When your Mama flame goes out - the truth about burnout

You think 'it will never happen to me'. Better yet, you think you know, you think you know how close you can tiptoe along the edge of burnout and still never think you'll get there. Now here's a truth bomb, you can be in burnout and never even know it. You can be absolutely swimming into the abyss of burnout but yet you still keep chasing and saying yes to things you should be saying no to and before you know it you are in hospital for a week being pumped full of antibiotics, pain relief and fluids because you just kept pushing your mind and body. I fully believe illness comes from a place of stress on the body, whether that be mind or body. If we aren't filling our cup, we aren't really prioritising our own needs and that is when the ship starts to sink. It does it slowly, slowly and then boom, you are like the back end of the Titanic, bobbing about and before you know it, you are dragged under. Welcome to burnout. Sounds like I know what I am talking about doesn't it? Hell yeah. These last 2 months have been hellish. Hospitals and doctors are my new day trips, damn I even got another all inclusive week in the local hospital after my honeymoon and I can assure you, it wasn't Cyprus. The thing is, admitting this is burnout, that's a hard pill to swallow. Me? The Mindful Mummy, BURNOUT? Never! Truth is it comes to us all, it sneaks up and it explodes inside you. We don't really see it as the first sign that we need to slow down. We wait, we think 'it's okay, it's motherhood, its crazy busy and I am supposed to be stressed.' ERM, says who?! No, sorry that doesn't work for me. I don't want to live a life stressed out morning, noon and night and then feel guilty for taking an hour for myself when the laundry needs doing or work emails need seeing to. It's not for me. Living in that reactive response is no good at all, and I know this. I've been living it and I am now paying for it. So a little overview as to why I have been a bit quiet, aside from the burnout, it's been a bit of a rough ride. Most of you will know indepth (if you have seen my posts in the community group) an insight into what I have been dealing with and overcoming these last few weeks but where I am now and where I was are two different places entirely - mind, body and soul. We experienced a very early miscarriage, surprised and unexpected but we openly accepted this has been a process and an experience we found ourselves in and truly, we are just moving with it together and I have been taking sometime to understand what that means for me. Years ago, I would have never dreamt of speaking so openly about it, but it is a part of motherhood that comes to some of us and leaves us with a lot of questions and a little emptiness. I know I am not the first to go through it and I won't be the last. My community of Mum's have been incredible during this time, I can't thank you enough. When we though it stopped there, it just kicked into gear and I've been treated for Colitis (bowel disease) and an excruciating infection within my bowel. Although the acute flare up caused all sorts of problems it would now seem that gluten is not my friend and every time I eat it, I am violently nauseous, sick and poorly. Although I haven't had a long term diagnosis yet, I am having to change my lifestyle entirely. It's been tough being the one in the family who can't indulge anymore and being such a foody, it's taken a lot of thought. Some days my body is tired, some days my mind is foggy and clouded. I have always been health concious but I was never religious in routines, life changed and chopped way too much but it's given me food for thought. Right now, I am focusing on my boundaries as I present them, not limits, I don't believe in limits, I believe in doing something full and whole heartedly instead of spreading myself way too thin. I think that's a little of how I got here. Truly, I am just adjusting just like every other Mama I meet. It's a journey and the little bumps in the road are a reminder to slow down. I'm taking note. Before this experience, I was really pushing to work with training and development and structure of others and I do not knock my teaching providers or mentors, what they have created is unbelievable, incredible and breathtaking. What this whole experience has allowed me to do has look at my own message, my own structure and what I want to deliver to my Mama's and more. Okay and here is the biggest realisation - when we live to someone else's process, expectations, or we fall outside of our own, we bring stress and complication into our own lives. It's like we welcome it as we go against the vibe instead of moving with it. However a really wise mentor of mine said 2 things which changed my outlook completely

1. Schedule in your time for you around your non-negotiables and do this WEEKLY

2. Outsource what you can to give yourself time back - cleaning or ironing, business duties, get a babysitter in. It doesn't have to be anything extravagant, just a small step the right way to give you some breathing space. I started this and it really opened my mind to what I could start to do to give myself some time back, whether that be reading a book, or a nail appointment, or even just a walk in the outdoors. One of my biggest tips is to schedule it all in, make a note, make a list, that way I never feel like its just all piling on top. It feels like it might be super regimented, but it actually helps me feel accomplished, like I am kicking ass on the field of motherhood, and parenting and well just generally adulting. It also means on the day I am having a flare up, I can just be at peace with myself, knowing I have got on top of somethings and then I can reschedule it for when I am feeling better. It can be hard with all these plates to spin. It can be hard just full stop. It can also feel so isolating where we don't know here to turn and speaking up can be really tough. It takes a village so they say, and that's why I am so driven and passionate to bring Mum's together and create that community. It's hard for me to step back fully and not continue this work, even in my own recovery of ill health and that is why going forward you will see me focusing on certain areas that are truthfully calling to me right now. I'm also excited about it and designing The Mindful Mummy to allow progress, even if I have to dial it back and switch it up, it means I can be fully present, well and enjoy my work. I love the idea of progressing and adding different elements on as we move forward. I think the biggest takeaway from this, is that burnout doesn't ever mean to just stop. It means we take a step back, we look at all different aspects of what we need - personally, mentally, emotionally and phsyically. It needs to be a well oiled machine this living life business. It's helped me discover my passions again, created a few new goals and even helped me really dig deep in finding what's changed with my inner self (that's a whole other blog post)

So if you are struggling with spinning the plates? Feeling the burnout? What could you do for yourself to day to help you move forward? I've found in these moments here are some of my key 3 things I can go to which help me bring myself back to the present. 1. Mindfulness 2. Walk in Nature 3. Journalling & Writing I've often found just 5 minutes can really just help us to connect and breathe with ourselves again. Add in a community of Mother's even more so. And then in addition to that, scheduling in the time for a breather is absolutely key. Time out in motherhood does NOT have to be earned. It's not a trophy for how well you did life today. It's your right. It is your absolute right to nourish your mind and body daily. By turning myself inward and starting to do that, my outlook is so much more open and I am welcoming some really lovely experiences. I am also recognisning my boundaries and it doesn't feel wrong anymore. You can't pour from an empty cup. And on the days you feel like there is absolutely nothing left in the tank. Take a step back and give yourself space. Don't let your Mama flame burnout. Rhay xx Our community group on facebook can be found here - The Mindful Mummies Online Community Group