ANXIETY, EXHAUSTION & BURNOUT are wicked little teachers
After the brilliant fullness of last year I crashed and burned in December.
The day it really hit me was Christmas Eve.. I still hadn’t done any christmas shopping and found myself hurried and exhausted with all the other droves of people in a large shopping centre. One minute I was on auto-pilot “get it done” mode then next minute I found myself tucked away in the corner of Big W crying. For two hours. Think snot and tears.
Why was I crying? Nothing had “happened”. No big disaster. (Just the minor issue of completely annihilating myself with over work and commitments over the course of an 18month period)
My body was exhausted. My emotions and energy were beyond frayed. I was bone tired in every which way.
Physically. Emotionally. Mentally. Spiritually.
I mean, I knew I was tired. The fact my skin had been burning like a Chinese burn on and off for the previous 3 months was a subtle hint, right? But I had deadlines to meet and I was having fun! Nothing a bit of ignoring wouldn’t take care of. (I know you do that too!)
After letting it all out, I dusted myself off, hopped off to do the shopping and decided a couple of weeks off over Christmas and New Year was just what I needed!
My Soul Self laughed at my Human Self’s two week holiday decision.
December passed.. my normally responsive body did not recover from the time out like it usually did. Instead I proceeded to become more unstuck.
Low level anxiety grew till it felt like strangulation on the daily. Panic attacks appeared like a boogie monster jumping unexpectedly out from random places in public having me racing back to my car in a white hot mess!
What fun! What crazed fun. (Is there any other way to look and approach something like this?)
I could get all…. “wholly shit I’m dying, the world is ending and I’m in a pit of despair, shoot me now”(which I maaaayyyy have done momentarily at times) but mostly, the curious and sick and twisted adventurer in me was entirely fascinated by what was happening!
Cue scrunched up perplexed face – Like, what the heck is happening?!
Never had a felt so hijacked by something invisible and immeasurable before.
Never have I felt so out of control and spat out into a void of no-thing-ness.
While I have experienced depression in all it’s glory, this was next level!
Not an immobilising darkness like depression dishes up, but an adrenaline thumping, held for (an unknown) ransom phantom that somehow decided to take a detour to where-ever it was headed and visit me on it’s way through. But instead of staying for tea, it decided to pay me a 4 month long (L-O-N-G) visit. How nice.
C’mon! I mean, I had plans! Human Lauren had shizz to do and things to make! This was not in the plan!
Meanwhile, Soul Self Lauren eased back and comfortably watched it all unfold, completely at peace with a satisfactory smirk, patiently waiting till Human Lauren gave up the fight.
And if there is one thing I have learnt.. it’s that I can hustle and push up against everything else in life with a level of “success” but I cant push up against my soul.
Soul Self Lauren rules and reigns. And if I want a “good life” a life full of adventure and excitement, realness and magic then I have to do what Soul Self says.
Let me let you in on a little secret… it’s no different for you too.
Hate to say it, but things are just gonna keep feeling shitty for you the more you choose (yes, CHOOSE) to ignore what that Higher part of you is attempting to whisper and guide you towards.
So.. I gave in. And I started to listen.
Now.. I’m coming out the other side of Anxiety and Exhaustion. Burnout is a bitch, baby.
But – sometimes it’s completely necessary for the lessons and upgrades one may need for the next chapter of their story. Sometimes it’s all part of “the plan”. And you know… we’re human.. we think (think being the operative word) we know better. (As the God of All Things roars with laughter at us!)
A personal Winter or Life-deconstruction is a gift in disguise. And that isn’t me trying to do a Pollyanna Sunday Ice-cream gloss on you. It’s the truth.
To be honest, Human Lauren knew this period of time was coming way back in March last year.. Soul Self Lauren had been whispering, offering guidance, giving instruction and I ignored it all out of fear. I didn’t want to make the changes that were necessary to make. And I am human no matter how intuitive I may be.. I was scared and distrustful of the guidance I was being given despite how much it resonated in my chest.
There may be some things we have a choice in in doing, deciding and changing. But there are others that are non-negotiable.
And if your Soul Self has been whispering hard it’s wise to listen because you’re not going to get out of it. It will metastasise and manifest in your life. I’m just lucky I got dealt the anxiety and panic attack stick because I could have been given something much worse….
So… what helped me dance with Anxiety, Burnout and Panic Attacks…?
- Get some help if you need. Reach out to a therapist. Deal with your junk if there’s some old and unaddressed stuff coming up. Make that kind of commitment to yourSelf, your life, your adventure! Get clear. Work out your boundaries. Take time to explore this. You (yes YOU) have come here with a passion and purpose and gifts and skills to offer the world. Turn up for that. Do what it takes!
- Pay attention to the story you’re telling. What old school record is on repeat and lets get real… how truthful and real is that tale? If you’re unsure, align with your Soul Self and run the story by it. And maybe check in with a few close friends who could verify the truth of that tale.
- Curiosity. Without fail this is the best tool you can posses. Regularly step outside of your Self and get really curious about why you’re feeling the way you’re feeling. Don’t judge, just watch. Be the observer.. you don’t even need to try and figure anything out! Just notice yourSelf. Watch and the important little things will stand out!
- Set aside regular time to connect. I don’t want to bang on about meditation here.. I simply want to say carve out 10 – 15 minutes a day, at the same time everyday to sit and breathe and feel into yourSelf. To align your Human Self with your higher Soul Self. Visualise a beautiful bright invisible line of light flowing from Human You to Soul You. Feel that connective cord of Light and Life. Notice if there are kinks. Notice if it is misaligned and then in that moment straighten it. Just like you would a curled or kinked garden hose and then feel the flow!
- Rest. If you are being called to slow down then slow down. If your natural and unique rhythm has reached the beautiful soft and slow part of it’s melodic song honour it. Isn’t it the most annoying thing when you’re listening to a beautiful tune and it hits the “big feels” part and someone talks over it? Don’t talk over the slower soft depths of your tune.. flow into them… they are going to take you through to the other side.
- Know that even “together” people get messy. It’s rubbish that “together” people are always together. And if they are, well… I then don’t think they’re all that together in the first place. (It’s called FAKE) It’s okay to be real. It’s okay to crumble. In fact, it’s imperative.
- Finally, trust yourSelf more. And do what you can to strengthen that trust. Make the choice to start functioning as often as you possibly can as a connected and united Being – Human Self and Soul Self working together to create the kind of magic the larger You desires.
Hey… it’s nice to be back to the blog. It’s been a while.
Lotta love at cha.