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.

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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!)

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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.

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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 End Of The NBA and NHL Seasons Helps Reduce Burnout



Within the last week or so, the St. Louis Blues won their first Stanley Cup, and the Toronto Raptors won their first NBA championship.

The build up and excitement in St. Louis and Toronto was rabid, and having friends and loved ones in both cities, I was able to celebrate those championships with them.

So much goes into sports seasons. So many hours of practice, travel, games, injuries, front-office moves, press conferences, etc. The schedule is long and grueling. We as novices often forget how incredibly talented these professional sport athletes are, and the amount of personal time and effort they put into their sport.

Yes, many are paid very well. That truly doesn’t matter to me. I don’t care if you make $50,000 or $50 million, if you’re constantly trying to improve your skills, I honor you and your gifts and contributions.

Now that the NHL and NBA seasons have ended, the major league that has pretty much our attention over the next month or two is Major League Baseball.

Baseball has been my favorite sport since I was 8. It created my desire to enter into accounting when I was 14, and has provided me decades of joy.

The high pace, high drama, stakes are highest months of April - June for the NBA and NHL are now over, and now we can sit back and watch a sport that doesn’t completely have a time clock (other than pitchers needing to get on with it and not walk off the mound every time.)

High energy, long hours, to sitting around, relaxing, having an adult beverage, bbq’s, baseball game on the radio. Summer breezes, friends, relaxation.

It’s a different pace in the summer, as it should be. Your work loads should be reduced (but guessing in some organizations that’s not the case.) Vacation time should be taken and embraced.

When was the last time you went on vacation? If the word “year” is mentioned, you’re waiting too long.

There are many people that only have a couple weeks vacation, so I know that’s tough. But many have 3-4-5-6 or even more weeks vacation, and they bank them, and never use them.

Burnout is a choice.

If you haven’t booked your summer vacation time off yet, what are you waiting for? Even if you bank it around a holiday weekend, please take some time off. Catch a baseball game, go to a BBQ. Go to the beach or a park. Unwind with a physical book.

Enjoy a slower pace. You can thank me later.

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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.

Leadership Lessons From The Toronto Raptors Winning The NBA Title

We The North

We The North

The team that had those purple jerseys, that have had a history of all-star talent (McGrady, Oakley, Isiah, Vinsanity, Stoudamire, CB4, etc), that started playing in a Baseball stadium, to #WeTheNorth, firing their coach of the year, trading away a fan favorite, to beating the best team in the league for the past 1/2 decade, there are many stories with the Raptors and their championship.

The one that jumps out is the moves the team made a year ago, when they let go Dwane Casey, the 2018 NBA Coach of the Year, and traded DeMar DeRozan, who most would say was their best player.

Wow did fans lose their shit over those moves. What were they thinking? This will blow up.

And it did. Masai Ujiri (GM of Toronto) didn’t hide behind the moves. The press questioned his motives, fans were upset, as I’m sure some of the players were as well.

By blowing up, it meant tens of thousands of championship starved fans filling the streets of Toronto, celebrating the NBA’s new champions.

Toronto is a HUGE city. It’s almost 3x the size of Boston (that city that wins all the championships, well other than losing to the Blues this year. Happy for St. Louis, and for Boston, you’ll have to wait a few months for your next parade. Deal with it ;)

The leadership lesson is that often times leaders make decisions that are not popular. They’re not easy moves, but for the best of the organization it’s the right move to make.

A classic example is when the Detroit Pistons during their “Bad Boys” reign traded away NBA/ABA all-time great Adrian Dantley for Mark Aguirre. Similar reaction in the press and with fans.

Bad Boys

Bad Boys

The Pistons won back-to-back titles, before Michael Jordan decided he wanted to win 6 rings in 8 years.

Leadership moves can be unpopular, and quite frankly cause some team members to leave (either by self-selection, or they get de-hired.) However, leaders have a job to do: Lead. They set the vision, they determine the destination of the organization. Ujiri, MLSE, and the Raptors bought into the vision, and now they are champions of the game that Dr. James Naismith invented in 1891.

