Burnout Series: R is For Rhythm

Photo by Michael Hall

Photo by Michael Hall

I’ve been sharing posts lately about the word burnout. We're up to the letter R, which stands for rhythm.

 Our lives are about harmony and rhythm and actions and things that we do. When you're burned out, you're out of rhythm. We're not in sync with how you operate through our lives. We learn traits; we build up habits, routines, and a variety of different things. What happens when you're out of rhythm, those things become more problematic or in many cases you skip them. One of the things that I see often in people that are burned out is they skip the things that they enjoy doing because they don't have time.

 

Yes, you do.

 

You've got 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year plus. If it’s a leap year. You get a bonus day. Don't work that day. Pro-tip take that is a vacation day. Use that day as a day of reflection. Enjoy yourself. Do whatever you want.

 Don't work on February 29th. Put in their vacation time. Now if you haven't already. 

 When you're not in rhythm, everything becomes harder, even to the point of getting out of bed or going to the gym or meeting up with people that you normally meet or being prepared for meetings.

Being prepared for dinner, being prepared to help your kids with homework, being prepared for anything when you're out of rhythm, it’s as if you're not quite on the same road that you should be on your own. You're driving on the shoulder and everything's coming up. You're running over things. You're hearing clunks in your car. Everything is a mess. And it's because you're not taking care of yourself. 

If you're not in alignment, again, your body is going to be trying to compensate for the problems that you're dealing with. When that happens, you’ll have a situation where the energy that you need to repair the damage that we do to our bodies on a daily basis won't be there, because it's too busy addressing your out of rhythm situation. 

 The key is to get back into rhythm. The key is to get back to your true self or your true north. And to do that, you need to get to come to grips with the fact that there's something wrong. You're out of alignment. There's something going on that has led you to this burned out state. It doesn't cure itself.   Even taking a couple weeks vacation to get away from everything, you should want a life that you don't have to take a vacation to get away from your life. 

 When you get back from vacation, guess what? You have two weeks of work that you didn't get to do, on top of your normal workload. That's why you hear people grumbling all the time about going back to work. It's because their workloads are not manageable. And that's a systemic problem across businesses all over the globe. We're being asked to do too much and oftentimes we don't have enough resources to do it. That's the reality of things. The key is to find alignment with what you can do and specialize in the things that only you can do. And that's a hard conversation with your employers. That's a hard conversation with your family, your friends, your partners, your kids, everybody. 

 The key is you can only do so much. You're not going to be able to get everything done. That's a spoiler alert. We won't. There's no shortage of work, which is a good thing, which means there's things for us to do. The key is to be able to get in alignment and get into a rhythm of being able to do the things that we need to do. 

 Next in the BURNOUT acronym is the letter N.


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I help people recover from or prevent burnout in their lives.  Schedule a 20 minute chat to discuss your stress and/or burnout with me.



Burnout Series: U is For Unhappy

In the Burnout acronym, the next letter is the letter U. And that is for unhappy.   When you're burned out, you're not happy with yourself. You're not happy with life. You're not happy about anything. You may be upset. You may be mad. When I had my burnout, I was distant from life. Things that you used to enjoy, things that brought you fulfillment. No longer does.  You’re numb. You don't sleep well. You're not eating well. You're not doing anything well. Life is just overwhelming to you, to the point where even little inconveniences seem like major catastrophes in your life. 

 

If that's going on with you, it should be a warning sign that you need to address something about this because it’s not normal. Little things shouldn't bug you. When I created this post it was summertime in North America, and one of the observations I've had is that it seems a lot of people are on edge right now. And it's alarming to me in many ways because number one, summertime is supposed to be a time of relaxation, sitting outside on patios, enjoying the nice weather. If you're in a climate that doesn't have warm weather year round, it's a good time to reconnect experiencing things, go to a baseball game, go to eat, find food, find restaurants, go to plays, concerts, outdoor venues. All of these things are all over the place. 

 

If you're not partaking in those things because you're too tired or don't have the energy or you have no time, that's a warning sign. You need to take a look at that, because if you're unhappy with your life and you're not doing the things that bring you joy and happiness, your burnout is going to get worse and your body's going to be combating this stress and you’ll start experiencing other health and mental issues. 

