So… we are supposed to be ‘back to normal’ but nothing is ‘normal’!
Uncertainty and fear are still simmering in the background of pretty much everything we do. It’s hard to find people for jobs so those of us who are working feel we are doing the jobs of two or more people.
We are learning how to juggle working from home and from the office and many new ways of being. Financial expenses seem to be on the rise on top of everything else!
People feel tired – all the time and barely have energy for living. Let alone doing all the things that need to be done.
Many feel isolated, disconnected and more alone than before the pandemic – even though we are ‘back to normal’. Mental health issues are skyrocketing, and our children are having a harder time than ever recovering from the effects of the last 3 years.
Oops – that all sounds not very joyful! But – this is a real situation where burnout is more prevalent than it’s ever been – In fact, my latest keynote is “From Burnout to Joy” and it’s really popular at the moment because every client – and I mean every – is experiencing the same issues – all those listed above. Unmotivated, unwell, unhappy people trying to do good work!
How do you know you might be experiencing symptoms of burnout?
And how do we go from burnout to joy?
If you said yes to any of the states I mentioned above– fatigue, depression, lack of motivation, separation and isolation, loneliness, no energy, anger, unhappiness, depression, you can’t think, you can’t sleep even if you are exhausted, waking up at 3am, you feel anxious and stressed all the time, and these states are pretty consistent then you may have the ‘label’ called burnout.
But if we are more accurate, you are not a ‘label’!
What you are experiencing right now is a message from your body! It’s letting you know it’s not happy or functioning well and it needs your attention – and your life needs attention.
Have you ever heard of the story of the frog and boiling water? If you put a frog into boiling water (I don’t know who did the experiment first, but I wonder about them!!) it will instantly jump out because it’s not silly! But…. if you put a frog into a pan of cold water and you very slowly turn the temperature up, the frog will let itself boil because it doesn’t notice the steady increase.
Now – who knows if that is true, but most of us are living like this whether the story is true or not! I remember once on stage these words came to me – ‘we are living lives of habits and patterns ruled unconsciously by fear’. And as I observe different companies and loads of people in those companies (and everyone else!) I see people who are caught in a hamster wheel of busy-ness and fear.
Fear is one of the greatest contributors to burnout because your whole nervous system and immune system are attacked with a constant state of fear which we have all had for 3 years now. And we had enough before!So how do we eradicate this fear and stop some of the factors contributing to burnout?
I put together something specially for you – simple things that make a big difference. IF you do them! Share this with your families and friends in whom you see the signs of burnout – or that you know are struggling with a lack of joy.
This A-Z list might seem too simple – but really these things work – effectively. The trick is to remember to do them – hence the poster! You can print it out and post it somewhere near your computer or fridge to remind you every day (better – every hour!) to practice something that works to boost your joy – or at least bring you to neutral.
The poster is below, and I have elaborated a little on each one below that… Actually I elaborated a lot!
A. Awareness of feelings: acknowledgement of others – and yourself. Most of us are too busy to even know we are feeling, let alone what those feelings are! Managing our thinking manages our feelings. Acknowledge what you are feeling and decide to take care of yourself in that moment if necessary. Acknowledge others and how they are feeling. Feelings matter – A LOT! Pay attention to them! They are clues to your stress levels!
B. Breathe – twice – in for 7, hold for 7, out for 7. Through your nose. As soon as we become stressed, we breathe very high and shallow which inhibits oxygen supply. Breathe deeply, down to the base of your lungs – do it at least twice (that’s important) every time you become aware of a feeling that is other than peace or joy!
C. Connect to your heart and others: make conscious choices. Covid has disconnected so many people from each other and for many has given them an opportunity to connect more deeply with themselves which is awesome! Connecting to your heart and being guided by its wisdom is a brilliant thing to do for busting stress and burnout. Of course – that means paying attention to your inner knowing and feelings! Be conscious of your thinking and the choices you are making every single minute of the day – because you ARE making choices every single minute!
D. Daylight – be in the sun and soak up Vitamin D: Spending time in the sun each day is really important – its more than just vitamin D – it’s part of the source of our life force! See if you can get out in the sun first thing in the morning – or at breaks during work – anything to get out of fluorescent light and into restorative sunlight. You don’t need sunscreen if it’s for 20 minutes!! Unless you are in the Sahara!
E. Energy – do things that give you energy: enJOY; enjoy every experience – no matter how challenging! Who wants to die with a lot of regrets for what you didn’t do! Enjoying every experience – good or ‘bad’ – gives us more wisdom and discernment – and potentially great joy! Do things you love to do. Give yourself time and permission to lie in the bath, listen to music, sit and be still, read a book, talk to a friend – anything that gives you energy and lifts your spirits. Enjoy small moments; eat well and exercise – but you all already know that – how many of you do it?!
