NAVIGATION

Burnout – That Thing No One Wants to Talk About

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A friend recently posted on her Facebook wall an incredibly honest and humorous post. She is a writer, trainer, mother, and the list goes on and on. From the outside, she seems to be able to do it all. Which she does with ease most of the time. But like the best of us sometimes after burning the candle at both ends for too long we all burn out.

Burnout is something more and more people around me seem to be experiencing or at least opening up about. Burnout can come in many forms but the common one at least in my life has always been just wanting to shut the world down, watch some Netflix or Hulu and just hibernate for a few days and recharge.

Last year I experience Burnout hard! While I was pretty quiet about it burnout was real and it happened. I continued on with work and most had no idea what was happening, but I was out of balance, working three jobs, trying to run the podcast, trying to be a good wife, and trying to make time for my own adventures. Everything felt heavy. It felt so out of balance. I had to step back and look at the factors leading to this feeling, basically the photo above.

Burnout seems to occur in women more than men. While everyone is busier than ever these days burnout still seems to be something that more women feel. Arlie Hochschild’s – The Second Shift is a book that among many things explores the roles of women as they entered the workplace. The original was published in 1989 with a rerelease in 2012. I read the 1989 book.

The biggest takeaway from the book and one that struck a 20-year-old reading it was with more and more women entering the workplace (remember this was the 80’s) a second shift developed.

 

Essentially many women are working two jobs.

 

The one 9-5 for which they were paid and also the home job of cleaning, raising kids, meals, and other home chores. While decades have gone by and many homes share the homework, still women overall feel that second shift.

This added workload, with or without kids can lead to burning the candle at both ends all day long. It can lead to overall exhaustion and fatigue. With kids in the mix, it can be even more intense.

 

Sometimes, you just get to the point you need help or feel like you need to escape. 

 

Making Changes

I saw some of these patterns in my life and the first thing I did was reach out for help. For over a year I have worked with several mentors and coaches to help me to see what path I really wanted to take in life. Some of this work you can actually hear in podcast episodes, but much of it was done behind the scenes.

I realized along the way I had to serve myself first before I could be a helpful wife, employee, entrepreneur, athlete, etc… So I started to make changes. The biggest change over the year was stepping back from one of my jobs. In July I decided to step down as Media Director for Adventurey finishing out working for them at the North American OCR Championships in Stratton. It was a hard decision to make but one which has made my life ultimately better.

The second most important thing was trying out a new sport over the winter. Ultimately realizing it was fun but not my thing. That jumps start as well as a ski season pass created space for me to go pursue things I wanted to do in sport. While not competing I was able to say, I love skiing and am totally happy doing it on my own and without competing. I have spent the summer trying to do the same with trail running.

Somedays are better than others in terms of “doing it for fun”. While I am no longer chasing podiums I do still want to be fit and be able to go on long hikes, runs, or whatever tickles my fancy. So while the goal may have changed the underlying theme of doing something for myself has not changed from my race days.

The third factor in finding balance has been self-care. Luckily, in recent years self-care has become a central theme in many alternative health circles. We have moved past the day’s bonbons and bubble baths – however, if they work for you rock it. Self-care today is a whole industry, whether it be bodywork, floats, meditation, exercise, yoga, coaching, and yes maybe still just a good bath. I take the time and invest the money in things like bodywork, floats, and even am going on a solo road trip. Self-care is really investing in yourself, and it might just be a quiet cup of tea instead of jumping into the next work project.

As mentioned above the most powerful tool for me in the last couple of years has been working with coaches and mentors. They have empowered me to go after the goals I want, helped me realize the places I was out of balance, and yes have helped me to organize my life in a way that makes sense and gets me excited about life.

 

Finding Alignment and Balance

The truth is I have experience burnout, big time. I burn out when life is not in balance. I need to make sure I am spending the right amount of family time, balanced with work, and balanced with my own personal time to explore goals and new adventures. Finding the alignment and balance in all my aspects of life has been my number one goal for the past year. I’ve worked with specialists, leading experts, and have done a lot of self-work and self-care.

I am excited to bring all of my work and fifteen years of coaching experience together to help women (and men) who were like myself a few years ago. I was struggling to balance my family life with my own sports goals and aspirations. Today, I am stoked to work with others who are looking for that balance and need someone to help them figure it all out. If you are looking for some help, feeling burned out, and trying to figure out how to balance your home/work/and personal ambitions check out my Life/Sport Alignment Coaching. We all deserve to live a life filled with enjoyment, excitement, and alignment.

Margaret Schlachter

About Margaret Schlachter

Margaret Schlachter is Founder of DirtinYourSkirt.com. She has been part of the OCR Community since 2010. When not working on the next article she can be found running from race-to-race. She is Editor-in-Chief of MudRunGuide.com. She authored the book Obstacle Race Training.
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