Disrupting Burnout

Chapter 5: What is Your Tell? (Disrupting Burnout by Dr. Patrice Buckner Jackson

March 14, 2024 Dr. Patrice Buckner Jackson
đź”’ Chapter 5: What is Your Tell? (Disrupting Burnout by Dr. Patrice Buckner Jackson
Disrupting Burnout
More Info
Disrupting Burnout
Chapter 5: What is Your Tell? (Disrupting Burnout by Dr. Patrice Buckner Jackson
Mar 14, 2024
Dr. Patrice Buckner Jackson

Subscriber-only episode

Hey Friend! I would love to hear from you. Send us a text message.

Ever felt like you're running on a treadmill that's just too fast, and you can't seem to hit the stop button? That sensation is your body's 'tail' wagging furiously, warning you of impending burnout. In this chapter, we unlock the secrets to listening to your body's signals, from exhaustion to emotional upheaval. We explore the vital role of soul-care, diving into the meaningful distinction between simply looking after oneself and truly nurturing the spirit within. The wisdom shared in this chapter is not just about prevention; it's about proactive transformation, ensuring that your well-being remains front and center, even amidst life's relentless hustle.

Navigating life's storms can make us feel adrift, but as I recount personal stories and biblical references, an anchor appears in the form of gratitude and worship. These practices aren't just feel-good add-ons; they're crucial lifelines that tether us back to the divine and breathe new life into our weary souls. Our relationships, often the first casualties of burnout, are also under the spotlight. We address the uncomfortable truths about the impact of our stress on loved ones and the pathways to mending these crucial connections. Each moment of this episode is an invitation to step back, assess the clutter—emotional and environmental—that may be clouding your journey, and embrace the strategies and insights that guide you back to purpose, peace, and a reinvigorated spirit.

Upgrade to Premium Membership to access the Disrupting Burnout audiobook and other bonus content: https://www.buzzsprout.com/1213895/supporters/new

Disrupting Burnout - Premium Membership
Exclusive Access to Dr. PBJ's audiobook & bonus episodes.
Starting at $10/month Subscribe
Show Notes Transcript Chapter Markers

Subscriber-only episode

Hey Friend! I would love to hear from you. Send us a text message.

Ever felt like you're running on a treadmill that's just too fast, and you can't seem to hit the stop button? That sensation is your body's 'tail' wagging furiously, warning you of impending burnout. In this chapter, we unlock the secrets to listening to your body's signals, from exhaustion to emotional upheaval. We explore the vital role of soul-care, diving into the meaningful distinction between simply looking after oneself and truly nurturing the spirit within. The wisdom shared in this chapter is not just about prevention; it's about proactive transformation, ensuring that your well-being remains front and center, even amidst life's relentless hustle.

Navigating life's storms can make us feel adrift, but as I recount personal stories and biblical references, an anchor appears in the form of gratitude and worship. These practices aren't just feel-good add-ons; they're crucial lifelines that tether us back to the divine and breathe new life into our weary souls. Our relationships, often the first casualties of burnout, are also under the spotlight. We address the uncomfortable truths about the impact of our stress on loved ones and the pathways to mending these crucial connections. Each moment of this episode is an invitation to step back, assess the clutter—emotional and environmental—that may be clouding your journey, and embrace the strategies and insights that guide you back to purpose, peace, and a reinvigorated spirit.

Upgrade to Premium Membership to access the Disrupting Burnout audiobook and other bonus content: https://www.buzzsprout.com/1213895/supporters/new

Speaker 1:

Chapter 5. What is your Tail Friend? How do you know when you're overwhelmed? One of the primary reasons you end up in burnout is because you don't recognize your tail, and typically you'll have more than one. By tails I mean your symptoms. Our body, soul and spirit tell us when we need to adjust, but we ignore these warnings too often. Symptoms are not the root of the problem, but they are an indication that something is wrong. Your tails are gauges indicating the health of your soul. To disrupt burnout, you must begin to recognize your tails.

Speaker 1:

My purpose coach, patrice C Washington, founder of Seek Wisdom, find Wealth, shared on her podcast Redefining Wealth that our lives are always speaking to us, but we often fail to listen. Remember overwhelm is the whisper, but burnout is the demand. We need to heed the whisper to disrupt burnout. You can identify your tails by recognizing how your body, soul, spirit, relationships and environment are speaking to you. Let's dive deep into each of these areas. Grab your journal and answer the questions that follow each section. Your body is speaking to you.