 

Eventually the energy that your body needs to take care of other damage than we do to our bodies on a daily basis, won't be there to repair yourself. That's why your sleep is garbage. That's why your energy levels are low. That's why the high-octane coffee is not doing what it used to do. It's because you're burned out and you're not enjoying life and you're unhappy. And you can address this, but you have to be willing and able to do it.

 Next up on the BURNOUT acronym is the letter R.



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I help people recover from or prevent burnout in their lives.  Schedule a 20 minute chat to discuss your stress and/or burnout with me.



 

BURNOUT Series: B Is For Boundaries

border fence barbwire

Burnout is an epidemic.   We're seeing it all throughout our country and across the planet.   We're running into situations where people are leaving their jobs or they're going out on leave for a long time because they just simply can't take it anymore. Recently I posted an image that said burnout but each letter in burnout meant something.  The letter B for burnout starts off with boundaries. I think a key component in dealing with your burnout is boundaries or in many cases a lack of boundaries. You're going to burnout; it's inevitable if your self-worth and your self-care get impacted when you don't have boundaries in your life.

 When you hear the word boundaries a lot of people think border walls or boundaries around of sports field or something along those lines.  Personal boundaries are important. You have to take care of yourself first. We've all heard the analogy of putting on the oxygen mask first if you're an airplane. Hopefully you never experience that because it's quite traumatic for people that have seen that situation happen before. 

You're on an airplane, masks drop, everyone starts freaking out, but again in that panic state you have to take care of yourself in a self-care state. 

 In all aspects of your life, you have to take care of yourself so boundaries are important. 

 How do you implement boundaries in your life if you don't have them?  Just like anything you have to implement them slowly and you have to see what works and what doesn't. 

 Saying no is a boundary. 

 Don't overcommit yourself.

 Don't spend so much time giving of others or giving to others without making sure you take care of yourself first, because you can't serve if you're empty if you're empty you're not going to be able to help anybody. And unfortunately many of us find ourselves under those situations where we are constantly giving and giving and we're not giving to ourselves. 

 I understand that. I get it. I am a reformed people pleaser, and those people have a goal to help others. And sometimes when someone is not in agreement with you on your ability to give to him or her when they expect it (pre-having boundaries) then what happens is they get angry.  If you're anti-confrontational you take that personally.  Remember they're projecting out you. They're projecting their wants and their desires what they want and what they desire and what's an emergency to them may not be an emergency to you. 

 You have to look at things from a perspective of what is best for me to be able to help people when I can. But ultimately it boils down to you have to help yourself first. And if you don't do that you're not going to help anybody at least not in the way that you'd want to. 

 The next post will feature the first letter “U” in BURNOUT.

 Be well!


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I help people recover from or prevent burnout in their lives.  Schedule a 20 minute chat to discuss your stress and/or burnout with me.



How To Recession Proof Your Burnout

Photo by NeONBrand

Photo by NeONBrand

Even though I advise people to limit the amount of news they consume, I do not advise that you live in a cave and ignore all the news of the world.

Over the past few weeks, the “R” word has been bandied about in the media.

As Kimberly Amadeo wrote in a recent article:

A recession is when the economy declines significantly for at least six months. There's a drop in the following five economic indicators: real gross domestic product, income, employment, manufacturing, and retail sales.

With recent trade and tariff disputes between the United States and China, the uncertainty with Brexit, and an overall angst that seems to be permeating society these days, there is potential for a recession within the next year, according to analysts.

The “R” word brings out worry and concern to many, because of the fear of loss or missing out. Loss of jobs, potential financial hardships, depleted savings, etc, will impact many.

Many of us vividly recall the last economic recession of 2008/09. That one was fun #NotReally.

Auto sector in US almost died, housing/mortgage/banking crisis all came to a head. It was a perfect (sh*t)storm of disaster for many, including yours truly.

One of the biggest problems with recessions is that we worry about things that are ultimately out of our control. Going back to 2008/09, the auto sector collapse was caused by poor management decisions at each of the automakers. The banking and mortgage crisis was caused by banks and lenders giving out mortgages to people that truly didn’t qualify to get those mortgages. Several other factors led to that “perfect storm.”

If you stress about something that has not yet happened (and may not for a while), then you are basically asking for those situations to happen. Your mindset is set to “worry mode”, which your brain will attempt to address through the signals and energy repair. work that it has to do when we abuse our minds and bodies with worry and fret.

