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Waking up and hitting the snooze button. Continually feeling tired throughout the day. There’s no spark, excitement, or passion, because quite honestly, every day feels like a homework assignment you don’t have the energy to do. You constantly feel behind—not just in your performance at work—but also in your relationships and connection to self. And then there’s stress.
Stress prevents you from being as productive as you once were, which often results in incomplete projects and an ever-growing to-do list. As hard as you try, it can sometimes feel like you just can't climb out from under the pile. This is what burnout can look like for many, and this growing epidemic is a thief that robs the world of passionate change agents, influencers, leaders, teachers, artists, and innovators.
The term “burnout” was coined in the 1970s by psychologist Herbert Freudenberger to describe severe stress and high ideals. Burnout has a wide range of symptoms—apathy and a sense of hopelessness being the #1 killer of joy. There’s this sense that nothing is going right or nothing matters. As the symptoms worsen, these feelings may become immobilizing, making it seems like "what's the point?"
If this sounds like you, you might feel perplexed, as you’ve done everything the experts say you should do. You tried sleeping longer hours, improving diet, taking time for yoga, and writing in a journal. You even seek refuge outside the city when you can to pick up the pieces of your own sanity. Yet, even after all the wishing and hoping (and a few too many cups of coffee) nothing seems to budge you to move forward in life.
I know first hand how exhausting it can be trying to move beyond the cycles of burnout. But why? I spent years as an entrepreneur feeling on top of the world when I was staying busy and getting things done. In hindsight, pushing hard all the time caused me to move from a state of lack. Somewhere in me was a strong belief that I am not enough. What I love has always been tangled up in my profession, so it became a blind spot. Until I was bumping up against burnout, it was hard to see my relationship with myself and work was the issue.
Hustling is aggressive, forceful, and most importantly, it’s a hurried approach to reach a goal or offer a service. Anytime you feel hurried you tend to be slightly out of alignment, no longer experiencing joy in the moment.
As I started to witness this in myself and shift away from the hustle, I was able to see that my days looked like a squirrel munching and hoarding acorns. However, every time I believed that I was breaking up with the hustle mentality, I found myself back at it again. Logic unconvinced that doing less or having faith was a step towards accomplishment.
I noticed many of the high achievers I've worked with have this strong belief that for one to be successful in life, you have to fill up your time with pushing through, constantly. Our brain works like a computer—programming gets inputted in from experiences, other individuals or society, and we start to identify as the software. We can live in logic, powering through and being practical, or on the other side of the spectrum wishful, waiting around hoping things will come to you. I’m here to tell you there is a place in between.
This middle path helps to make a change to occur in conformity with will. Our will is our most powerful tool which gives us the freedom to make choices. The human condition spins counter-clockwise, against the will of nature which causes us to feel negative and supports our inner dialogue that life is a struggle. Burnout is a result of the thoughts we are thinking, the forces behind our why. Do you stay busy to feel needed and special?
We can adopt as many affirmations and Jedi mind tricks as we’d like, but at the core of this epidemic lies our issue with self-worth. As I continue to discover this greater worthiness, the emotional charge to fight or deny fades. There is a way to serve others while meeting my own needs and living an abundant life. I just needed to get out of my own way first. Energetic healing and training handed down through ancient mystery school tradition has been the strongest catalyst to achieve this state in my life. Tools to shift perception supported me in seeing motivations and blocks I was previously unaware of.
Like any pattern or program wired in us, it takes time to break down a system and implement a new version. This world can be our playground to learn, grow, and try new things if we allow ourselves time to stop constantly striving.
Waking up and for once, preemptively turning off the snooze button. Continually feeling a lightness at work, in a flow state—tinges of spark, excitement, and passion bubbling through, just because. You feel in the right place at the right time, and the right amount of pressure empowers you to trust the middle path.
Want more tips on fighting burnout? Follow Emily Leahy on Instagram and Twitter at @iamemilyleahy.
Approximately 12,000 women aged 40 or younger are diagnosed with breast cancer every year*. Fortunately, there are preventative steps that we can take to help protect ourselves and each other—one of the best ones being exercise. That’s right. Not only does exercise help us release endorphins, but just 30 minutes of exercise three to four times per week can help decrease a person’s risk of developing breast cancer by 30–50%*.
This is hope in a statistic. Just by adopting a more healthy, active lifestyle, we could prevent the risk of developing breast cancer, while also inspiring others to reduce their risk as well. Keep A Breast Foundation has made doing just this their mission through their annual fundraising campaign, Fit 4 Prevention.
Every October, studios from all over the globe participate by raising money through donation-based workout classes for the Keep A Breast Foundation (KAB). They have created a national movement dedicated to educating others about breast cancer prevention through fitness and wellness—something Mindbody is extremely passionate about. Participating in your favorite activities, all while supporting, preventing, and spreading awareness about breast cancer awareness? Let’s get moving.
If you want to take a donation-based class at your favorite studio, encourage your favorite studios to sign up to bring your community closer together in a meaningful way. Registering is quick and easy. If you think your local studio may be interested in participating, have them check out KAB’s help page—where they can learn how to register for a donation-based class during the month of October. KAB even has a social media kit available to fitness studios to help them promote their donation-based classes.
Can’t find a local studio to take a donation-based class near you? Don’t worry, you can still give your support by donating directly to KAB’s website. Luckily, any time that you are moving your body and spreading the word—you’re doing your part in spreading awareness on how to help prevent breast cancer. That is beyond amazing.
This October, we hope you’ll join us in our plight to support the KAB Foundation and its mission to help prevent breast cancer through cultivating a healthier, more active lifestyle. Through movement, health, and wellness—we can reach great heights, together.
To learn more about the KAB Foundation and its mission and how you can get involved further, visit their website.
* National Cancer Institute