Speaker 1:

During my disrupting burnout workshops, women often share how they experience a variety of physical symptoms when they're overwhelmed. These symptoms include the following tension in the neck and shoulders, muscle aches, headaches, loss of appetite, weight gain or weight loss, inability to sleep or difficulty waking up, total exhaustion and even substance abuse. In the depths of my burnout experience, my body literally shut down each night without warning. I would work all day, come home, take care of my family and if I ever dared to sit on the couch or on the side of the bed, I was asleep in the snap of a finger, with no notice and no transition. My body would just shut down. I could not watch a movie or television show. I could not tell my family about my day or hear about theirs. I could fight it if I was on my feet, but if I sat, I was out like a light. I could fall asleep mid-sentence. When I think of the nights I drove home in this state of exhaustion, it takes my breath away. Thank God for protection. My body was speaking to me, but I was not listening. Instead, I normalized this tale. Of course I'm tired. I work hard. What is your physical tale? How does your body speak to you? Your soul is speaking to you.

Speaker 1:

Burnout is not just a self-care issue. Burnout is a soul-care issue. Pay attention to your soul. When I say soul, I'm referring to your mind, will, imagination and emotions. These are the most important indicators of burnout, as well as the place where we need to do the work of disrupting burnout. The soul is the bridge between earth and heaven. The soul connects your physical body to your spirit. The health of your soul determines your connection to spirit. You should not make decisions based on how you feel, because emotions change quickly according to circumstances. However, you should recognize your emotions as a measure of the health of your soul. How is your soul whispering to you? How is your mental health? Do your daily decisions, your will, align with your purpose? What indications are you receiving from your emotions Mind?

Speaker 1:

Have you ever walked into a room and completely forgotten? Why Does that happen more often than you want to admit? Forgiveness is one of the symptoms of overwhelm we often ignore. You may forget tasks or names or simple-to-do items, just like your computer hard drive. Human beings have limited mental capacity. Although vast, there is an end to the amount of information our minds can successfully process at any given time. This is a sign we are mentally overloaded and need some free space on our mental hard drive.

Speaker 1:

At one point, I lost sleep because I was so focused on all the things I forgot to do while at work. And at work, I was distracted by all the things I forgot to do for our home. I never felt like I was in the right place to do the right things that needed to be done. According to Rebecca Zucker in the Harvard Business Review, some women also experience brain fog, racing thoughts, confusion or difficulty concentrating when overwhelmed. You may even find it difficult to make decisions or act when your mind is overwhelmed. It's not that you don't have the answer, but you cannot access executive thinking when your mind is tired.

Speaker 1:

How is your mind speaking to you Will? According to Miriam Webster, your will represents your choices, inclinations, appetites, passions and determinations. How is your will speaking to you? In burnout, I relinquished several good health habits in exchange for a busy schedule. I ate when I could and whatever I could. I never made time to move my body. The outcome I gained over 100 pounds over several years. Friend, you heard me. Over 100 pounds, and it happened slowly but steadily. In the past, I'd been frustrated with 30 extra pounds. How in the world did I allow it to get so far? You ask Only decisions. My will was not in alignment with my purpose. I ate for the moment and not for the future. How is your will speaking to you? Are your choices and appetites in alignment with where you want to be in your future, or are they holding you to an unfruitful past? It can be as simple as your health decisions, like what you eat or drink. Are you eating and drinking to live a long, full life?

Speaker 1:

Emotions Amid rock bottom burnout, I found it almost impossible to control my emotions. Now, let's be honest. I am naturally an emotional creature. If you need someone to cry with you, I'm your girl. Crying is a normal way for me to express myself, so a few tears is not what we're talking about here. The emotions were overwhelming and I could no longer hold them in. I had held back for so long. There was a breach in my emotional levy and the flood had broken through. I found myself in professional meetings unable to hold back tears. There were days when it was all I could do to get to a bathroom stall so I could cry. I could not explain the emotions and I could not pinpoint the source. I just could not stop crying.