F. Feelings are everything: how you feel about yourself especially; where is your focus? The most important thing in life is how you feel about yourself. Do you really know how you feel about yourself? It’s the essence of self- esteem and confidence. The greatest gift a parent can give their child is to leave home feeling good about themselves. Eradicate fear of all sorts (other than the common sense to run if you are in danger!) Focus on things that lift your frequency and vibration. What you focus on you create.
G. Gratitude – use your glasses and take gratitude breaks: gratitude reframes everything. I have written forever about gratitude! You all know it! Consciously choose to be grateful for everything in your world – even the tough things. They are often your greatest teachers. You may not be grateful at the time but choose to find gratitude afterwards if not during! Buy a set of gratitude glasses and wear them. In the car, at dinner, at staff meetings and ask everyone as the starting question for the meeting – ‘what’s the thing you are most grateful for since we last met?’ It changes everything in the meeting! Ground yourself. Take your shoes off and stand on grass, sand, soil, earthy tiles or timber and allow the earth to balance you. Or buy a earthing mat if it’s too cold!!
H. Heart – you ARE love and light: remember your heart field: emanates love. You are an astonishing being of light and love – and if you hear a little voice saying ‘no you are not’ – you have limiting fears that need eradicating! Because as a human – you ARE light and love. It’s whether you choose to believe it, behave like it or be it!
I. Intuition/inner wisdom – tap into it; trust it. How many times have you ignored your intuition or gut feeling or instinct and regretted it? Tap into your inner knowing – the wisdom that lives in your heart and follow its guidance.
J. JOY – Just One You! Connect with your JOY BUDDY. Joy buddies are as you know resilience and accountability buddies! Find a Joy Buddy and commit to each other to hold each other accountable for actions you were going to take to bust stress and boost energy! Or any of these A-Z actions! If you really want to feel well and make changes a joy buddy really helps! And remember always – there is Just One You! A unique, astonishing being of light and love. Sometimes we forget that because of the layers of protection we have built around ourselves. Love the uniqueness of you – embrace it and honor it. Avoid judgement. Lisa Tyree, a friend of mine inspired me with this quote – ‘judgement is an invitation to understand’. Brilliant. I am stamping it on my forehead! LOL.
K. Kind – be kind to yourself and others. Kindness is underrated. A little bit of kindness – to yourself and others – is transformative. It’s not difficult to do and does require a little thoughtfulness and considering other people’s feelings as well as your own. Being kind to yourself allows you more space to be kind to others. Choose kindness consciously. Be kind rather than right. It works!!
L. Laugh a LOT! Radiate love: Listen and find the funny. Laughter exercises your internal organs, resets your brain, raises your frequency, makes you popular and loads of other benefits! Watch comedies not dramas! Find the funny in everything if you can – not always at the time but afterwards it’s always possible. Even if someone has passed, once the grief wanes, the joy of remembering times you laughed together and funny moments you had are the memories to treasure. Listening is a master skill. Both to yourself and others. We rarely listen well to others and rarely listen at all to ourselves and what we need. Pay attention to the type of listener you are!
M. Malware needs to be removed – the 3 core fears – you ARE loveable, good enough, safe and you belong; what really matters to you? The malware that disrupts your pristine original operating system you came in with as a baby is those 3 core fears. We all need a malware removal program to identify those fear, which ones we have and challenge them, ultimately to eradicate them. This malware effects every aspect of your life – every aspect. It was inserted by us as stories we told ourselves between 0-7 – which most of us don’t know! We told ourselves the stories – so we can change them! They are not the truth of you. Working out what really matters to you sounds easier than it is! But it is really important! It will help you create the life you want!
N. Nurture yourself in ways that work FOR YOU. What do you feel nurtures you? That really feeds your heart and soul? That gives you life force, energy and vitality. It might be as simple as being still for 5 minutes – in nature or a beautiful spot or just a quiet spot. Do you nurture yourself with wholesome food or great quality water? Or with a bath or a nap? What works for you?
O. Observe your thoughts – your stories – your beliefs – 95-99% of the time we are unconscious of them! If you take nothing else away from this – become an observer of your thoughts! Because we are unconscious of them 95-99% of the time – most of our decisions, choices, actions are based on unconscious choices! How can you be the creator of the life you want if you are unconscious of the thoughts that are behind your decisions! Wake up! Observe the stories you are telling yourself (which are your thoughts) and be discerning. Challenge the truth of many of them – they are judgments not considered.