Strong organizations believe in their leadership, and let them make the moves that are necessary to win.

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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.

Why Channelling Your Inner Weekend Daily Will Help Prevent Burnout

Is it the weekend yet?

Is it the weekend yet?

I’m writing this post on a laptop, sitting outside on a partly sunny day. Listening to Sammy Hagar’s No Worries which should be all of our life goals.

Yet, I see way too many people up to their eyebrows in stress, worries, angst, pain, etc.

Instagram has no shortage of TGIF and FriYAY posts. We’re all racing to the weekend. Two days of trying to jam in fun, to-dos, etc.

Ever wonder why your significant other gets bent about errands taking too long? It’s because they want to relax to unwind from the work-week. Shopping for clothes, fishing gear, etc is not how they had planned on spending their Saturdays.

If you can negotiate how you spend your weekends with your significant other, you can gain more of that “relaxation” time that you have been craving all week.

What if you had relaxation time built into your whole week instead?

Impossible you say?

Let’s imagine you did something you enjoy every day. Do you think that would make your day a tiny bit better?

If you said yes, then there’s an exercise that will help. I’ll get back to you in a minute.

If you said no, that doing something you enjoy on a daily basis wouldn’t make your days better, then you may be burned out. You should reach out to me directly to further discuss this.

No matter if you said yes or no, there’s a free resource I offer to help you figure out what you enjoy.

At BreakfastLeadership.com/bucket There’s a worksheet to download, that will help you list out all of the things you enjoy.

On the left side of that worksheet, list out all the things you enjoy doing. Be as robust as possible. These are things/activities that bring you happiness, peace, joy.

On the right side of those listed items, write down the last time you partook in those activities. (insert collective moans here.)

People wait to the weekend to enjoy their lives. This HAS to stop. You need to enjoy EVERY DAY.

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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.

Why The World Health Organization Has Added Burnout To The ICD

Below are some codes that for most won’t mean anything:

QD85 Burn-out

ICD-11 for Mortality and Morbidity Statistics

(Version : 04 / 2019)

ICD-11 stands for International Classification of Diseases 11th Revision. It’s from the World Health Organization (WHO) that is the world recognized authority on health.

Burnout has been recognized by WHO as an occupational phenomenon that stems directly from our collective crisis of workplace stress.

Burnout is a syndrome conceptualized as resulting from chronic workplace stress that has not been successfully managed. It is characterized by three key factors: “feelings of energy depletion or exhaustion; increased mental distance from one’s job, or feelings of negativism or cynicism related to one’s job; and reduced professional efficacy.” (Thanks to Arianna Huffington and Thrive Global for some of this content!)

Burnout is real, friends. When WHO puts it in their 11th revision of their classification of diseases, you know it’s catching on.

In my dozen years working in healthcare, I would guess (conservative) that 75% of all patient visits had stress as part of the reason for the visit.

Smartphones, constant connectivity, no shutting down, spending too much on shit we don’t need, (anti) social media and the constant comparison of our lives is taking a toll on every generation.

We talk about lack of sleep, disengagement, drastic increases in Diabetes, heart attacks under age 40, etc, and we are on a collision course with disaster.

I can’t believe so many people are flirting with their own 369 Days.

What do we need to address burnout?


We have to say no more. We need to take care of ourselves first, we have to get past the fear of what people will think or say (because spoiler alert: most people aren’t thinking what you think they’re thinking.)

We need to spend more time experiencing our bucket list instead of our to-do lists. Read my post on that.

We need to quit living in homes that are too big for us, with garages full of crap we do not use. You know you’re paying more rent/taxes/utilities/etc to store stuff YOU DON’T USE, RIGHT?

Just like Smokey Bear says only you can prevent forest fires, only YOU can prevent your burnout.

World Health Organization (WHO)

World Health Organization (WHO)

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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.