Speaker 1:

Maybe you're not a crier. Maybe you get what I call a little crunchy. A little crunchy means you're a bit sharper around the edges. You're easily irritated and everyone around you knows it. Now, friend, if crunchy is your norm, we need to have a different conversation. However, if you are normally even keeled, or even the opposite of irritable, then you need to pay attention to when you feel irritated and your patients run short. Maybe everyday things that wouldn't normally bother you now set you off. Maybe you're not aware of this change, but you notice the people you love seem to need a little distance from you. One thing for sure if you don't know if you're crunchy, those closest to you can tell you. Pay attention to your family members. If everyone in the house scatters to a different room when you walk in, friend, you might be a little crunchy.

Speaker 1:

How are your emotions speaking to you? Your spirit is speaking to you. The spirit is your connection to God. This is the peace of you that remains connected to a world beyond your logic and understanding. This eternal part of your being determines the path of your life on earth and beyond. Monitoring your spiritual health is critical for recognizing overwhelm and burnout. The word I hear often concerning spiritual disconnection is emptiness. You may be exceptionally successful in your job, with a beautiful family and every material thing you need. But if you are not connected to spirit, you will be empty.

Speaker 1:

Genesis 2 and 7 states Then the Lord God formed the man from the dust of the ground. He breathed the breath of life into the man's nostrils and the man became a living person. In the original Hebrew language of the Bible, the word breath in this verse means spirit. When you study this verse in the original language, it means God breathes a living spirit into the man. He gave us his breath.

Speaker 1:

Don't read that line too fast. The creator of heaven and earth breathed his life, giving spirit, into man, and then the man became a living creature. The man had a body, he was fully equipped, but he was not alive until God breathed into him. Friend, you are not living until you become aware of the spirit of God thriving on the inside of you. Everything you are and everything you were created to be is awakened as you live in his breath. Remember how I described overwhelm as feeling like you are drowning. You feel the water level of your life rising and you are fighting to hold your head above water. You just need a breath. You just want to breathe. Friend, the creator of heaven and earth offers you his breath. He created you. He knows everything about you and loves you. Anyway. He freely offers his breath, his spirit, his life, giving spirit to you and to me. Allow yourself to be resuscitated in his presence by seeking him. Here is a recipe for reconnecting to his spirit today.

Speaker 1:

Start with gratitude. Gratefulness changes your perspective and helps you see beyond your present challenge. This may sound like a simple practice, but connecting with gratitude in the midst of overwhelm may prove challenging. Start simply Walk around your house and look for things you are grateful for, like a family photo, food in the fridge or even the thermostat on the wall. Alternatively, you may choose to think of one person who has had a positive impact on you and send them a thank you through direct message or text message. Be sure to tell them why you are thanking them. Finally, walk outside. Find three things you appreciate, like a beautiful bird, a flower, petal or fresh air. Learn those blessings by saying I am grateful for Insert what you appreciate about your environment. As you allow yourself to see and appreciate the blessings around you, you will experience the breath of God refilling your spiritual lungs.

Speaker 1:

Beyond gratitude, recognizing God for who he is through worship also adds perspective and allows you to breathe again. Worship is an act of acknowledging you have been created by the God of this universe for his good pleasure. In worship, we recognize the power, prestige and position of our God. He is not like human beings, for in him we live and move and exist. As some of your poets have said, we are his offspring Acts 17 and 28. He is God and we are his children. We exist in him. This is majesty and intimacy all at the same time. Worship invites our majestic God into our personal space. We become more aware of him and he breathes life into us. Without him we cannot breathe.

Speaker 1:

I do not want to take for granted that you have a relationship with him. I don't know where you're reading these words, but I know our loving Heavenly Father is with you wherever you may be. He knows your heart is overwhelmed and he holds space for you there. You may not be able to explain it to anyone else, but he understands, he knows, he cares and he loves you. Here's a prayer to get you started. Dear Jesus, I believe in you. I believe you died on the cross and I believe you were raised from the dead. I believe God gives me breath. I believe you are here with me. Now Come into my heart, be my Lord and my Savior, forgive my sins and make me new. I desire to be the woman you created me to be, and this is only possible through you. I've tried everything else and nothing else has satisfied my soul. Make me new and bring your spirit to life within me. Breathe on me. I need you. Amen, friend, how's your spirit speaking to you? Are you connected? Are you grateful? Are you abiding with your Heavenly Father? Are you aware of Him? Do you feel connected to your Creator? Are you aware of God's unwavering presence within you? Are you living in alignment with His desires for you? Your relationships are speaking to you.

