I read something this week that rang true.

In the context of a workshop on burnout, symptoms of it and ways to overcome it, participants were writing about their experience with burnout/ worklife balance etc in the chat box.

I read many comments that rang true with my own experience, including how they thought that even if they were feeling the burn, they knew they should just suck it up and get on with it because at least they had a job/ because this was old news/ because others had it worse….

Because, because, because …

A whole bunch of different becauses – but one key message: “just suck it up and stop complaining”.

This rang true, because this was something I used to think too.

I used to think that spending time looking after my own health was lazy, self-indulgent, and unprofessional.  I thought instead that being exhausted and knackered was a badge of honour to display with pride.

No wonder I burned out twice.

There are many reasons for me thinking that, but they were merely thoughts and beliefs – not the truth.

In fact, the opposite was true.  When I didn’t spend time looking after my own well being, I was too ill to be any good to anyone.  Burning out, making mistakes at work, snapping at those I cared about for the slightest reason, and going through the day on auto pilot.  I had to learn to unpack those beliefs and re-frame my thoughts to something that would nourish me rather than run myself into the ground.

As we come up to the holiday season, I just want to remind you of this:  if you want to be there for those you care about, but are just too exhausted to think, you must care about yourself first, even if every part of you believes that you should just suck it up and push through the tiredness.

How can you carve out time for yourself this holiday season?