When you worry about money, I bet more bills show up at your front door. Funny how that happens.

When you worry about getting sick, I bet you’ll end up getting sick.

See a pattern here?

You’re basically asking for (or praying for/begging for) what you DON'T WANT!

Your mindset plays a huge factor on whether or not you will burn out. Burnout is a choice. You’ve chosen to be burned out, through your thoughts, your beliefs, your expectations.

Burnout is an imbalance of what you expect things to be like/want, and reality.

Here’s a good example: You work in social services. You want make a change in the world. You want people that are suffering to no longer be in that situation. You want to help everyone from the challenges they’re facing.

Problem is, you can’t help everyone. Not possible. That’s the reality.

Your perception and desires are to want something that is not possible. When you’re constantly fighting against reality, burnout will show up.

With the “R” word, I’m guessing you don’t want a recession to happen ever again. the reality is with our economic systems, markets go up and down. Supply and demand go up and down. So do economies.

While I hope and think the next recession won’t be like the one in 2008/09, there are steps you can take to minimize the personal impact on your life, and keep recession burnout at bay. (Via CNBC)

Focus, don't panic: Worrying about something only invites that energy of what you don’t want in your life. Focus on what you do have (food/clothing/shelter covered? Good!)

Personal life inventory: Get a physical and mental check-up. Make sure you are addressing any mental or physical health challenges you have. Just because it’s not Jan 1 doesn’t mean you can’t start implementing some improvements in your life.

Financial life inventory: Get real on your current financial situation. DO NOT BEAT YOURSELF UP IF YOU ARE NOT WHERE YOU WANT/HOPED TO BE, FINANCIALLY SPEAKING! We’ve all made choices that didn’t end up well for us. No need to dwell on that. Look and move forward.

Save more: Cash is king. Look at ways to be efficient with your spending. Look for more affordable options for your food/clothing/shelter expenses. If you’re thinking of getting a new car, compare the costs of higher insurance and car payment to what you’re paying now.

Pay down credit cards: If you’re living on credit cards, go back to the previous step and start saving more. Your lifestyle isn’t in alignment with your financial reality. If you make 80,000 a year, and you live like you make 100k a year, there’s a disconnect. Financial burnout is real!

Don’t worry, this too shall pass: The last economic recession was horrible for many, including myself. When I hear talk about another recession potentially coming, going to the steps listed above has helped me tremendously to prepare for the worst, without worrying and hoping it happens.

Be well!


Follow me on Twitter @bfastleadership, Facebook Breakfast Leadership, and on Instagram @bfastleadership

I help people recover from or prevent burnout in their lives.  Schedule a 20 minute chat to discuss your stress and/or burnout with me.



How To Enjoy The End Of Summer Without Burning Out

Photo by Paul Gilmore

Photo by Paul Gilmore

The end of summer is approaching. Various retailers have their back to school sections set up, and you’ll see the look of agony on the faces of students, because they know the classroom routine is around the corner (if it hasn’t already begun.).

For those fortunate to start school after Labor Day, you have a few more days of sleeping in, lounging around, and whatever trouble, errrr, fun you can find.

The end of August often brings a bit of anxiety for people, especially if they haven’t had the opportunity to do everything they wanted to do over the summer months. Those trips to the amusement park, concerts, patio lunches with friends, trips to the cottage… we have to jam all of those in before Labor Day!

Or do you?

Summer is a time for outdoor activities (especially for those of us in northern climates, where that W word seems to last for years.)

When summer passes you by, you feel the urge to jam everything into the last few weeks, to address that fear of missing out (FOMO). When you do this, you’re actually setting yourself up for unnecessary stress and leading you to burnout.

Historically, my autumn tends to be busy with projects, travel, etc. The last 3 years have been very demanding during September-Mid December, so this year I decided to scale back on a lot of initiatives during those months.

Interesting side effect for me doing that: It loaded up my summer months instead. Tons of podcast interviews, travel, and other project work has made this summer zoom by, and I along with the rest of you are wondering where the time has gone.

After mid September, I have 3 trips scheduled between October and December. Podcast recording season is done until February (unless a guest wants to sponsor their appearance, then Mike will step up to the Mic!), and projects are in motion for things.

Fall is often a favorite time of year for people. Pumpkin Spice Lattes and cinnamon donuts are returning, friends!

