73 - How to Avoid Burnout and Why We’ll be Hibernating This Winter Transcript
Hello, and welcome to happily ever after with me, Hannah. And today I'm talking about burnout with Katie.
I know we're feeling a bit burned out.
I’m burned out. I’m like, is that what it is? Is that what I'm feeling?
Feels American? Doesn't it burn out, when you say like that?
It is something we get as well though isn’t it.
What us British people?
Us British people. Yeah
Yeah, but it's guess it's not very British to say, Oh, I don't feel great.
That's true generally. Yeah, you're right.
So yeah. I came to see you deny a few weeks ago, and I was like, I have had enough.
Like, I need some time off.
And I think the nature of the way we're all working these days. Is it's so 24/7.
(Singing) 24/7. Ah ah ah, infatuated, I don’t know the word to this.
Yeah, I think it is 24/7, that we all work. I also think that that's the way that you work as well specifically, you know, like you, because your work is like. Because what you do is you I think you're always on all the time. And I'm surprised that it hasn't come before now that you've wanted a break.
I don’t know, part of me is like, just get on with it.
No I know but we’ve done. 73 weeks in a row. This will be. So..
Of the podcast.
Yeah. And I don't think- I think normally people take a break. Obviously, we haven't been doing it every week, have we? But we've been putting out an episode every week. We've been producing content every week from the start. So
Yeah, it's like 18 months of excellent quality, really enjoyable podcast content. We've had a great time.
Yeah we have.
Yeah, yeah, I do love it. And I absolutely am not going to stop. But I did kind of go I think we need to break. Because also the my nature is I don't like to break a chain.
I feel like if I break the chain, it will break everything. And I'll never do another podcast again.
And I don't want that because I really, really love doing it.
I know. And that's your nature all over? Isn't it? Because I think it's perfectly okay for us to take a break for a few weeks and then come back to it. But I think you're worried that we just won't we start it up again.
Look at the newsletter.
I was in such a pattern of every Tuesday, it went out every Tuesday. And now I can't write it
I know. But this is different.
And it's okay to take a break. I know that you find that concept quite hard. But it's okay.
I don't understand it.
I know you don't.
But on this subject, this is what has come up in therapy. That apparently, we've got three bits of our brain, you've got drive. So that's the thing that's telling you to like, get on and do different things. Then there is threat, which is the bit of your brain that's like, if you don't do this, this awful things going to happen. And apparently, my brain is predominantly those two. And there's a third bit of the brain which is compassion, which I totally get the concept of. But apparently it's not something like, I don't get what… I don't get it.
Compassion for yourself.
To me- the word compassion to me, as in compassion towards myself is letting myself off and not achieving anything. Whereas actually, it's things like giving yourself a break, because you've had a really hard time.
So I've been given a book that is so big that you’re using it as a tripod.
So I can't show you it. But I have this enormous workbook to work through called the compassionate mind workbook.
Yeah, I think it's one of the hardest things to do have compassion for yourself. Like I've got boatloads of it for other people. But to turn that voice inwards and actually use it to soothe myself I find really hard. And that's probably the thing telling you that you've got to keep just going because, like, you wouldn't stop anybody else from having a break. Like when I've been like, I'm going on holiday, Hannah. You haven’t been like no, you can't because we've got a podcast to put out.
I have a little bit, a little bit. No, don’t, you can’t leave me.
No you haven’t. We’ve just prepared for it in advance and then I’ve had a break. I’m allowed a break so you are too.
Yeah, I guess because of the way that we work as well. I feel like there is a lot of space for me to think. If I want it. So like, for me, I might want to go for a walk and get in the sea. But I don't think that's the same as being like, I am not working for this whole week.
It's not and you're always working every day, you know, the way that you work is that you're doing it every day. And that is bound to lead to a bit of a burned out feeling.
So I'm not I don't want this to be like, self pity episode where I’m like - poor me, I've got no compassion for myself, because I think I do. It's just, I think it's a bit like The Truman Show, you don't know what you don't know. So I'm gonna go and do my workbook. And that's good. But I'm hoping it'll help me with this whole idea of of moderation.
And setting much better boundaries around how I work, because it kind of bleeds into everything. Like when I get an idea, I'll be like, straight on my phone, writing it down. And then obviously, I've been told home truths that I'm always on my phone, and I'm like, am I?! I feel really present when I'm with people. But obviously, I'm not.
