I Get Burnout too... This is how I deal with it.

It's crap here! The weathers rubbish and I've had my first full day of winter routine which I've struggled with!

Mainly because I feel burnout creeping up on me.

I know we all live busy hectic lives and things this year have been different, odd and generally just weird!

I juggle many balls at once so I'm used to organising things, being organised and having long days. BUT this week has been incredibly busy, to be honest it's side swipped me a bit I wasn't as prepared as I thought and now I feel like CRAP!!

I find burnout dangerous because for me it leads to massive overwhelm. In the past it's caused me to completely break down which resulted in utter self loathing, feeling like a failure, feeling weak, vulnerable, unable to ask for help and hard for me to admit this but at one point suicidal.

So, I thought I'd write a quick post on how I've found ways to cope with burnout and overwhelm since winter is the worst time for it.

First I recognised before the week started that it was going to be difficult. I've developed a way to see things coming before they arrive and prepare myself. Once of a day I'd have looked at my weekly TO Do list and just get on with it without thinking about any extra workload, emotional strain or even time of the month (which always affects me).

This week the extra things I've had -

  • The pups going to new homes - emotional stress because I'm a big softie.
  • Legal stuff, desperately trying to get the farm tied up because everyday it's costing me more money (interest, legal bills etc) - stress.
  • Financial pressure - getting through clearing debts, making sure I can pay the legal bills, winter feed and fodder coming in, needing to order coal, kerosene to keep us warm (this house is freezing in July) -stress.
  • Launching my Handcrafted Living program - loved this but always felt like I was missing something which makes me feel incompetent and worry.
  • General running of the farm and businesses.
  • Big decisions on work desperately needing done on the farm before winter really sets in - stress.
  • PMT! emotional, mental and physical stress!

So, I kinda knew this week would take it's toll.

I used to get stressed about not being able to keep up with mucking stables, keeping my house clean, cooking etc when I was burning out.

Now I do a cowboy job! If my stables don't get mucked out for a day my horses aren't going to die! As long as they have fresh water and hay they're good for one day.

My house will still need cleaning tomorrow and who the hell ever visits!

None of us are going to starve if we have soup for tea!

Yesterday I was sooooo done! got the fire lit, put a bitty tea on a large tray (cheese, olives, crackers, ham, dips etc loads of chocolate, rum and ginger beer 😋) put a film on, ate til my belly was full, then slept for 12 hours!!!

If I'm sleeping that long (I usually have between 4 and 6 hours) I need it and I need to give myself a break.

Not unusual for this burnout to last 2 or 3 days, I've HAD to get things done today, the shops been open and it's been busy, along with horses needing in and a pup going off to his new home. So I've moved at snails pace, got through it. But my dishwasher hasn't been stacked from last night, there's dog hair currently floating round my utility room and a pile of washing to catch up on.............There's also still half a bottle of spiced rum, a bucket of coal and some crap on TV to watch - I choose that for tonight, sod the dog hair I'm sure it'll still be there tomorrow.

Although I have fought off a little bit of overwhelm creeping in today, I know everything will still be waiting once I have energy to deal with it.

So, if you suffer from burnout or overwhelm - yes you are human!! No there is no shame in it - you are not a failure. Tomorrow's another day, give yourself a break if you don't it will get ten times worse.

Take care of yourself and don't be afraid to ask for help ❤️

3 comments

  • Very nice article, thank you for sharing

    Karen Rayburn Pierce
  • This topic needs to be openly discussed more and more. Burnout is real. Stress is real. Feeling overwhelm is real. As a fellow woman farmer doing it on her own. I am in throws of starting. Land logged, doing clean up, setting up infrastructure, etc…..so many tasks to do, never ending. It can accumulate. If we all share ways we cope, we might all get through the tough spells. Life the it can wait. I am adhd. One thing I have started to do is fine two of three tasks that are the list. They must be only task no more than 15 minutes to complete. The feeling off knocking one or two off the list feels good. It does not take huge chucks of time out of the day. Just enough of a pick me up.

    Kim
  • Hi Erica, wow you juggle a lot of balls! Your writing is inspiring and im working through your crafts and will definitely order some tea and candles, take care J

    Jeanette

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