Why I'm Thankful For My Year of Worst-Case Scenarios

On May 22, 2019 I celebrated the 10 year anniversary of my heart attack.

Why in the world would someone want to celebrate such a scary event?

Because I’m thankful for that cardiac event. I’m thankful that I’m still alive, and survived that health scare. Statistics indicate that I shouldn’t have survived. So you could say that I should be dead instead of alive.

Well, thankfully I’m not dead.

Those familiar with my story knows what transpired after that heart attack:

  • 17 weeks after my heart attack, I lost my job during the economic recession

  • 6 months after the job loss, the bank repossessed our family vehicle

  • 1 month later, the bank foreclosed our home

So heart attack, job loss, car repossession, home foreclosure. All in a year.

I’d call that a crappy year.

I’m thankful that all of those things happened.


Yes, I’m thankful that I went through all of those situations. They were lessons that I needed to learn.

I was on a highway to death, based on how I was living.

I didn’t have boundaries around my working hours, answering and sending emails at all hours of the day, night, and weekend.

I was eating fast food for my meals.

I was not exercising at all.

My sleep was crap.

I no longer enjoyed the things of life that used to be an absolute joy to experience.

I was completely burned out.

So, sometimes the only way to learn is to go through tragedies and challenges, to entice you to make some adjustments.

My hope is that NO ONE ever experiences the year I had a decade ago, but if that’s the only way for you to make the necessary tweaks to your life, and have you focus on taking care of yourself FIRST, then so be it.

A decade later, I talk about boundaries and burnout. I see way too many people stressed to the max, burned out, working too many hours, spending hours and days on their iBinky, and completely missing out on what REALLY matters. You have a choice: Boundaries in your life, or a burned out life.

Choose wisely.

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 Entrepreneurs Can Avoid Burnout

The backbone of business is the entrepreneur that first came up with an idea. A dream. A thought. Something that they felt would make this world better, and in turn, make the entrepreneur’s life better.

The device you’re reading this post on was created by entrepreneurs. The website tools I use were created by entrepreneurs. The coffee I’m drinking while writing this post was created by, you guessed it, entrepreneurs.

Nothing we use or consume would be possible without entrepreneurs.

We often don’t pay any attention to the creative geniuses that create the everyday products and services we use. Yes, we know the famous ones (Tesla, Edison, Ford, Jobs, Woz, Gates, Musk, Bezos, Levitt ;) ) but how many non-famous people should we be thanking for creating what we use.

We need entrepreneurs as much as we need oxygen and clean water.

Entreprenurs, small business owners, and solopreneurs (one-person shops) put in some insane hours in the beginning of their companies, in order to reach the success levels they so richly deserve.

I often joke people quit their 9-5 job, for a 9-Midnight job. There is a lot to do when launching an organization, such as corporation paperwork, branding, figuring out who your ideal clients are, etc.

Often times entrepreneurs are wearing hats that do not fit them. They do this because they aren’t willing/ready/able to spend some funds up front to get things moving along.

I’m a big infrastructure guy. Have a solid foundation and back office, so you can focus most of your attention on client needs, and your organization will likely stick around.

In a recent interview with Rob Braiman, we talked about how 8 out of 10 new businesses fail within first 3 years. An overlooked fact is that 1 of the surviving 2 of those 10 businesses fail a few years after that. So in roughly 5-7 years, 1 out of 10 new businesses survive. Is your business that one of ten that survives?

Entrepreneurs burn out and often walk away from their businesses before they reach the success levels they so longed to reach. They give up just before things “take off” in their business.

How can this be avoided?