Yeah. I mean, you don't do that when you're with me. But I guess when we're together, we are talking about work. So if you had an idea, then we would just talk about it, as opposed to you having to write it on your phone. So I guess that's the difference. But then, because of what you do, like it's, it does mean that there's no switch off time. Like if you had a nine to five job, then at five o'clock, you wouldn't be writing ideas on your phone. Or maybe you would be.
I bet you would. I bet there's so many people that relate to this, and they work for other people.
Oh, absolutely. No, you're right.
And there's an expectation as well on people to be because it's 24/7.
I agree, but I think that's bad for you.
So Bad. Which is- Okay. I've got two things written down here. One is spoons. Which reminds me of Monsters Inc.
When he says using mainly spoons, we'll dig our way out of the city.
That's not what we're gonna do. Don't worry.
Okay, good. I don't want to do any digging. Yeah. And then the other thing is Daisy Buchanan, like the very first episode this year, we talked about her book, which was Burn Before Reading. So we should link back to that, because I think there's some really good gems that she shares in that book. But she starts it talking about burnout and what it is. And it's the same definition. You just read me, which is why it reminded me.
Have you written that down?
It's so it's here, it's
What is burnout.
I’ve closed the tab. Hang on everybody. Burnout is a state of physical and emotional exhaustion. And when I read that, I immediately thought, I definitely think I am able to identify burnout when it's physical, when my body's tired, and I feel like I can't do anything anymore. But I think what I don't recognise as easily is the emotional exhaustion that we can get from burnout. And I think that's probably the case for a lot of people as well. So like, if you've been through something hard, or like, if you have to process something emotional, like we're bound to feel a bit exhausted at the end of it, and we don't give ourselves time or space to process that.
Yeah. So I think that's the hardest bit of divorcing, for example, is it's not so much what you physically have to do like dealing with lawyers and all that kind of stuff. And working out finances is tiring. But it's the dealing with it, while half of- like literally half of your brain is processing the trauma of the fact that your relationship is over. Yeah, so you really got half a brain left.
Exactly, and you just you focus on the thing, the logical things that actually need doing, like the planning, and you know, the logistical side and the admin. And the emotions and the feelings are probably put to one side. And that's kind of the approach we take to a lot of stuff, like when something bad happens. So I guess like, we need to take emotional exhaustion into account and burnout as a consequence of having too much emotional exhaustion as much as we do anything else.
Yeah for sure. And I think that's where I was when I came to see you and I was like, I'm done. I'm just so overwhelmed. I don't even know where to start anymore. It’s like going. All right, I need to rest.
You do need a rest
I need a break so I can not be doing the physical admin stuff and just existing and letting my brain have a bit of a break.
Exactly. It’s your brain needs a break, that's what it is. Yeah. And coming back to the spoons as well. So not digging our way out of…
Using mainly spoon. No, no, no, no.
So this is something that I learned when I was sort of like, quite badly depressed, I think. And like, I just had no energy for anything. And I didn't really understand that because I wasn't physically doing anything. And somebody- a therapist somewhere taught me about Spoon Theory. And I don't know why it's spoons, I don't know whether anybody knows why spoons, but the idea is that we've only got, like, a certain amount of spoons that we can energetically spend, I'm gonna do really bad job of explaining this.
No no this is good, I get that.
Yeah, so like, say you've got five energetic spoons, and work takes up two of those spoons. And then you're gonna go and see your friend on the night. And that takes up a spoon. And then you've also got your kids to take care of which takes another two spoons, that's all of your spoons gone, like you don't have any more spoons for other emotional and physical activities. And thinking in those terms, because we are only humans, and we can only do so much means that you don't push yourself to do other stuff. Because like, Yes, I guess you physically could if you needed to. But if you overspend your spoons, that's what leads to the burnout. So it was a useful way to, to look at it. Well, we'll put a link in the show notes as well, because I think the idea that it's spoons can be a bit confusing sometimes. But.
Yeah, why is it not like pencils or, like
Counters or something? Yeah, but it's spoons. Yeah. And that was really useful. And actually, it was teaching my family that about it, made it more useful to communicate when I couldn't do things as well. So if I was feeling particularly exhausted, I would just say, I've spent too many spoons today. I can't do anything else now. And they understood that for me, so it's good for a method of communication as well.
Yeah. Because then they can't take it personally.
No exactly. It's just like, I've got no
Although they might be like, why did you not save me a spoon?
Yeah. But you- like, that's the thing about the spoons, like some things take more spoons than others. And sometimes they don't have a choice what you spend them on. And when they're gone, they're gone.
