Balance After Burnout

In my previous post Follow Your Passion & Find Your Purpose I made a decision to join the masses and create a 2015 plan- not a resolution but more of a lifestyle dedicating myself to one goal each month to find my Purpose. I’ve wanted to do this 12 month project for many years and starting January I have chosen a different 30 day challenge. A challenge that will encourage me to face my fears, expand, improve and get me to my true calling.

My January 30-day challenge? Routine & Stability to create a more balanced life after running myself into the ground.

This concept might be simple to you, but as a recovering nomad & workaholic this is no cake-walk. I sort of got addicted to packing up and leaving when life gets boring, difficult or just because I heard the coffee was good halfway across the world. I realized I was ready to slow down by the end of my Asia tour last month.

I also have a focus that is unbreakable- I’d work on a project for 6 hours straight and wonder why I was hungry/thirsty and had to pee. In these laser focused sessions I would get annoyed when I had to break to take care of myself. Which made me productive, but without balance focus is a recipe for disaster.

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I spent my late teens and all of my 20’s just wandering with the wind as it took me in every direction around the world: Touring 12 countries, living in 7 different states and being the temporary owner of over 60+ addresses. I killed myself at any job I could get my hands on to save up for the next adventure.

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The free-spirit life looks so cool on Social Media…..

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…But sometimes this lifestyle is not for the faint of heart!  I’ve often not had enough food to eat where the hunger pains became comforting at night, I’ve been let-go from jobs with literally $10 in my pocket, I’ve sold everything I own overnight several times and airlines have lost my luggage. I have lived out of a suitcase, cars, hotels, train-hopped, hitch-hiked, slept on floors, had my card denied at grocery stores and bartered work for clothes. My life was anything but stable and predictable.

The combination of an erratic lifestyle and 12 hour work days lead me to a dramatic burnout. The kicker is I had no idea it was happening at the time- I thought I was above the odds!

I started to see red flags for burnout:

  1. My motivation had faded.
  2. People drained me & annoyed me easily. 
  3. The idea of Travel stressed me out.
  4. My productivity dropped.
  5. I self-medicated by overworking and spent my off hours going out with my friends, constantly.

Leading up my burnout I took on every client, leadership role and spent my downtime researching everything I could in order to improve- to be of VALUE & to be more SUCCESSFUL. My weeks were filled with responsibilities and the weekends packed with social commitments.

My home stretch into burnout was at Project Getaway. Much like a candle gets the brightest right before it goes out- I was halfway across the world with just one more brilliant idea right before I completely shut down.

After Project Getaway (PG) I had one more month in Bali and that’s where I shut down. I signed out of Social Media, shut myself indoors and enjoyed each passing day doing NOTHING. I cut out all of my self-medicated ways (alcohol, social life, overworking, Netflix) and spent my days recovering by visualizing what a balanced life looked like to me.

I worked 12 hour days in October and went the extreme opposite for the month of November, I guess it is only fitting that January was focused on Balance. February will be focused on FUN.

It has been a mere 3 months since I burned out and I recognize that it may take me a few more months to get back into being 100% operational- but now I have a new perspective on how to start to build a balanced foundation so that I can get to the next level of my life happy and healthy. I learned that being of VALUE and being SUCCESSFUL does not exist without HEALTH.

Have you ever dealt with burnout: travel or career? How did that effect you?

 

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