Pumpkin Spice Latte, by Jayda Novak

Pumpkin Spice Latte, by Jayda Novak

So as you approach the end of your summer, here’s some action items for you.

  • Of all the things you’ve wanted to do but haven’t done yet, pick one thing to do. The rest schedule for next summer

  • Build in off days (if you have vacation days, take one or two if you can) and do NOTHING. Maybe read a book, but turn off your Netflix, shut down your iBinky, be outside and take in the summer breeze. It will make you feel fine.

  • Sleep in or take a few naps. Preferably outside or with a window open. Get some non-HVAC generated air

  • Take a deep look at your fall schedule. Anything you can delete/defer/delegate? Do it.

Enjoy the rest of your summer!


Follow me on Twitter @bfastleadership, Facebook Breakfast Leadership, and on Instagram @bfastleadership

I help people recover from or prevent burnout in their lives.  Schedule a 20 minute chat to discuss your stress and/or burnout with me.




How Personal Boundaries Can Prevent Trouble Down The Road

I talk about boundaries and burnout on my blog, other media sites and my podcast.

Personal boundaries are important to protect yourself from harm. Both harm that others can do to you because of their own issues/agendas/etc, and the harm you do to yourself, especially if you’re a people pleaser.

“It seemed like a good idea at the time” is often associated with times of regret, pain, suffering. A decision to move to a more expensive area, when your finances are still a mess from the last layoff/move, getting a car loan when a used car that you can pay cash for is the better financial choice, or taking that job simply because it paid more, but was a toxic environment are just a few of the examples I hear (and have experienced myself) over time.

At work, not having boundaries about your hours of availability is a direct violation of your personal time and space. Would you go into the office at 11pm to work? Then why are you answering a work email at 11pm? Organization’s definition of “emergency” is way off. There are very few legitimate reasons to be contacted by your employer after hours. Employers need to hire night staff if the work is truly required after hours.

There’s a reason workplace cultures are suffering. People are tired and burned out, because there’s a significant lack of boundaries around the work itself, and when it’s expected to be performed.

When you lack personal boundaries, you are giving away control of your life. Do you want your boss, lover, friend, etc to control your life? Or do you want to be the pilot of the company called YOU?

It’s your choice. Choose wisely.


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I help people recover from or prevent burnout in their lives.  Schedule a 20 minute chat to discuss your stress and/or burnout with me.


How Discontent Can Lead To Burnout

Not enough of us are spending time enjoying our summer!

Not enough of us are spending time enjoying our summer!

Discontent.

In walking around town and seeing people online and their social media posts, this summer seems to be the summer of discontent.

Why?

The weather from my vantage point has been decent. I haven't heard a ton about any troublesome weather events (maybe I’ve missed them, and if you have experienced some rough weather outcomes, I trust you’ll get through them!)

I’ve noticed my own schedule this summer has looked more like my typical autumnal schedule. Crazy busy with activities and tasks.

Wasn’t summer supposed to be slower? A couple notches down? Not for me, and from deeper reflection, maybe not for others.

Our society seems to have latched on to the “never off” mode, not just with our smart phone addictions, but with our work hours, overloading our days with “to-dos”, etc.

What happened to doing nothing on a warm summer day?

When was the last time you did nothing?

Sitting on your patio or balcony, or sitting at a campsite or park. Just sitting. Observing. Listening. Feeling. Any of these sound familiar to you?

If you’re not taking some down time opportunities during the summer, you’re increasing your risk of burning out. Constantly doing things is not how we are designed. Quit treating your life that way!

Last night in a nearby community, the #WaterLanternFestival was in town, where attendees would write on rice paper, and write quotes, passages, thoughts, etc. then this paper would fit over a wooden floating piece of wood in the form of a lantern. Attendees would then put them into a sectioned off part of a lake or river, releasing their lantern of wishes and quotes into the water.

Source: Instagram.com/waterlanternfestival

Source: Instagram.com/waterlanternfestival

Prior to the lantern launch, people sat in the lawn, some with chairs, some had blankets. It felt like. a classic festival. The event had an acoustic guitarist play some music, people were just in the moment, having fun and talking with their friends and family. It was relaxing, and the cool summer breeze made for a wonderful experience. I recommend attending the Water Lantern Festival if it’s near you.

