rainy day when I'm bored and there's nothing better to do'.
Now, you might listen to this and think 'that's great for you, I can't afford to do that' or ' I don't want to do that' or I don't want to be a bad person'. Reconsider in that case, what else is going to give. If you're not going to focus first on these things that bring you happiness, what else is going to give in your life to give you enough energy and enough room to do all the things that you've required of yourself?
It is a tough lesson today but this gets easier.
Today is an exercise in rediscovering what is important to you and we will build on this over the next couple of days.
Let me know how you get on with this one; reach out in the Facebook group and let me know what you are striking from the list and what it is that really brings you joy and excited you to focus on when you see it on the to-do list. What do you want to achieve and what are you going to let go in order to do that.
It has never been more important to reinstate your self-care routine if you have let that one fall by the way side. This is a tricky lesson and you need the extra support so make sure that you sped your 15-20 minutes minimum looking after yourself and get an early night. This is all about nourishing your mind and soul and sometimes it takes difficult work to get that done.
In the meantime, have an amazing day, I would love to hear from you and how you are getting on.
I will be back in your inbox tomorrow, in the meantime take care of yourself