Burnout – And Beyond

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I was 29 years old and had been graduated from dental school for 7 years, I was in the prime of my life or at least I should have been. But instead I had hit a point in life where work seemed too hard, patients were there just to annoy me, my staff didn’t care and were of no help at all and 5pm Friday simply couldn’t come fast enough.

After 5 hard years at University I had been working years of long hours developing my skills, seeing upwards of 40 patients a day, churning out one filling after another on what seemed to be a never ending treadmill of broken teeth and emergency root canals. I had no motivation, zero empathy and a very short emotional fuse, which would see me swinging from hysterical almost maniacal laughter to fits of rage and even tears. I would cry, as I got ready for work and beg my partner to ring my office so I wouldn’t have to go. But go I would, as I knew all those people were relying on me.

I was tired all the time and would frequently get sick with the flu or debilitating colds. My body hurt from head to toe and sleep was always fitful and never restful. I would crash from one cup of coffee to the next, sometimes drinking 15 a day simply to push through, I ate a diet high in carbohydrates and sugars to keep me going and then would let off steam from the day by going for long gruelling runs or bike rides before sinking into the couch in a heap with a beer or wine to help me unwind.

I lived for my holidays but the relief of them was only ever short lived and once back in the drill and fill I would spiral into a funk that seemed all consuming. I couldn’t believe I would have to do this for the rest of my life.

This pattern continued until I was about 34 when my body hit a wall and said no more, I was, I can see now depressed and anxious and even though my life ticked a lot of boxes I was miserable. It was at this time when I decided things needed to change that I had to be in charge of my own wellbeing and emotional state. So out of character I went and saw a counsellor and opened up to her about how I felt, the dark thoughts that would enter my mind and the low, low feeling I had inside where I felt so empty and lost. I remember crying for what seemed like hours and wondering what needed to change and how could I manage myself and my feelings better.

The counsellor explained to me that I was suffering from burnout, a condition where you have reached the edge of your capacity to cope any more, where life appears too hard. Through working with her I started to take better care of myself, exercised more moderately and cut back on my drinking which actually helped me to sleep better.

I also started working with Serge Benhayon of Universal Medicine, having hands on healing sessions and also seeing practitioners for massage and chakra-puncture to support my body. I took more time out for me where I would meditate with the Gentle Breath Meditation and develop a connection to how I was feeling so I could be more honest with myself and seek the help and support I required. Slowly over time I began to feel more like my old self, energised and with a zest for life so much so that now almost 12 years later I have my own very successful practice, a young family and work on many volunteer projects.

These days I still work long hours, in fact I do more than I used to as my typical day starts around 4am with writing or meetings for projects and then to the office from 7.30 in the morning until 6 in the evening. I now am able to sustain this output without the need for coffee, alcohol or sugar, I hardly ever get sick and when I do it is very minor. I sleep deeply and easily, wake feeling refreshed and full of joy at what the day will bring. I feel emotionally stable and hardly ever get anxious or have negative thoughts and actually am so full of new ideas and enthusiasm that my family and my team have trouble keeping up with what’s next.

I feel and look younger now at nearly 46 than I did at 29 and can honestly say that I enjoy my work and relish spending time with my patients and my staff.

These changes did not happen overnight, it took time and perseverance to deal with my unresolved issues and allow my body to recover from the years of neglect and high stress I had put it through.

The difference, however, is not in what I do but how I am inside as I have developed a way of life that supports me to be in tune with myself and hence I feel relaxed and able to cope with life.

The shift for me was to admit things were not right and to seek the support I needed. I was fortunate that the right people appeared in my life at the right time but it was through my dedication to putting my wellbeing and my needs first that I was able to bring myself back from feeling like life was over to it actually being a new start.

 

 

 

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The Benefits of Self-Love

Since my last blog I have considered the benefits of self-love that I have gained and become aware of since I have been actively more caring of myself. I felt to share them with you.

Living self-lovingly has allowed me to trust myself and listen to my feelings more. When I take time to listen to my inner voice and my heart I release I have a deep inbuilt knowing and self guidance system that can be relied on and trusted in everyday life.

As I come to know me better I can connect to myself and find that place that allows me to trust what I know. The more I take time to listen and go with my feelings the louder the communication is. This gives me sense of relief, confidence and the ability to relax knowing that I know me better than anyone else and that I can rely on myself in any situation.

I can say NO without feeling bad or guilty about it – saying no to others is a yes to me. I no longer see people, do things or go to events if I don’t feel like it. It’s not about being harsh or letting people down by changing my mind at the last-minute but about prioritising and not over committing myself. It’s about being realistic about how much I can take on and deal with at the time. It’s about assessing where I am at physically and emotionally and putting those needs first. I find this way I can do things more joyfully and be more present when I am with people as I’m not feeling obligated, resentful or distracted by other pressures or desires.

I am more discerning of my friendships and relationships. As I have learnt to take responsibility for my life and my own needs, certain friendships have fallen away naturally. I noticed these friendships were often unhealthy, very co-dependant or built on foundations of mutual likes and not on really knowing the other person openly and intimately.

If a relationship is willing to evolve and grow deeper then so the friendship has blossomed and become healthier. This has been tricky at times, with people who have seen me become more of who I am, only wanting the old friend who used to feed and fuel their neediness and them mine at the time.

As I have developed a more self-loving approach to me this is reflected in my relationships and the people around me.

I am more mindful of how I am with myself. I am increasingly conscious of my self talk, my moods, how I am with my body – whether I push too hard, take on too much or am rough with myself physically or verbally. I am able to be aware of when I am overly self-critical or even self bashing and can catch it before it escalates, stop and assess why I am being so hard on myself. This way I am less negative, more honest and appreciative of myself and in return of others. On top of this I feel healthier, happier, more confident and more me than ever before.

A relationship is NOT the answer to my insecurities. So often we seek validation of self-worth and level of attractiveness through relationships. It’s crazy to believe that if a person doesn’t like me, there must be something wrong with me. I no longer allow others judgements or feelings about me to be my barometer that measures my self-worth. My self-worth comes from me knowing that I am love and loving myself unconditionally to the best of my ability.

I have stopped valuing everyone’s opinion more than my own. I am no longer confused, seeking others opinions and going around in circles self-doubting and second guessing myself. Being more loving has allowed me to do what feels right for me. We all need support and help from others, that is healthy – but it is not healthy when we start to become dependent on others advice at the expense of our own inner voice. By allowing myself a moment, 5 minutes of silence to close my eyes, breathe gently, connect to myself and sink into my body, the answers I was looking for come – because they were there the whole time.

I love my own company. I have learnt to value time to myself and relish the quiet moments where I can meditate, snooze, read, go for a walk or soak in the bath. These moments are where magic lies waiting for me, surprising me with sparks of inspiration, where my loving ways love me back.

Give yourself this gift. The gift of learning to love yourself and who knows what is lying inside of you for you to discover….?

Who Knew Meditation Could Be So Simple

In this blog I share my experience of the Gentle Breath Mediation.

It is a simple technique that has been invaluable to me and the way that I live today.

The Truth about Serge Benhayon

by Dr Rachel Hall, Holistic Dentist, Kenmore, Brisbane

When I started on my path of personal development I thought it would be a good idea to incorporate meditation – after all, everyone else seemed to be doing it. All the self-help books raved about it, and it seemed you couldn’t connect to your higher self (whatever that was) without it. There was no doubt about it: if you wanted to be enlightened, meditation was the key.

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