Summer is meant to experience things like outdoor concerts, meals on patios, festivals, vacations, and simply getting away from the day-to-day grind. We need to slow down and experience all that summer has to offer us.

There’s still time. Find time on your calendar and schedule some “do nothing” time. Put on some good music to unwind.

Enjoy the rest of your summer!


Follow me on Twitter @bfastleadership, Facebook Breakfast Leadership, and on Instagram @bfastleadership

I help people recover from or prevent burnout in their lives.  Schedule a 20 minute chat to discuss your stress and/or burnout with me.

Why We Are Failing To Address Workplace Burnout

As stated in a recent Sleep Clinic article, Work burnout doesn’t just describe being tired of working. Rather, it’s a term defined by the Mayo Clinic as “a state of physical or emotional exhaustion that also involves a sense of reduced accomplishment and loss of personal identity.” Burnout also has numerous symptoms from being cynical at work to unexplained headaches, stomach problems, and other physical ailments. In fact, 93% of respondents experienced slight burnout at work.

While the full-time workweek typically consists of 40 hours, a significant portion of employees works more than eight hours a day, on average. Part-time workers were the only employees to clock in less than eight hours daily in 2017. As we learned, for those working more than 40 hours, the likelihood of work burnout increases. Respondents working 40 hours each week experienced burnout to a slight or moderate degree, while people working 41 hours a week felt significant burnout. Respondents who reported being extremely burned out worked an average of 42 hours per week.

Organizations are expecting more and more of employees, violating the personal time of their teams with constant connectivity (smartphones are awesome, and bad at the same time.)

I had breakfast the other day with a colleague, and their company is working a holiday weekend for a rollout of a new initiative. After that, there will be future rollouts and long hours, with no end in sight. Their employees are angry, stressed, possibly burning out, with no end in sight.

Kind of reminds me of the times in workplaces before unions came into existence. Long hours, lousy pay, demanding bosses, unrealistic goals, constant pressure, toxic work environments.

What is old is new again.

I anticipate backlash from employees en masse at some point across the various sectors, because what we are asking employees to do is unrealistic and wrong.

Source: https://www.thesleepjudge.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/Different-Levels-of-Work-Burnout.png

Source: https://www.thesleepjudge.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/Different-Levels-of-Work-Burnout.png

These percentages are staggering, and it’s getting worse.

It’s high time that organizations address this before the employee revolution happens again.


How To Make Great Coffee At Home, Creating A Financial Boundary To Avoid Financial Burnout

One of the boundaries I implemented years ago was making my own coffee at home. It’s a financial boundary, saving me tons of money on expensive coffees from Sixbucks or other coffee establishments. I will buy coffee from those stores from time to time, but my first coffee of the day is most often brewed at home.

Now we know that great Espresso coffee made in the coffee establishments is the quintessential coffee, the way that exalts the taste and aromas to the maximum. The preparation of Espresso coffee is a true art.

If you want to know more information about coffee you can check out my friends at Coffeelifious.

 To get an excellent result also at home it is advisable to follow these rules:

         

1) Water quality: Use natural mineral water instead of tap water. Concentration of limescale can prevent perfect machine operation and influence coffee quality. Every two months it is advisable to use an anti-limescale for domestic espresso machines.

         

2) The right dose: For each cup use 7 grams of coffee for your espresso machine . For your guidance, be aware that the size that comes with the machine equals approximately 7 grams.

 

3) A professional hand : once the filter holder is filled, lightly tap the table or the palm of the hand to evenly distribute the coffee powder. Tighten the coffee firmly using the press that comes with the machine: a flat surface is critical to getting a good Espresso coffee.

         

4) The right time : the coffee should leave the canal forming a continuous and homogeneous thread. Pay attention to the extraction time: if the coffee comes out very fast, try to press it harder; On the contrary, if the output is too slow, review the pressure in the opposite direction.

         

5) Careful maintenance : When making a coffee, remove the residue from the previous filter to avoid unwanted flavors. Once in a while, let the water run into the empty filter, as if you were making coffee. Before making another, wait 2/3 minutes, making sure there is no water residue inside the filter holder. Proceed in the same way every time you wash the filter holder with tap water.

 

Little trick: it can happen that the coffee in the cup is not hot enough. Try to let the water flow through the filter holder as shown above. Then, without removing the filter holder from the machine, operate the steam until the light comes on. It is a simple and fast way to increase the water temperature.

