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Ep #82: Handling Burnout | Becoming You Again Podcast

Burnout is when you feel a combination of emotional exhaustion, you stop caring about those around you because you have nothing left inside to give and you feel like nothing you do is ever good enough. Every woman going through a divorce has felt one, if not all of these things leading to huge amounts of stress that piles up and eventually creates burnout.

Listen in to this episode where I’ll teach you effective strategies to deal with your stress when it presents itself so you can avoid burnout altogether. This episode is based around topics talked about in the amazing book, “Burnout: The Secret to Unlocking the Stress Cycle” by Emily Nagoski and Amelia Nagoski.

Things you’ll learn in this episode:

1. What is burnout.

2. How stress leads to burnout.

3. The difference between the stress cycle and stressors.

4. Concrete ways to complete the stress cycle. To join the free monthly group coaching and support call click here. To schedule your complimentary consult with Karin click here. The Becoming You Again Program for divorced women is coming! If you want to be the first to know when it's available then you need to join the waitlist by clicking here. Make sure to follow and rate the podcast on your favorite podcasting app.

List to the full episode:

Do you find yourself overwhelmed and exhausted at the end of the day, but it's from something more than just living your life. You try to sleep and toss and turn your mind spinning from the anxiety and worry of what the future will hold. The next day is more of the same and you're constantly seeing your life as one crappy turn after another that feels heavy, hard and too much to deal with? You're stuck in a stress cycle and no one taught you how to complete it to feel safe in your body. I can help you and teach you how. Schedule your free consult by clicking here.

Featured on this episode:

  1. Interested in the Divorce Betrayal Transformation? Learn more here.

  2. Are you lost and confused about who you are after divorce? Don't worry. I've got 51 Ways to Get to Know Yourself Again. Click here to download.

  3. Want to work first hand with Karin so you can stop worrying about what your life will be like after divorce, and instead begin making it amazing today? Click here to apply to work 1:1 with Karin as your coach.

  4. Haven't left a review yet? No problem. Click here to leave one.

Full Episode Transcript:

I’m Karin Nelson and you’re listening to Becoming You Again episode number 82.

Welcome to becoming You Again. The podcast to help you with your mental and emotional wellbeing during and after divorce. This is where you learn to overcome the trauma of your divorce by reconnecting with yourself, creating lasting emotional resilience and living a truly independent life so your life will be even better than when you were married. I’m your host Karin Nelson.

Hi. Welcome back to the podcast. I am excited for this week’s episode because I have been reading an incredible book called Burnout: The Secret to Unlocking the Stress Cycle and I am learning so many amazing things from this book. It is written by twin sisters, Emily and Amelia Nagoski. I hope I am saying that right. I am probably not but it is okay. Emily is a health educator and Amelia is a choral conductor. And they came together and wrote this book specifically for women or anyone who identifies as a woman in today’s world because they wanted to help with the burnout that women go through so prevalently in today’s society. And so I wanted to use some of the things I am learning from this book as a guide to teach you some tips around handling your stress and burnout in today’s episode.

So burnout is a term that was presented in 1975. Nobody had ever really heard that word before then, by Herbert Freudenberger and technically it consists of three components: Emotional exhaustion, depersonalization and a decreased sense of accomplishment. So to break each of those down with definitions so you kind of really understand what that means. Emotional exhaustion is when you are tired from caring too much about everyone else for too long. Uh, does anyone recognize this as basically your entire life? Anyone, anyone? I know I definitely can relate to that one, the emotional exhaustion right. And then there is depersonalization which is when you lack feeling empathy or even really caring about others, even those close to you because you have been doing it for so long and you just feel done. And then a decreased sense of accomplishment means that you feel like nothing you do makes any difference or will ever be enough.

After defining those three traits to burnout and if I was in a room of 100 women and asked anyone who had ever felt any kind of burnout using those three definitions, I can say with assurity that every woman in that room would raise their hand. I have felt this way, my clients have felt this way and you listening I would almost guarantee have felt this way. So first that I want you to know that you are not alone in feeling this burnout and feeling the stress. This is a problem that women are facing for much of their lives all over the world. But it does not have to be this way. And this is literally the reason why Emily and Amelia wrote this book.

According to Amelia and Emily one of the main components that leads to burnout is stress. Stress isn’t always a bad thing. Right. Stress can help us achieve goals. We can meet challenges with stress. We take initiative. We become problem solvers. When you experience stress in that way you can even grow and evolve yourself. The problem with stress is becomes when you get struck in stress and you don’t know how to complete the stress response cycle. And this, when this happens over and over and over again, is what creates burnout.

So I had this experience the other early morning. I was in my bed asleep to be woken up from a really loud crash that I had heard downstairs. My body immediately activated into the fight mode. It was like let go. It is Christmas time. I am thinking someone has broken into our house. They are stealing our presence. They are robbing us. Something terrible is going to happen. And I ran downstairs and I find my elderly cat sitting on the floor surrounded by water. He had knocked down a water bowl that had been on the counter and it had made this loud crash sending water all over the kitchen floor. And I realized, my brain realizes rate that everything is fine. Nothing terrible is happening. It is just some spilled water. But my body at this point was on full alert. My muscles were tensed. I felt a tingling, energized feeling throughout my entire body. My heart was racing. My body temperature had risen significantly and very quickly. I was in a stress cycle.

When it comes to stress there’s a difference between what we can control which is our own stress cycle and the ability to complete it and to take care of ourselves in those moments. And then there is the things outside of our control which are the stressors. Sometimes we can control the stressors. Right. We can cut back on things. We can say no to things. Sometimes we can control those things. We can take yourself out of the situation but most of the time there are things and people who create situations where we are feeling stressed and we have no control over those things.

So in my situation the stressor was the water bowl crashing to the ground, and my stress response that kicked in was fight response. Right. We have got fight, flight and freeze. I was going full tilt. I was ready to fight whatever had made that sound in my house in the middle of the night, only to find out it was actually just some spilled water. But my body didn’t know that. My higher brain, my prefrontal cortex could totally comprehend that everything was safe and everything was fine. But my lower brain, my primitive brain was still in the stress cycle. It was still controlling my body. My body continued to be in the high alert physiologic reaction that I just described for about 30 minutes after this happened.

Here’s the key. Because I have been reading this book, I understood that instead of just telling myself it’s over. Everything is fine. Nothing is wrong. You’re safe and then I could just move on with my day I knew that was not going to help complete my stress cycle because my body and my brain need the opportunity and the space to complete the cycle – otherwise I would just carry around that stress in my body, keeping me exhausted. Compiling on more stress, feeling more out of sorts, feeling like everything is too heavy and too hard. And by the end of the day I would have been completely exhausted because of that one thing that happened in the morning and then I did not comple