  • Avoid all the shiny objects. Entrepreneurs are often guilty of trying all the latest tools, following what others are doing, building funnels, etc which is taking them away from their core business. Pick the fkn Chakra (inside joke) and run with it

  • Delegate. Delegate. Delegate. Offload admin related tasks to virtual assistants, friends or colleagues that you can barter with

  • Ask yourself “Who Are We?” Too often entrepreneurs want to be the Wal-Mart or Amazon of their business, offering a bit of everything. If you offer everything, you’ll actually offer nothing to your potential customers

  • Have an off-switch for work. Schedule your work days to match your energy levels, but don’t work more than 7-8 hours per day, and take weekends off as much as possible. If that’s not possible, then take 2 days off during a 7-day period. Your productivity drops off dramatically, and studies are showing that people typically only are productive 3-4 hours per day. Sooooo, maybe schedule your day to work a 5-hour shift, and see how productive and focused you can be

  • Take vacations. You need to get away from your work. At the end of 2018, I took almost 7 weeks off from Breakfast Leadership . Social media posts continued to be shared, I followed up with those that reached out to me directly, but I didn’t record any podcast interviews or client meetings for the last part of the year, and first 10 days of 2019. Why? I needed a break. If you don’t take a break, you WILL break.

Society needs your business to be successful. You have insights and have created something that will make our world better. Pace yourself, take the right steps, get the right help, and when the timing is right, behold the excitement you’ll have for you, and the people you serve.

How To Travel Without Burning Out

Travelling is taxing.

You have to get to the airport earlier, due to security checks, bag check in, long lines, etc. Parking can be a blast, especially if you’re flying out during busy travel days (think Mondays.)

Packing is also a ton of fun, because you have to pack for being away from home for some time, and depending on the time of year, you may encounter dramatic temperature swings on your trip.

With the cost of checked baggage, you don’t want to pack your entire wardrobe, as it could be more cost efficient to buy clothes when you get to your destination. #SadButTrue

Toss in sleeping in a different bed, potential time change, and longer days, and you can easily get stressed and burned out before you know it.

I’ve been travelling for decades for work, going to to client sites and conferences. Travelling before 9/11 and after are dramatically different, but as long as you know what to expect, and plan accordingly, your travel experience can be as stress free as possible.

Here’s my secret sauce on travelling as stress free as possible:


When you travel, you are bringing a smaller version of your stuff (ode to George Carlin), so it’s important that you do bring things that you normally use on a daily basis. So many of us live on auto-pilot, so we are clueless what we actually use and do each day. We might want to toss in some mindfulness techniques in our lives, too. #JustSayin

I highly recommend packing cubes to keep like items together, which then you can take each cube to the intended destination. I have cubes for my toiletries that I’ll bring to the bathroom, cubes for storing my dirty clothes (so you don’t mix up clean and dirty clothes in your luggage, reducing your laundry work when you get home), and cubes for extra shoes (so you don’t get shoe residue on your clothes.

Travel sized items such as liquid bottles that are TSA approved helps you bring your favorite shampoos/conditioners/soaps without bringing full-sized bottles. This also helps on short trips, where you’re bringing a carry-on bag or really small suitcase.

(Pro-Tip): Make sure your carry-on bag is soft and smaller than the TSA limit size, because the airlines are making the overhead bins even smaller, so depending on when you can get on the plane, you may not be able to have your bag right by you.

Most hotels still have ironing boards and irons, but I did recently have to request one because my room didn’t have one in the room. I anticipate that this may become the norm going forward.

Learning how to pack your clothes to minimize wrinkling goes a long way in needing to dust off those ironing skills.

Pack one bonus day of under garments. Trust me on this one. If you get delayed on your trip back, or have some sort of accident, you’ll be thankful you have back up clothes. I also recommend keeping one pair of undergarments, a toothbrush with toothpaste, and deodorant in your carry-on bag, because if your flight is delayed to the next day, you may not have access to your luggage.

Mapping Out Your Trip

With Google Maps, and other Internet search options, you have no excuse on not knowing what’s around your destination. Find out where your conference/client location is, and find out nearby restaurants, coffee shops, pharmacy and retail shops are, in case you need or want to visit these places during your trip.

Plan each day of your trip, if you want to visit any of these types of places and/or tourist attractions. Figure out which days work best to go to these things (Google Maps often says what days/times are busy for a variety of businesses and attractions, so you can plan accordingly.)

