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And On The Seventh Day
How do you do it all? This question is asked all the time when ‘successful people’ – actually, let’s be specific – ‘successful women’ are being interviewed. I’m sure it’s annoying to be asked this (especially as a woman), but I get why it’s asked. Everyone wants to know…the secret.
Let’s face it, everyone is busy. You don’t have to be a parent, or an entrepreneur, life in 2020 seems full.
Netflix binges, mindless scrolling, meme distractions and Whatsapp groups, there’s so much vying for our attention. And all of this on top of work. Burnout and the conversation around mental health are finally making their way into our workplaces. Stats can be hard to come by. However what is apparent is that burnout seems to affect men and women differently. For women, issues with having enough authority in the workplace, difficulties of balancing work and personal life, and being given few opportunities for decision-making often lead to the emotional exhaustion and professional cynicism that characterise burnout.
I will admit I don’t feel like I’ve hit burnout before. Historically I’ve been quite good at separating work and life. Also in my pre-baby life I was an Olympic sleeper. However, of late, wearing different hats and trying to be truly present in each of my roles made me feel so tired some days. No matter how much time I slept.
I have to remind myself that this is a battle. I have to remind myself that ultimately I am in control.
Something I’ve learned of late is that resting or being rested has been key in me winning the battle. I don’t think it’s sexy yet to answer the question, ‘How do you do it all?’ with ‘I prioritise rest.’ Arianna Huffington did a good job of bringing the topic into the mainstream, but I think as humans we are too arrogant to believe in the power of rest. Even God took a day to rest when he created (not a business, a family, a campaign) the whole world.
So like everything important to me, I schedule it – or it doesn’t happen. I lay out my work, work outs and commitments for the week and in that I include rest. This year, I’ve tried to take things up a notch and observe a Sabbath. This Judeo-Christian tradition is something I see making a comeback into modern day society as an antidote for our overworked selves. I try to clear a day – normally a Sunday – where I don’t work, I don’t work out, I try not to cook (at the most, heat up food), but most importantly, I try to do things I like. Fun things. I found if I keep a Sabbath day of rest, I start the week better and I’m happy to work hard for the other six days of the week. It’s a commitment I’m trying to make to myself this year.
With Mummy’s Muse in particular I try to rest during times while I’m waiting. I’ve written about why waiting is hard, however I feel like there’s a time when I won’t have the downtime of waiting any more. So for now, I try not to be hard on myself during these times.
How do you deal with staying ahead of burnout/extreme fatigue?
I don’t know if people even comment on blogs any more, but I would love to know how others cope/deal with this. I’ve learned a lot from talking about these topics with close friends – often female – so I would be fascinated by the male perspective. I honestly think that so many of us are dealing with similar issues, a problem shared is a problem halved.
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