Almost a year ago, I wrote a short note to a very  talented and extremely busy professional woman, who was struggling with symptoms of exhaustion and burn-out.  Over time, her life had gotten seriously out of balance, and she was showing many signs of stress.  She was overworked, and overwhelmed with the huge demands on her time, energy, and expertise.  She was, also, very overtired.  She loved her work, and still does, but somewhere along the line, she had forgotten to take time for self-care and nurturing.

I have her permission to share what I wrote to her, in hopes it will help others who might also have gotten off balance.  I have changed identifying details, including her name, to protect confidentiality.

Here’s my note to her:

Hi Jane,

It sounds like you need some downtime to rest, relax, and regroup.  If you keep giving everything you have, without balancing it with things to fill you up, you wind up feeling empty.  Even the best professionals need some life balance, or they burn out! What kind of activities feel nurturing to you?  What helps you feel recharged?  Everyone’s list is unique to them.  It might be a walk on the beach, a bubble bath, a private talk with a close friend, or time spent writing in a journal.  It doesn’t matter what it is.  If you feel filled up and nurtured by it, it will help you to have energy for all your other activities.

You’re putting lots of time, energy, and thought into “Jane, the Business Woman,” but how about “Jane, the Human Being?”  What do you do for her?  She deserves your attention!

Do you have a dream vacation that you haven’t taken time for?  Might be just what you need to get rid of the feelings of fatigue and frustration with life right now.

Just my thoughts to do with as you please.

Take care,
Linda
_________________

I received a very nice reply back from her, and it wasn’t very long before I heard that she had left for a well-deserved vacation.  I’m sure that she came back feeling relaxed and recharged.

When I go to different networking events around town, I meet so many other business people who seem to be living lives that aren’t very well-balanced.  They talk about how busy they are, and I can see the fatigue shadowing their faces.  I always wonder how much time and energy they put into taking care of their Human Being selves, not just their Business Person selves.  It’s particularly important in this challenging economy to take very good care of yourself.  Stress exhaustion can lead to problems in all areas of your life.

It doesn’t matter whether you’re retired, a stay-at-home mom, an office worker, a tradesman, or business owner.  Whatever you do that takes effort to accomplish on a daily basis, just be sure to balance it out with something that fills you up.  Don’t give until your empty!  Keep stress under control by making sure that you have some regular downtime.  Put time for yourself into your schedule.

Until next time,

Linda

5 Comments

  • Hi Linda,
    Thank you for sharing the beautiful note to your friend. I’m sure it gave her some fresh new insight and a chance to put things in perspective. I don’t know why self care is so hard for most of us. I guess we’re taught somehow that it’s selfish. I’m trying to get better at it. Reading posts like yours remind me to do just that. So appreciated!

  • This is exceptionally timely for me as I am in the middle of a blog post regarding my unhealthy relationship with money…or more precisely, my unhealthy need to earn more and more of it. I’m having a hard time writing it so went over to twitter for a distraction and found this great post. Thank you!

  • Thank you for your comment, Renee. It’s amazing, but many times when I’ve spoken to clients about self-care, they’ve equated it with selfishness. Somewhere along the line, we’re getting molded into having some very unhealthy beliefs. It’s good to challenge some of our long held beliefs, when they don’t seem to be working very well for us. I’m glad you found this entry helpful.

    Linda

  • Hi Cyndi,
    I’m glad to “see” you here on my blog! Thank you for leaving such an honest comment. I think a lot of people can identify with the need that you have to earn more and more money. We all have our own relationship with money, based on earlier life experiences. Have you heard of “The Energy of Money: A Spiritual Guide to Financial and Personal Fulfillment” by Maria Nemeth, Ph.D. It’s a really good book! I hope you’ll come back again and share your thoughts with us.

    Linda

  • Linda, no I haven’t read that book. Thanks for the recommendation. At first I thought I just had an unhealthy excessive work ethic caused by attempted perfectionism, which never works out. But as I examined it more I realized that the earning of more money is another piece of my convoluted puzzle where much of my self-worth is derived externally instead of internally. I’m working on it and I’m sure this book will help. Thanks so much…off to add it to my ever growing to-read list! 🙂

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