 

6 tips to prepare a quality coffee

 

Several criteria come into play in the preparation of a quality coffee. They are not mandatory but if you want to increase the quality of your cup try to be attentive to these 6 criteria.

 

1. Quality coffee

 

It may seem obvious but the quality of coffee is paramount. Always choose quality beans and properly roasted .

 

2. Freshly roasted coffee

 

Once roasted the coffee is degraded very quickly. It is therefore necessary to always buy your coffee in small quantities as close to roasting.

 

3. Grind just before preparation

 

Ground coffee is degraded even faster (in just a few hours). It is therefore best to buy your coffee beans and grind it just before you prepare your coffee.

 

4. Good grind for the right method

 

The thickness of the grind (medium, coarse, fine ...) depends on the method of preparation. If the coffee stays in contact with the water for a long time (piston coffee machine), use a coarse grind, this will reduce the surface of contact between the coffee and the water and thus avoid obtaining bitter coffee. For the methods of pour-over or espresso, the water "crosses" the coffee, the time of contact between the 2 is weaker. You must therefore use a finer grind.

 

5. Water at +/- 90/95 ° C

 

Avoid using boiling water. Your coffee would be bitter. Use water at 90/95 ° C just before the boiling point.

 

6. Filtered water

 

A cup of coffee is 99% water. Its quality is therefore paramount. The ideal is to use filtered water (with a carafe Brita for example).

 

coffeelifious_37149362.png

 Follow me on Twitter @bfastleadership, Facebook Breakfast Leadership, and on Instagram @bfastleadership

I help people recover from or prevent burnout in their lives.  Schedule a 20 minute chat to discuss your stress and/or burnout with me.

How To Vacation Without Burning Out

ComicCon is a marathon

ComicCon is a marathon

I’m just returning from the 50th San Diego ComicCon.

I know that I have feeling in my lower extremities, because my legs and feet are telling me that I walked several miles over the past few days. Toss in long flights, and a drive back to Toronto and that makes for a long trip.

I’ve attempted to get passes to the comic book version of Mecca for several years, and am still in a bit of shock that I was able to attend the event with my brother and two oldest kids.

In the 3-day vacation, we walked all over downtown San Diego, attended a concert, went to the convention itself, went to the ComicCon Museum for the Batman 80th anniversary event, went to a big outdoor mall, and navigated the airport to and from San Diego.

It was a jam packed trip. I’m physically tired but not mentally tired.

Why?

Did I have a packed agenda that had checkboxes?

No.

Did we list all those things mentioned above, that we had on our schedule? Nope.

On the agenda was the following:

Go to the ComicCon Museum on Thursday.

Go to a concert on Thursday night.

Go to ComicCon on Friday.

That’s it.

Everything else was a go with the flow moment. We wandered around, stopped in a pub (or 6), ate when we were hungry, looked at shops. Went to Petco Park (Padres were out of town, boooooo).

I find when you pack your agenda too full, you create increased stress and contribute to burning out.

We had 3 things planned. 1-2 things per day. Everything else was go with the flow.

Was your last trip like that? Or did you have a printed out agenda with 36 things to do in 2 days?

Vacations are meant to refresh, explore, renew. Too many of us try to pack in too many things in too short of a time, which has us returning to work worn out, instead of refreshed and renewed.

For your next vacation, I suggest only doing 1 activity per day. 2 max. You can always go back to that destination.

Create slack (aka no plans) time so you can sit by the pool, go for a walk, have brunch, have a drink, etc.

Get to and from the airport early. Bypass the long line stress and people watch. Humanity at its finest when they’re stressed about missing a flight.

Happy vacationing!


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I help people recover from or prevent burnout in their lives.  Schedule a 20 minute chat to discuss your stress and/or burnout with me.

Understanding Pregnancy and Dealing With Burnout

 Guest post by Patrick Bailey.

The duration of pregnancy can be a complicated game of math, especially if this is your first rodeo. Faulty expectations can increase the likelihood of burning out. 

Even though the common belief indicates that pregnancy lasts for nine months, 

The answer to “how many months is a pregnancy” depends on whether you know the actual conception date or must rely upon the gestational age, which is calculated from the first day of your last menstrual period. 