And I think if you've got a trauma that you're also processing, you probably have half the spoons you might.
Used on that. Yeah, exactly. Yeah, that's the idea.
Yeah. So over the summer, there was quite a big family trauma for us, which I think when you're in it, the trauma, you’re just on adrenaline like, right, I've got this fire to put out. So I'm going to put it out. But then what happens afterwards? So it's kind of been resolved. Everybody’s safe, you know, that kind of thing. That's when you sit down and go. Like, oh, wow, this big things happened. And that's when you have to process the trauma, isn't it?
Well it’s like you go into flight fight or flight, don't you? And then when that's over you crash?
Yeah. Which is, I think the same as when you get your divorce papers. So for me, it was two and a half, nearly three years of getting divorce. And then when I finally got the paper, I was like, wow. Son't forget, that's also happened this year. That happened in March. And that was the last time I had a holiday. So I think, yeah, it's that's where the compassionate mind comes in and goes, Look what you've been through. I'm not looking for any kind of I don't want anyone to feel sorry for me or anything like that. I'm just trying to say like, we all have these things that come up.
And that you have to take a minute to be like, Oh, that was actually quite a big deal. And you do need to create space, to walk and to have holidays.
And when you have holidays, you work anyway, you need a holiday where you aren't working.
I think the difference is is a holiday where you’re- you give yourself expansive room to like read the books that you want to read, or just walk and listen to music.
Like I feel the thing that's gone out of the window because of the traumatic summer, is I stopped getting in the sea is my like therapy. I then stopped walking. And then I dunno, I was putting all my eggs into the basket of like, right, I need to start proving myself. I need to get this book written. I need to start making more of this podcast. Like we've invested so much into it. We need to start making it count when actually, I'm not emotionally ready for it to take off.
Well, yeah, and like you just you need a break. Now. It's time for a break.
Yeah. It'd be nice. It’s alright. I’m gonna do my workbook. Finish listening to Matthew Perry's book.
Which is another thing like listening to that and going, Oh, I think I was confused about what's actually really important.
Yeah. What? How has it made you feel like that?
Well, I mean, he's an addict, right? Different to me. Like I'm a bit more like his dad in that it went for a walk one day and went right I'm gonna stop. And he's like a fucking what?! you went for a fucking walk. And then you stopped drinking. Like, for him. It's been a constant battle of two years sober, something happens and he breaks. Two years sober, something happens. And he breaks. But he still has this void. And just because I've stopped drinking doesn't mean that I don't distract myself.
And my theory with addiction is… Like yes there’s the physical addiction like, or like a disease that Matthew Perry has. But there's also the version which is you're doing something that's self destructive that doesn't make you feel good. But you're doing it anyway. And you seem to have no control over it? So when I'm feeling that, like, I'm not good enough. The Void is like opening up and I can really feel it and see it. I will eat shit food. And I'll seek external validation. Through the internet.
And I just hadn't realised that I'd fallen into that. And I wasn't creating space for me to think and breathe and walk and look after my body. Yeah.
Yeah. And that’s what you were doing by jumping into writing the book and feeling like you got to, like, do something to make it count with the podcast is like still not giving yourself that space?
Yeah. Like, it was a lovely idea. But writing the book is quite traumatic. So you need- I was like, right, I'm not going to get in the sea. I'm not walking, I'm going to make myself sit down and write. Like, I had some fucking stick. I was beating myself with it. Going, come on, you've got all of this opportunity ahead of you, make the most of it, make it count. But what about little Hannah who's like, needs a walk and needs some fresh air and needs to be watered and needs to be nurtured with people.
And she's always there, you know? And then she's shouting at the minute. That's because you need to take care of her, you know.
So that's, I think where we are now. It hasn't taken long for me to just sit and go, Oh, nah I've had enough. I need a break. Yeah, if I don't, something's going to happen. It's not going to be good.
No. Well, it’s also feels like sort of a natural time of year to be doing- to be having a break as well. So I read something the other day that said that you need like two hours more sleep at this time of year, which, granted is a luxury, but it made me feel-
That’s so you and me like. Oh, good. I shall nap for two hours.
No exactly. Or like, oh, it's no problem. If I've slept until 10am. Even though I didn't know went to bed at 9pm.
If you can sleep that long. I'm like, do it.
I know. I do have the luxury to do that. And I'm gonna stop feeling bad about because like, apparently we need it this time of year like I'm going to hibernate a bit.