Does your hotel have free breakfast? Is it continental or a full option breakfast menu? If not, is there a restaurant nearby where you are staying? All important to know, because you don’t want to go to your client or conference hungry (or in my case, hangry.)

Airport Fun

Get there earlier than you need to. Yes, I know you’ll spend more time at airport, but you won’t be stressed. For fun, look at the faces of people waiting to go through security. You can spot those that are running risk of missing their flights. Don’t be that person.

If you travel at all (even one trip a year), I HIGHLY RECOMMEND you get TSA-PREcheck. This will save you HOURS of standing in lines, and you can keep your shoes and belts on.

Get your passport(s). I’m a dual citizen, so I carry passports for both countries that I am a citizen, because it makes travel easier for me. This, in combination with TSA-PRE makes my travel as stress free as possible. I often breeze through security in a matter of a few minutes, and can go to a lounge or grab breakfast/lunch/dinner while waiting for my flight.

Bring a book or your ebook reader. Relax. People watch. You’ll be relaxed while you’ll observe many people that are stressed beyond belief.

Hotel Logistics

Once you get into your room, unpack. I used to keep most things in my luggage, but that's not how most of us live. Put away your clothes, hang up what needs to be hung up, and if you need to iron your clothes, I recommend doing that all at once, so it’s done and over with.

Get the room temperature cool. You’ll sleep better at night, which you will need to do, because as I mentioned earlier this is a foreign bed, pillows, etc.

If you’re a pillow snob and have to have your own type of pillow, then I highly recommend BYOP (Bring Your Own Pillow.) I find most hotel pillows are not as firm as I like to use, so if you’re concerned about proper sleep, bring your own pillow (note that you will need to pack lighter, to make room for your own head-resting device.)

Food Choices

Eating on the road is a complete pain, if you are like me and try to avoid the fast food options that are at every corner. Going back to your Google Mapping exercise, I recommend researching where you can find restaurants and/or grocery stores that carry your food that you can keep refrigerated. Note, most hotels don’t have kitchens for your personal use, so you’ll need to be creative on fruits and veggies.

I use shakes and other nutritional snacks for my breakfasts and lunches, which help keep my energy levels at proper levels, throughout my client work and conference workshops. You know that conferences have the carb-rich foods, where you crash after lunch, which is why the afternoon break has coffee and cookies, to spike your energy levels.

I skip those because my nutrition plan keeps me alert and energized throughout the day. I may sneak in a cookie though #CisForCookie.

Proper nutrition during your travel allows you to maintain energy levels, which helps reduce any stressors you’ll encounter being away from home.


Following the above suggestions will make your travel less stressful. Happy travelling!

Why Quality Sleep Helps With Burnout

We are hearing more and more that each of us need 7-8 hours of sleep every night.  However, that sleep for many isn't quality sleep.

 We hear the importance of sleep in our complete health. Our bodies heal while we are sleeping, from the damage that we do to our bodies (both intentional and unintentional) throughout our waking hours.

 Lack of sleep significantly increases the chances of chronic diseases, fatigue, mistakes, emotional and physical challenges, etc.

 We each go through stages of sleep and sleep cycles, but what’s crucial is that we have as much uninterrupted sleep as possible.

 Too often, people are either not getting enough sleep, or not restful sleep.

 During my burnout, I slept 7-8 hours per night, but it wasn’t quality sleep.



 1.    I wasn’t eating properly.  My diet plan consisted of ordering through a window, and then driving around a corner to pay and get handed a brown bag.

2.    I was under an increasing amount of stress with my job.  Working for a start-up is not easy.  This one was even more challenging due to the nature of the work, and the lack of boundaries I had in the work I performed.

3.    Trying to people please.  I was trying to be everything to everyone.  Be a pillar in a small community.  Make a difference in helping others.  I had forgotten to help myself first.

 Thus my sleep was spent repairing all the damage I was doing to my body, both mentally and physically.  Eventually my body gave in, and kicked off my year of worst-case scenarios.