P. Permission – give yourself permission to rest, relax, do nothing, just BE: see everything from THREE perspectives – yours, theirs and the whole. We look outside for permission to do things because we are conditioned to do that! But the greatest person from which to seek permission is yourself! We are the ones who criticize ourselves the most and prevent us doing what our hearts know we need to do to take care of ourselves. Allow yourself to admit to being exhausted or drained and give yourself permission to rectify that situation. You carry responsibility for yourself and your environment and nature – not for everyone else! David Martin, my beloved mentor, says we must always consider three perspectives for an accurate picture of what might really be going on. Consider yours, the other persons and then view if from the ‘big picture’, the whole, source level. You will be astonished at how dramatically this changes the way you feel! Be present in every moment too!
Q. Quantum – pay attention to the quantum field – we are ALL part of it and connected in it. I have studied quantum physics for over 40 years!! I love it! It teaches us so much about how the world/universe really works. We are all connected all the time. We all contribute to the field all the time. We cannot not have an influence. You influence everything! Your thoughts are frequencies that influence everything around you and beyond! What you think matters not only to you and your environment but also to the quantum field. Think consciously! And to do that David says ‘slow down to the speed of consciousness’.
R. Have Reverence for yourself and your body – your heart and your soul. Reverence is when we have awe and wonder for something; we treat it as something precious and special. That is you! How often do you treat yourself with reverence – as something precious and special? And do you allow others to treat you that way? Do you treat others with reverence? And if you do – why not you? Spend some time reflecting on reverence and how you could respect and honor yourself more. Have reverence for your body as well! It’s the temple that houses your spirit – so feed it nourishing foods and pristine water and avoid harming it. Keep it moving and exercise it, so it stays pain free and flexible.
S. Create Safety for yourself and others: be still: Slow down to the speed of consciousness. Safety – physical, emotional, mental and spiritual – are all critical for avoiding burnout! Make sure you are not your own worst enemy, creating unsafe environments out of everything! Create safety within you – perhaps for your inner frightened child; stop harshly criticising and critiquing yourself; give yourself some grace rather than punishment. Being still is the most potent tool I have learned during my ‘covid gift’ time! I was never still and never present before! I now love being still which I have worked my way up to doing for at least 5 minutes now!!! LOL I joke – but it’s true! Try it – see if you can be still and not think and be totally present for more than 5 minutes! I might have had more of a challenge than many of you – but let me know! I can now be still in the garden and while I clean. I am quite proud of myself for that!! LOL If you knew me, you would know I am not joking!
T. Do TA DA’s a lot: for yourself and others! Acknowledging yourself and others is a wonderful burnout buster! And acknowledging by saying ‘you deserve a TA DA’ is an awesome way to laugh and acknowledge – and help other people feel good about themselves. And if you give yourself a TA DA in the mirror – you will laugh and feel better too! It’s really worth focusing on lifting yourself up and not dragging yourself down! Ta da’s do that!
U. Understand not judge – judgement is an invitation to understand. This is so important I repeated it! Observing out thinking helps us catch ourselves when we are making judgments. As Even Enklemann said to me ‘use judgement, not make judgement’. So, when you find yourself judging another or a situation, stop and ask yourself… ‘what do I need to understand right now about this person or situation?’ It’s a conscious choice you are making – to understand and discern or to judge.
V. Victim no more! Take responsibility for your stories! You may be ‘victimised’ but you don’t have to be a victim! We all contribute to whatever is going on around us. Taking responsibility for yourself and your part in the situation and acknowledge the role of others and then remember – find a third perspective! That will help balance things and keep a balanced view. Too many adults judge, blame, make excuses and talk themselves into being a victim without acknowledging that their behaviours may have contributed. Of course, there are always scenarios where people experience extremely challenging circumstances – why is it that some see themselves as victims and others view it very differently? The difference that makes the difference is how they think!
W. Wellness – physically, mentally, spiritually, and emotionally. This needs little explanation! You all know what health choices would benefit you. It’s up to you to decide which ones you will implement! No need to elaborate as you all know about healthy eating choices, drinking pure water, exercising well, laughing, love, healthy habits!
X. Xero point stillness is a wonderful place. This is a place of peace deep inside you – kind of like the wormhole to your spirit! If you can use X-ray vision to find the place and feel the deep peace of that place and carry it consciously with you, everything will change!!
Y. You ARE love; You ARE an astonishing being of light and love. There are few exceptions! Behaviours are not who you are! Listen to the stories you have been telling yourself about your light and love. They are usually not true. The truth is that you are pure love and light – distorted by stories, habits and patterns!
Z. ZOOTIES!! Send them everywhere! 💕 💕 Zooties are a gift from my Mum to the world! It was her way of sending me love – in person, or in writing or texts! Send invisible hearts from yours to another persons! I make little hand gestures as well and children and toddlers LOVE this! Families now have traditions that children who did this grew up and taught their own children! Zoot everywhere! The world needs more zoots!
Amanda Gore 2023