Yes. Yeah. And I think that's okay. It's a natural time for a break. We need to listen to our bodies in the seasons.
Yeah. 100%. But also look after our bodies. And I think that's what I was really neglecting is I do need to spend time making sure that I've got the right food in and make sure I put it in my mouth instead of the freezer, when it’s starting to go out of date.
Oh, that’s what I'm doing at the minute as well.
But maybe, you know, it doesn't have to be like salad.
No, it's true.
Lovely, wholesome, healthy, nice things and casseroles and yeah.
Soup. yeah, all great for this time of year. Like I actually think like you- Well, I shouldn't say this, but it is how I feel. Eat as much cheese as you like, but just like have some lettuce on the side. You know, so at least you getting your vitamins. That makes me feel better.
Yeah. Yeah, I'll do things like I'll buy a big stir fry mix, but I'll eat the whole thing.
Yeah, that's what I do as well. But then also some cheese.
Well, I'll have like prawns or something on the side.
I don't have cheese in the stir fry. That would be weird.
Yeah, that's gross.
I don’t. For clarity. I don't.
I get to stir fry, and then I put a cheese sauce.
No I don’t that would be disgusting. Yeah.
So yeah, I think what I'm trying to say is, I mean, again, I'm like, Oh, I've got the luxury to just stop, but I guess everybody does. You can have a holiday.Especially if you're like a single parent is you've got additional things where you are the sole person in charge of little people at times. Yeah, like creating that space. So that you can show up and be the best person for them as important. It's easy to be like, oh, you know, I'm off now. And I'm with my kids. In my personal opinion, that's not a break.
although I'm being taught how to make it more of a break. Like, not trying to over over parent.
Don't feel like you have to fix everything. Like the other day, one of my kids was losing his mind because his computer's not working. And then football was cancelled the next day.
Yeah, but that's okay. Those things happen.
Speaker 1 21:17
Yeah, But in that moment, I'm like, I really don't want you to be upset because they don't see you enough. And I want you to have a good time. And I want you to have things to look forward to. So I stepped straight into being like, what can we do tomorrow? instead? Can we do this? Can we do that?
It must be like divorced parent guilt. Like you must have a good time when he's with me.
Definitely. Whereas actually, what he really needed was space to process and to be bored, and be pissed off. And for me to validate him and say, I don't blame you, though. You’ve had two rubbish bits of information.
Exactly. And he's allowed to feel like that, and you don't necessarily have the ability to do anything about it.
I mean, we did go to the cinema to watch the Marvel's, which was absolutely epic. Yeah. And everybody felt that for that. So if you can't do that, then I guess that's fine. But it's also okay for him to feel bored and react.
And it pushed me into overwhelm. Because I'm trying to fix things. And I'm trying to be like, right, how can I take him to the cinema when I've still got the other child who's much younger and can't go watch it?
Exactly. And you don't need to do that you just means you don't need to fix too many spoons.
You don't have enough spoons to go and see the Marvel film, we'll just have to feel annoyed for a minute.
But that also takes spoons to allow them space. To be sad. Oh, we probably need like a whole thing with a child psychologist. That'd be quite good. So we're gonna take a break? Yes, we are. And come back next year. So we're open to lots of suggestions for what you would like more of because people are getting in touch quite a lot. You know, now I'm being like, Thanks for the podcast, which is, like, fucking awesome. And it can be like, oh, we need to keep going.
Well, no, that's why we do it, isn’t it? Like, but
we just like a chat.
Yeah, it’s also going to be great when we come back. And we want your suggestions. And like, you know, its absence makes the heart grow fonder. So we'll miss you.
But we'll be back. So I think we're booked in for the podcast you do for like mid January, something like that.
And we've got Lou next week. So there's an episode coming out next week with that right?
Yeah, that's right, Lou next week and talking all about vision boarding and intentions for the new year and how to sort of, specifically for me, survive Christmas and try not to be so putting out fires for the kids, but making sure my needs are met during this period.
Yeah. Yeah. So that's a real goodie. And then we'll be and then we're taking a break, and then we'll be back in the new year.
Mid New Year. Well, thank you so much for everything you have done, Katie.
Thank you. It's an absolute pleasure to be here. With you. Last time we recorded a podcast, you just need a minute to finish and I wouldn’t let you
Well, you know me Yeah. So it's like an extra second or two. Oh, you could help. I love you say goodbye now.
Okay. Bye, everybody. Goodbye. Happy Christmas.