I’m the type of person who tries to plan things perfectly. I have to-do lists, separate calendars, meal plans, schedules, goals, marketing plans and even my cupboards are planned out to look the best and be the most functional. I’m the kind of person who looks up the menu at a restaurant to decide what I’m having before I’m even there.
I’ve always enjoyed being organised. It brings me a sense of calmness and it definitely helps with my anxiety. I can avoid making decisions which are small but feel huge, like what we will have for dinner tonight and I definitely avoid forgetting appointments and what I need from the shop.
In the last 12 months, the entire world has been shaken. Here in Australia, we experienced horrible bushfires which burnt through thousands of homes, took countless lives (both human and animal) and then for the first time in my life, a pandemic took over the world.
Mindful Soul Collective was launched in February, just after the bushfires and just before the pandemic begun to affect Australia.
I also had my other business and of course, multiple commitments for my family, especially my son.
Things changed quite quickly. All of a sudden, we were spending more time inside and alone. We couldn’t take my son to the supermarket. My son stopped going to daycare. We weren’t able to play at parks or go to swimming lessons. I couldn't be organised. I couldn't do anything other than living in the moment and hoping for the best.
I’m not sure if my son, Ezra, really noticed. He is only two so I think he may have just enjoyed the extra time at home with his Mum (my partner, Karl, continued working throughout) but I noticed. All of my planning had gone out of the window. My plans for the family, for our future, for my businesses, all on hold.
I think I did pretty well, considering the circumstances. I held myself together, I took care of my family and we all stayed healthy and somewhat healthy throughout the year.
My businesses boomed and I found myself leaving my part-time job to start working for myself full-time. We were still able to purchase an investment property (thankfully our income wasn’t affected by the pandemic). Ezra continued growing into a kind, considerate and loving little boy. Luckily for us, we did okay.
As I write this, things are going back to normal – well as normal as possible. Ezra is back at daycare. We can go to swimming lessons and the park. I am working for myself full-time. We can take Ezra to the supermarket, as well as any other shop we like. I can be organised again.
I thought that by the end of the year, I would be feeling better but it turns out, I wasn’t.
About six weeks ago, I hit burn-out. It wasn’t like I had experienced in the past. It wasn’t as severe or soul-crushing and it didn't necessarily take over my body. I simply lost my motivation and creativity. I lost my passion and stopped being productive. I stopped caring for myself and stopped doing the things I love.
This resulted in my businesses slowing down. My sales dropped a little, my pages stopped growing, I lost engagement, but most importantly my own growth slowed down which affected me so much more than my businesses slowing could.
I think it had been building up over the year but I was so focused on taking care of my family and businesses that I didn't pay as much attention as I should have.
There were signs and clues well before I had hit this point, but I hadn’t thought much of it, after all, there are people dying, losing their loved ones, losing their income and homes. I am extremely lucky to not have experienced any of that, so what did I have to be worried about?
When I look back to six weeks ago, I can see that I’ve definitely improved but I do have a long way to go.
I’m writing this to help you understand that I’m human. I’ve experienced a lot in the past ten years of my life and I’ve survived it all. I’m still here and standing and that alone is a huge achievement but just because I’ve survived horrible situations, doesn’t mean I’m now invincible. I know I inspire a lot of people and I needed to be realistic with you.
We’re all a work in progress. I know that my own self-development journey will never end. I need to continue working on myself with things that genuinely help me, like meditating, journaling, challenging myself and practising self-care because when I stop, I burn-out. Exactly like I did 6 weeks ago.
But, I do forgive myself and now I can focus on getting better.
It’s okay to hit these stages. It’s okay to lose motivation and creativity and you’re allowed to forgive yourself for letting your own growth slide and hitting burn-out. It’s all okay because you’re human too.
If you can start with forgiving yourself and slowly get back into your habits, everything else will start to grow again.
You will be okay.
Certified Counsellor & Mental Health Coach