• Ruth Dewar


I feel really ready to write this blog today.

I have finally allowed myself some time off and some much-needed space to reassess and plan both personally and professionally. Taking time out from an incredibly busy clinic petrified me if I am honest, but I am so glad I gave myself this opportunity this week.

There's a narrative running through my mind, as it is for so many of my clients and friends...that narrative is BURNOUT.

Post pandemic, are we really back to normal? What is normal? What should we be doing now? And what the hell just happened to us?

One year on, and after a year of absolutely nothing, confined to our homes, allowed out one hour a day and making the very best of what we had, we were thrust backing life at one hell of a pace. For those of us whose businesses were closed, the anxiety and desperation to get back on track and back to work was overwhelming. And personally, I have been working my ass off to get back and salvage the business I spent years building. And whilst it's been a blessing to still have a business, the pace has been relentless of late. We recently relocated the business to expand, and whilst we are absolutely run off our feet now, there are still two more chapters to come!

Now for some the return to norm was welcomed with open arms. Back out there socialising, dinners, drinks, dancing...but even now, the thought of that is almost terrifying. Our worlds were so small... and for some of us, they still are. The only conceivable way to function was/is... head down keep going.

And this we have done.

And many of us are feeling burnt out, tired, frustrated and in much need of a break. So so many clients are telling me that they are all feeling this way. We have somehow lost our perspective. All the nurturing things we learned in lockdown seem like a distant memory. Self love and self care? It's been a full year off, back to work full time, salvaging businesses, regrowing business, forging new alliances, desperately trying to reconnect and stay connected, juggling home life again... desperate for holidays and actual time away.... managing mental health after such a huge disruption to life.. not to mention the impact this has had on our children!!!

Work, children and their commitments, managing their mental health after loosing out on so much socially and educationally, financial pressures, increases in the cost of living, and now WAR! Where does it and when does it end? EAT SLEEP WORK REPEAT?

I wanted to explore how we overcome all of this. For those that are struggling, what are we capable of committing to? Are we capable of fitting in any more than what we already have?

I can't help feeling that a return to back to basics is what's needed? This will mean different things to different people.

Research has shown that there are 5 stages to BURNOUT...

  • Honeymoon phase. Like a honeymoon phase in a marriage, this stage comes with energy and optimism.

  • Onset of stress phase. Eventually, the honeymoon phase dwindles, and you begin to experience stress.

  • Chronic stress phase.

  • Burnout phase.

  • Habitual burnout phase.

Common signs of BURNOUT:

  • Feeling tired or drained most of the time.

  • Feeling helpless, trapped and/or defeated.

  • Feeling detached/alone in the world.

  • Having a cynical/negative outlook.

  • Self-doubt.

  • Procrastinating and taking longer to get things done.

  • Feeling overwhelmed.

So how do we manage and recover from BURNOUT?

  • Track your stress levels. Using apps or journaling can really help with this.

  • Identify what stresses you out. Avoiding people, places and things that can trigger anxiety, stress and BURNOUT will help you manage your life in a much simpler and safer way. TAKE A STEP BACK!

  • Seek professional help. Unfortunately, the NHS mental health sector is HUGELY underfunded and post-pandemic, their services are swamped. The easiest way to access professional help is to go privately. This can be costly but short periods of intervention can still be beneficial to getting you back on track. There are masses of self-help books and online support, as well as counselling and life coaching services out there. Looking for personal recommendations is a good way to know what you're getting before you start.

  • Build a support network - this is fundamental to survival. whether it be personal or professional. Having good people around you, that can help ease the burden is invaluable. It will allow you to gain perspective.

  • Speak up for yourself. This is so important. (a lesson I am only just learning myself) Feeling understood and valued has a huge positive impact on our self esteem. Also being honest with a situation you are struggling opens the doors to help and support. Asking for help is a grown-up way of living. We will all encounter times where we are struggling. Learning to articulate this is a positive move towards freedom and connection.

  • Good old fashioned exercise. Who doesn't feel better after a walk, run, workout or swim? Scheduling time into your diary (another lesson to myself!!) will help you stay motivated and on track. Movement of any kind releases tension from the body. Even a cheeky stretch will help!

  • Stress management techniques such as breathing, EFT (emotional freedom technique) such as "tapping" away on key stress relief points of the body and intuitive eating (part when you are hungry and stop when you are full) will balance you in a short space of time.

  • Do things you enjoy - your choice - simple!

  • Find a balance. This is where I struggle - EAT SLEEP WORK REPEAT. - Finding a balance is probably one of the hardest challenges we all face. Start with small daily actions to balance time spent at work and time spent on non-work activities. If you’re a full time worker with children, take enough vacation days to spend quality time with your friends and family. Preventing burnout, means having a good work life - home life - balance with space for just YOU! This will improve your relationships with loved ones, which is a key aspect of your health and wellbeing.

  • Exercise and dancing out tension, walking, swimming, cooking, baking and making time at least once a month to meet with those friends who naturally lift your spirits. or perhaps the cinema, reading, a hot bath and some nice candles? Resting pampering and most of all talking about where we are at as well as nurturing and supporting OURSELVES. A holistic approach to life is incredibly beneficial.

As I get older I definitely feel more drawn to a more holistic way of being. Life can feel relentless. Taking a step back and assessing where we are at is never a bad thing. But you have to allow yourself the time to do this. It's OK to prioritise yourself once in a while!!

So on that note, I decided to take some time off work and to try to practice the above things to RESTORE ME BACK TO SANITY.

Just being able to write my beloved blog has given me so much pleasure, peace and release.

I hope you enjoy reading this as much as I enjoyed writing and researching it.

Thank you to the nearly 200 subscribers to my blog for tuning in. Love to you all as always! x

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