As a working woman with a 9-5 and a 5-9 freelance job, I must prioritize my beauty rest. It is crucial for Men and Women who are hustling and seeking opportunities to find time to center their peace and get rest. I believe the term "burnout" is defined as a period where one is overworked, overwhelmed, tired, overfilled in mental capacity, and in need of a refresh. Burnout can occur once one has engulfed too much work and will not stop to think about oneself. I am a prime example of burnout. I caught COVID in July and prioritized work, social life, and other things before my rest, health, and care. I thought I had panic attacks, causing slower breathing, chest pains, sore throat, and constant coughing. I thought I was fine until that Saturday afternoon. I drank the entire bottle of Mucinex, still working, writing, and trying to make a flight to New Jersey. I had no idea it was COVID until my mom on the phone mentioned that I had the covid test in the cabinet, and I might want to take one to be sure. Well, it was not a second later when the test showed two dark red lines indicating I was absolutely positive for COVID-19.
I was weak for 3 days, could not stand longer than 20 seconds, and literally coughed every second of every minute. I literally said to myself countless times, "If this is it, I would like to go out to sleep." I thought it was my end day, and I was completely done with life. I thought to myself, during this time, no one came to check on me or help with the dog. Literally, no one called me to check on me. It definitely allowed me to reflect on the importance of relationships and friendship. I took some for granted, and I ended some because it was time, but most importantly, I realized I have been about my external more than I have worked on my inner being. The more my health progressed, I realized that I had work to do internally. I needed to know what my triggers are when I am exhausted and when I have had enough. I need to know these basic things that I know about everyone else about myself. I felt I neglected my needs for so long that it caused me to burn myself out.
As I healed through Covid-19 and became better. I began self-care techniques that allowed me to focus on my inner being and external. I began to meditate, center myself before my day started, and focus on my mind and body. I began each day with meditation; once I finished, I played inspirational music at the gym for an hour. The gym allowed my body to gain strength, although it was weak from COVID. I began to set goals for strength training, and it worked. My body was able to get back to three miles at the gym, and I became aware of how much I could handle at a time instead of putting pressure to do it all my first day back. I have never noticed how hard I am on myself. This small practice revealed that I would not respect my boundaries. It took practice.
As a dreamer, a hustler, and a goal-getter, I noticed how hard it is to take care of all responsibilities and reach success. I am a firm believer in writing your vision on paper, and I encourage everyone to do so on my podcast "Small Talk Big Action with Li Morales," but it's much more that comes with reaching success. Self-checks are crucial to your entire being. Constantly checking in on yourself should be a part of your routine as it is vital to maintain health to secure wealth. The burnout sessions must stop. Do not overwork yourself trying to prove yourself. Get rest! Stay Hydrated; missed opportunities are not happening if you take time for yourself. What is meant for you will not pass you. Remember that your options for your purpose are specifically for you, and if you take time to rest and reflect, you can strategize and seek the opportunity meant for you.
To avoid burnout, take your vacations if you're a corporate worker. Make sure that you are using the time for yourself and that you can work at a later date. If you are both a corporate worker and freelancer, take time off from all of your jobs to focus on yourself. Of course, you can be smart about planning your days, but please take time off all obligations, responsibilities, and work duties, as you must have time to yourself. Most people will take off one job and focus on their freelance work because it is easier and less stressful. Let me be the first to tell you, IT IS STILL WORK! Please step away from the computer and enjoy nature, take a walk, go to your favorite restaurant, and stay in bed! Do something to relax those muscles, brain cells, and overworked bodies! Take time for yourself, and PRIORITIZE YOUR REST.
When you come back refreshed, that is the moment where you can focus on your work better than you did before your rest. Now you can go all into your work and come back up when it is time for rest. Again, you may suffer from FOMO (fear of missing out) but trust me, you will not miss what is specifically for you by focusing on yourself. It may feel that you missed an opportunity, a meaningful conversation, or a business deal. Listen, if you do not focus on your rest, your mind, and your body, you will deplete energy, and most of those conversations will not be as powerful as you'd like because you must regroup.
Love yourself enough to take time out, enjoy yourself and relax. Take the time to do what you love outside of work. Remember the joys you had as a child and remake them as a new memory as an adult. Try something new, and enjoy it or not, but at least you did it! Your worth is not proven by burnout; overwork is proven by the time you spend with yourself and your craft. Time off and time is a healthy balance that exemplifies who you are and what you bring to the table. You are entitled to prioritize rest. You deserve it!