Using the gestational age, pregnancy is calculated as much as three to four weeks before conception. In other words, while a full-term pregnancy can total up to about nine months or 37 to 38 weeks after conception, it's 40 weeks or about 10 months going by your menstrual period.

Figuring out the exact time of your last menstrual period can be tricky, too, if you weren't keeping track. If you want or need to know the gestational age in the early stages of your pregnancy, an ultrasound is a sensible option. 


During the first two weeks of your pregnancy (as calculated by gestational age), a process called ovulation is set to take place wherein the most mature egg is discharged from your ovary. Ovulation can occur earlier or later, depending upon the duration of your menstrual cycle.


Once the egg is fertilized, it subsequently moves down to your fallopian tube, its cells dividing and developing during the third or fourth week. The cells then shape a ball that glides around in your uterus for approximately two to three days to kick-start the pregnancy.

Start of Pregnancy


Pregnancy officially starts when a group of cells attaches to the lining of your uterus in a process called implantation. Usually, implantation begins about six days after conception and takes roughly three to four days to complete. (Pregnancy does not always result even if a sperm fertilizes the egg since your uterus sheds more than half of the fertilized eggs when you are on your period.)


Since pregnancy isn't always immediately obvious, you must watch for the common signs of pregnancy. These vary depending on duration, intensity, and frequency. Not having your period is among the top indications of pregnancy.


 After you’ve missed your period, a pregnancy test should tell you if you are actually pregnant. 

Other signs include: 

  • Feeling fatigued and tired. Early in your pregnancy, the levels of the hormone progesterone reach an all-time high and can put you to sleep. Progesterone can also lower your blood pressure and sugar levels.

  • Mood swings. 

  • Tender or swollen breasts

  • Slight bleeding or cramping. 

  • Nausea

  • Food cravings. 

  • Headaches. 

  • Constipation. 

  • Feeling bloated. 

Although not everyone will experience all of these symptoms, if you are pregnant it is likely you will have at least one of them. If you do, see a gynecologist for an ultrasound to ensure that there are no problems with your organs, tissues, and vessels.

During your first trimester, expect hormonal changes that may sap your energy, especially if you are working. Your body will start producing extra blood to distribute nutrients to your growing baby. This can cause mild anemia but preexisting anemia and thyroid disease can also make you feel tired and fatigued. This is why you need to see a doctor or midwife for prenatal blood work. If you are worn out, you may need to take an iron supplement to keep their pregnancy as healthy as possible.


How Burnout Can Affect Your Pregnancy?


Burnout may occur during pregnancy, leaving you feeling empty, exhausted, and unable to keep up with the demands of your working life, but it is not inevitable. Even a stressful working environment need not lead to burnout if you manage your stress well, may not cause any ill-effects to your pregnancy.


Tips to Avoid Burnout During Pregnancy


While fatigue and tiredness tend to disappear during the second trimester, it will usually return in the third and final trimester, increasing the chances of a possible burnout. 

Here are some easy tips to cope with fatigue and avoid burnout during your pregnancy.

Take An Extra Rest. 

  • This seems elementary but most of us tend to forget it. When you feel fatigued, take a nap if you can manage it. 

    • As much as you might like to, even just to break up the boredom, you can't do it all anymore. Ask for and accept help. Overworking may harm the baby.

    • At night, avoid fluids, especially caffeinated ones, a few hours before bedtime to minimize the number of times you have to get up at night to go to the bathroom.

    • You should aim for at least eight hours of sleep every night, but the quality as well as the quantity can influence how you feel and will maximize the blood flow to your baby.


Exercise Daily. 

  • Daily exercise is essential in bolstering your energy levels and keeping your muscles flexible during pregnancy. You can choose to do some stretches or even take a short walk during the day to ease back and joint pain, release tension, and, more importantly, increase your heart rate so that you can sleep better at night.

  • Exercising can spell the difference between an excruciating pregnancy and a smooth one, but it's a bad idea to start a vigorous workout program during pregnancy. To find out the best and safest exercise program for you, speak with your doctor about joining a prenatal fitness class. 


Watch Your Diet. 

  • What you eat during your pregnancy can make a significant difference in how you feel. Discuss your diet with a medical professional. A few tweaks might be better for you and baby, maybe even confine your weight gain during pregnancy to a minimum.