Speaker 1:

Busy has a way of disrupting relationships. Just because you are physically near a person does not mean your relationship is healthy. You're likely in the company of your family every day, but are you connecting with them or just running past each other as you move through life? I know you do so much to serve them, but are you loving them in the way they need to be loved? Are they aware of your love? Remember burnout is a thief. It comes to steal everything that means the most to you, starting with your most precious relationships.

Speaker 1:

When I was weighed down by burnout, my own child felt like she needed an appointment to spend time with me. While I was so focused on taking care of other people's children at my job, my child felt like she was a hindrance to me. I didn't notice it then, but looking back I see she tried to stay out of my way because I made my job seem so important. I have lost friendships and severely fractured others. There are siblings to whom I'm still not close because I was not there for them in the way they needed me. Even as I write to you, I continue working to release shame concerning these fractures in my relationships. At my speeches and workshops I always have a receiving line to hug people with tears in their eyes because they resonate with the message While consoling strangers. I'm aware my own sister is estranged from me and I allowed this breach to occur. She has no idea how much I love her and how often I think about her. She's not open to receiving that love right now. So I pray and I wait for another opportunity to make it right. I allowed burnout to rob me of our connection. I take responsibility for that.

Speaker 1:

Think about what you might be allowing burnout and overwhelm to take away from you. In my travels I can soul people who have lost marriages and connections with their children. People are estranged from family members and have lost their best friends due to burnout. Friend, it is difficult to be a good friend when your soul is overwhelmed. One of the things we tend to do when overwhelmed is push people away. We isolate ourselves for fear that someone will see our struggle. We reject the love we need because overwhelmed does not allow us to see it as love. It feels like just more to do or someone else who needs something from you when in reality you need something from them.

Speaker 1:

Take a moment to consider your relationships. I'm talking about the ones that matter most to you, those relationships you want to protect and keep close At your last breath. You want to look up and see those people around you. Your relationships are speaking to you. What are your relationships telling you? Are your connections strong? Are you serving out of love or out of obligation? What is the current state of your most precious relationships? Do you have healthy connections with the people you love? Your environment is speaking to you.

Speaker 1:

Do you watch the show Hoarders? In this reality-based TV show, family and friends work with organizers and counselors to hold an intervention for a person who has buried themselves in their home with clutter. I must admit I've never made it through an entire episode, because watching the living conditions of the people on the show increases anxiety for me. I don't understand how any person could live like that, because that kind of life is not logical. Clutter is never about the clutter itself. It's never as simple as just cleaning up. I'm convinced the experts can clean the mess, but it will soon return if the root of the hoarding is never addressed.

Speaker 1:

One of the primary signs of overwhelm is clutter and chaos. Your environment is a physical manifestation of your soul. If you have clutter and disorder in your physical space, you likely have clutter and disorder in your mind, will and emotions. Remember those stacks of papers under my desk in that otherwise beautiful office? I never allowed anyone behind my desk. I met with students and staff members at a table in front of my desk and then returned to the paper monsoon to get my work done. It's no wonder I struggled to keep deadlines and complete projects. How in the world did I expect to be productive like that? Every now and then I would just have enough and take a day or two to sort shred and file. However, because I was unaware of the root of the problem, the monsoon eventually returned.

Speaker 1:

The tales in your environment are not limited to physical clutter. Sometimes you may find yourself in an emotionally toxic environment. Continuing to exist in a space where you feel criticized and demoralized is a sign of burnout. The environment may challenge you, but the challenge pushes you towards purpose and peace. When your environment distracts you from your destiny and tears away at your dignity, it's time to make a change.

Speaker 1:

Check your environment, friend. How is your physical space? How about your emotional space? Does your environment promote the best in you, or is it an indication of a weary soul? What is your tale? What are the ways your body, soul, spirit, relationships and environment attempt to get your attention? Friend, the evidence is in you and all around you. God created us with automatic warning mechanisms, so we will stop and take notice. Every symptom is significant. Disrupting burnout is not about living perfectly after reading this book. Disrupting burnout is about becoming so self-aware that you never miss another sign. Do the hard work. If you haven't taken time to answer the questions in this chapter yet, go back and identify your tales by writing out your answers, friend. This work is essential to your process of disrupting burnout. Download the Disrupting Burnout Journal for a fillable copy of this activity at patricebutnerjaxsoncom slash journal.

Recognizing and Disrupting Burnout Symptoms
Reviving Your Spirit and Relationships
Recognizing and Disrupting Burnout