Where Have I Been, Burnout, and Filling Your Own Cup.

First off I feel like I must apologise, I’m very sorry I haven’t written a blog post in over a month. I have been quite quiet over on my social media platforms too. So the burning question, where have I been?

Well, not only am I a Naturopath but a side-kick to my partner, who works on his family farm and has a contracting business, so this time of year is super crazy! With harvest, hours upon hours of loading lambs into the trucks, and even some hay bailing thrown in there too (which, by the way, I learnt to drive this year) it has been a very busy time with very little downtime. When I wasn’t seeing patients I was helping him to move machinery, cook meals for our workers, all while catching up on the endless about of bookwork, oh and how could I forget looking after 8 very energetic kelpie pups who wouldn’t let me leave my door without following me and jumping at my legs with every step (if you haven’t raised any pups you might think it’s all fun and cute puppy cuddles, I can ensure you it's not.)

I took 3 weeks off from seeing patients which I had big plans to get organised for 2020 but I had been burning the candle at both ends I was left completely burnt out. I had to take some of my advice; rest and look after myself. However, that’s hard when it’s the busiest time on the farm. True story: I had to drive 40mins in one direction at 10 pm to get something for Lachie, drop it off to him, then drive back to our home. Yes, that’s right, I think in 3 days I had driven 1000kms.

It was a really hard place for me to feel so exhausted when Lachie and the other workers were working such long hours. I find myself feeling extreme guilt over just wanting to rest. I am sure I am not the only person who watches as their partner's work day in and out and you mightn’t be, but you're feeling just as exhausted.

Anyway, I’m babbling now. Once I had worked out that I was experiencing burn out, I went back to basics: rest, good nutrition, and filling my cup up first. I’m a big believer in starting the day with a good healthy breakfast, as I believe it will set you up for a good day, and you are more likely to make healthier choices. So I steamed up lots of zucchini, cauliflower, then added banana and chucked them in the freezer, these were great for green smoothies in the morning. I bought a cooked chicken that I could pair with a salad for lunch. These were two easy tasks that encouraged me two get at least two of main meals sorted, with the bonus of being completely nutritious.

When it comes to rest, I tried to go to bed as early as I could but also sleep as long as I could the next morning which meant no early morning alarms. I had great plans to keep up with my cross-fit while on holidays but the time Christmas schedule meant I would have to be up at 5 am and it just wouldn’t have worked for me. I also tried to avoid unnecessary trips to town, we live about 45mins from town which isn’t too far as I know many of my followers live a lot further away but for the three weeks, I just needed to try and stay at home as much as I could as when I’m at work I’m in my car EVERYDAY.

After looking after my nutrition and rest I was feeling about 80% better but still not 100%. I needed to focus on filling the cup. I went for some mountain walks, ate at my favourite café, binge-watched many things on Netflix and for a couple of days last week I went camping with friends where I barely used my phone, sat on the beach, talked with amazing friends and used my new stand up paddleboard.

Now as I sit here and write this on a Sunday night, I feel like I’m back, I’m back ready for another fantastic year. My mission stays the same: to help more communities feel connected, supported and empowered about their health by bringing health forums to other areas all around Australia. To run my first retreat in the amazing Grampians in southern Victoria, to continue to release podcast informative and engaging podcast episodes, and simply turn up every day to help my patients.

Thank you so much for sticking by me through 2019, through the holiday season, and through all the up's and down's that we all go through.

If you take anything from this blog let it be that you need to focus on YOU.

Hayley x