  • You do need more calories—no less than 300 extra calories every day unless you are overweight and over-eating already—but don't depend on snack foods and carbohydrates for rapid bursts of energy; they are followed by corresponding crashes. Also, stay hydrated and make sure to get the right amount of protein.


 Adjust Your Schedule. 

  • It is advisable to temporarily recalibrate your schedule during pregnancy so your current activities or commitments don't prove too much to handle. This may include asking your family and friends to run errands for you or assist you with household tasks. Also, if possible, trim down your hours at work to minimize the risk of complications during pregnancy.


Prioritize Important Tasks. 

  • You can minimize work stress by making a daily to-do list so that you can prioritize your tasks. 

Relax. It is also optimal if you can practice relaxation techniques and share your frustrations with a friend, a supportive co-worker or a loved one instead of keeping everything to yourself.




Author Bio: Patrick Bailey is a professional writer mainly in the fields of mental health, addiction, and living in recovery. He attempts to stay on top of the latest news in the addiction and the mental health world and enjoy writing about these topics to break the stigma associated with them. Patrick is currently a writer for Mountain Springs Recovery as well as on his own blog.


Follow me on Twitter @bfastleadership, Facebook Breakfast Leadership, and on Instagram @bfastleadership

I help people recover from or prevent burnout in their lives.  Register here for my next webinar on going from burnout to your ideal life.



How The Death Of My Aunt Reminded Me How To Live

A couple of weekends ago, my family said goodbye to one of my aunts. At the funeral, there were countless stories of how my aunt and uncle helped friends and family over the years. So many stories that were new to many of us, but they all had a common theme. Give to love.

My aunt’s backstory had some ups and downs, but it was a full life of laughter and fun.

She lived her life to the fullest, and I truly mean full. The stories, the photos, the experiences of dozens of guests that shared life adventures they had with my aunt and uncle painted a mosaic of living life all out.

My uncle had passed away about a year ago, so losing my aunt the next year made it feel like we just left that funeral home.

In the past year, my aunt really cranked up living. She bought a convertible, went on vacations with friends, saw Bob Seger in a concert in New York (she traveled from Florida to go, so that’s a definition of a true fan.)

So many of us sit on the sidelines, playing victim to what happens in life. Guess what?  Life will have sucky moments. Life will have grand moments. Life will have ok moments.

The key is to live EVERY moment, because you could go into a hospital on a Saturday and pass away 4 days later. Life is splendid and brief.

Hearing all the stories reminded me that as time flies by (1st 6 months of 2019 are gone) I need to be more present on living daily.

Go out there. Go to that concert. Book that trip. Save money for that thing or experience you want. Focus on your life and your health (both physical, spiritual and mental!)


Follow me on Twitter @bfastleadership, Facebook Breakfast Leadership, and on Instagram @bfastleadership

I help people recover from or prevent burnout in their lives.  Register here for my next webinar on going from burnout to your ideal life.



2019 Mid Year Review

2019 is officially at the halfway point. If you’re like me, you’re wondering where the heck March went, much less the rest of the months.

I went through my written journals for 2019, and was amazed about how much I had forgotten about. Either podcast interviews, work-related matters, or to-do list items that never went beyond those lists.

In the past, I would’ve beaten myself up for not doing the to-do list items. However, based on how busy and productive this year has been, I remind myself (and remind you) that we simply cannot accomplish everything we want to do, especially if we are driven types that want to accomplish so much.

I’ve stared using a CRM tool to do a (hopefully) better job of keeping me on task with my to-dos and follow-ups. I’ll write about that CRM in a future post, but for now I definitely recommend using some sort of system to help you keep on top of things.

One of the the main reasons I journal is to keep a record of my personal and professional growth. When you look back at 6 months of work (or longer) you’ll be amazed how much you’ve done in that time. There were things that I did that I know now didn’t move things forward as much as I would hope, but a good quote that Steve Olsher shares is that failure is success with an unexpected outcome.

What are you going to do the next 6 months? Maybe dust off those New Years resolutions and see what you’ve accomplished, and what you would still like to do before 2019 comes to a conclusion. There’s still time.



Follow me on Twitter @bfastleadership, Facebook Breakfast Leadership, and on Instagram @bfastleadership

I help people recover from or prevent burnout in their lives.  Register here for my next webinar on going from burnout to your ideal life.