 Now I sleep pretty well.  I have a pillow that works for me.  The room temperature is conducive to my liking.  I have a sleep mask in case it’s too bright outside through the window blinds.  I don’t consume a lot of caffeine or alcohol, I eat better, and most importantly, I have boundaries about my work and home life.

 Happy to guide you to better sleep.  Reach out to me at BreakfastLeadership.com

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 Getting Outside Helps Your Burnout

Photo by  Artyom PJ  on  Unsplash

Photo by Artyom PJ on Unsplash

We spend way too much time indoors.  Get outside; leave the smartphone in your pocket.  Notice what's going on around you.

 We’re always connected.  Connected to our phones, our thoughts, co-workers, loved ones.  We rarely disconnect.

 Remember when you were in areas that you couldn’t get cell phone coverage? Hard to find those places these days. 

 Even in campgrounds, some have WiFi.  Talk about “roughing it.”

 When was the last time you took a walk outside, with the intention to go for a walk?  Not walking to get to a destination, but simply for a walk?

 For some, it may be years since you did that type of exercise.

 Our minds are cluttered with thoughts/worries/concerns.  We rarely sit in silence, or get outside and listen to the sounds that are around us.

 Even in the concrete jungles of our cities, you can calm yourself by simply listening to the sounds of the city.  

 Getting out into nature is crucial for taking a detox from our digital lives. 

20 minutes a day in nature can reduce cortisol, aka the stress hormone.

 Here’s some homework for you.  Tomorrow I want you to go for a walk.  Walk for 10 minutes.  5 minutes and then turn around and head back.  If you go longer, I won’t grade your mark lower for that ;).

 Start doing this 3 times per week.  If you want to drive to a nearby park and then walk around the park, go for it. Do it during daylight hours (and as always be aware of your surroundings, don’t be foolish!)

 Notice what you hear and what you see.  I’ll give you a pass if you want to take pictures of some nature scenes.  But don’t post them immediately to Instagram. It can wait.

 Let me know what you experience after adding walks to your routine!

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 Essentialism Not Minimalism Helps Reduce Burnout

Photo by  Isaac Benhesed  on  Unsplash

Live simply, have things in your life that serve your needs, purge and donate the rest.

For the longest time, I dreamed of being a minimalist. Someone that would only have a few things, and discarding the rest. Walking into a living room that had a couch, a table, a tv and not much else seemed to be perfect.

The environment I was in was not conducive for my desire of minimalism.

Minimalists often are described as someone that has one set of dishes, very few clothes, basics. In the smaller condo landscape of Toronto, this style of living is in alignment with the affordability of housing in this ever-growing city.

A few years ago I read Essentialism by Greg McKeown, which altered my perspective on things, and experiences.

Where minimalism has you having limited items, essentialism is to have the items that are essential to your desired living.

I used to have a huge DVD and CD collection. Also had a bunch of comic books, baseball and hockey cards, memorabilia, etc.

Most of those items have been sold and/or donated. My music is streamed, and when I do watch movies or TV I use streaming services or OTA (no cable!)

My books are mostly ebook flavor, although I tend to receive a couple dozen books every year to read/review by the author and/or publisher. Great gig!

Now my life consists of things that are essential to me, to accomplish what I want and choose to do in life.

I don’t need to rent a storage locker. I don’t have a basement full of things that I haven’t touched in months/years. People fail to realize they are spending money to store things they don’t use. You’re paying utilities on a larger property to have rooms that don’t get used, to store things that may have been of use to you before, but no longer are.

Much like the exercise of purging activities from your life every 6 months, you should periodically go through your belongings and see what you’re no longer using. Someone else could use those things, so donate them.

When you have the things in your life that are essential to what you want to do, you can help reduce your burnout, because you’re not suffering with the clutter or financial challenges of storing all of those things.

If you need help figuring out what is essential to you, reach out to me. Happy to have a chat!