Put the chillout into your burnout

Jun 4, 2022 | Choice, Time to Heal

Are you getting what you need? Or are you putting off things that make you happy cuz there’s something else that needs to get done?

Of course, you’ll get stretched thin sometimes. Shit happens. 

But when your life is driven by what others need day in and day out, there’s no room for rest or a reset of your feelings. It’s a painful recipe for burnout. 

Here’s what burnout’s emotional ingredient list might look like in your life … 

  • You feel out of control.
  • You don’t feel supported. 
  • You feel fatigue all the way down to your bones and can’t pretend it’s not there any more.
  • You say yes when you mean no.
  • You feel a sense of failure and you don’t know what’s next.

I know. It sucks … 

… so much that you work super hard to blame it all on the crappy circumstances and people around you. But that irritating little Tinkerbell voice inside keeps whispering, “How’d you get here?” 🧚

Truth is, it probably started a LONG time ago. It did with me.

Growing up, I was taught to pay attention to what others wanted and needed. That’s what good girls do, uh, right?

Even if I did know what my wants or needs were, I learned many of them weren’t going to be met. It was okay for everyone else to have needs. But if I did? I was needy, self-centered, and ungrateful.

So I ended up putting my attention onto what others wanted. And I lost myself.

And that was the way life went – well into adulthood.


I became an un-wonderful version of wonder woman – working super hard to be enough. 🙄

AND …I was so disconnected from myself, I didn’t even know it. I didn’t realize I was burned out – or even what burnout really meant. 🔥

At times,  I was running on pure will to get the next thing on the list done. 

I had no idea how to give myself what I needed. Until … 

… until my 9 day-old daughter Amy died in my arms. 

If that wasn’t devastating enough, Amy’s surviving identical twin sister Julia had lots of medical needs. Plus, I had my 5-year-old and 2-½-year-old sons to take care of.

I found myself on the struggle bus to emotional burnout.

Finally, at my 6-month postpartum checkup, my doctor sent me to a psychologist – who diagnosed me with situational depression. And he said something surprising.

He ordered me to do one kind and loving thing for myself every day. 


I was SHOCKED at how uncomfortable that was. Doing something kind for myself? It was soooo hard, and I was super confused.

I found I had lost myself so thoroughly, I didn’t even know what I liked, wanted, or needed. 

But I stayed with it and found snuggling with my children, wedges of lemon in my water, hang time in nature, and bike rides were added to my “be kind to me” list.

It was humbling to see how hard it was to figure out what I liked. And yet, it was the start of a whole new experience. I saw how disconnected I was from myself. 

Are you unknowingly playing out destructive behaviors like I did? 

I know, you’re thinking, “Burnout is about work stuff.” And yes, work can play a big role. But as this article in Psychology Today points out: 

“Jobs aren’t the only source of the chronic stress that causes burnout. Parents, partners, and non-professional caregivers can also experience endless exhaustion, feel overwhelmed by their responsibilities, or secretly believe that they have failed.”

No matter what the source, the negative effects of burnout spill over into every area of life – your home, work, and social life. Burnout can also cause changes to your body that make you vulnerable to illnesses like colds and flu.

So ask yourself this:  

Are you giving yourself what you need? 
Do you know what you need?
Do you know how to even get there?

Until you’re ready to dive into your core issues and unpack the pain and struggle from your past, you’ll continue to experience the same patterns of pain as they play out again and again. 

But here’s a great place to start.

Ask yourself these four Intimacy with Self questions: 

  • How do I feel? 
  • What do I want? 
  • What do I need? 
  • How do I get it? 

Recognizing that you have needs doesn’t mean that you’ll be able to instantly fulfill them. But avoiding, pretending, and denying that you have them leads to bitterness, anger, resentment – and burnout. That’s just a painful way to live.

It’s not anyone else’s job to love you, respect you, or even to take care of you. It’s YOUR job. 

So, get back here!

Acknowledge that you have needs, and set about making sure your needs are met. 

Only then can you open heartedly give to others. 

I can’t give you a dollar if I don’t have one in my pocket. It’s just like they tell you on the airplane, put your own mask on first before helping others with theirs. 

Look at the list below. What do you need to stop doing? What do you need to start doing? Spend some time really delving into the truth.

  • How often are you feeling like a victim? 
  • What excuses do you make when you feel inadequate or pressured by others?
  • How much are you trying to make other people happy?
  • What aspects of your situation are truly fixed. And which can you change?

As you spend time looking inward, you also need to find creative ways to make sure you feed your heart and soul. 

  • Spend time playing.
  • Connect with nature (which helps you connect with yourself). 
  • Find ways to express your creativity.
  • Set aside alone time, even if it’s just 5 minutes.

As best-selling author Anne Lamott says, “Almost everything will work again if you unplug it for a few minutes, including you.” 

You still might face what seems an impossible world at times – stressful deadlines, conflicts, and not enough resources. 

But when you do your work, you’ll become more and more clear on what matters to you and what doesn’t. Before my daughter Amy died, I thought that obsessively cleaning my house before anyone walked in was important. After she died, my Richter scale changed completely. 

Once you get clear on your needs, you’ll begin to see how you teach other people how to treat you. 

You’ll let them know how you are and aren’t willing to be treated and what you are and aren’t willing to take on. Set those boundaries!

You’ll get pushback. Count on it. Everybody wants what they want. And if they’re used to you giving it to them, they may get pissy. But again, you teach people how to treat you. 

And that starts with awareness of your own needs – and loving yourself.

The above lists can help you do just that – and to reset and calm your overstimulated nervous system when you’re triggered. 

Those triggers will often come up at the least convenient time possible. Still, it’s an invitation to heal. When you feel triggered – even if you only have 5-10 minutes – lean into what’s up for you to heal. 

After facing hard feelings, stored trauma, and shitty stories and beliefs that I had about myself, I was left with freedom, happiness and space. I learned how to give myself what I needed. How about you? It feels so good.

In the Journey to Your Center membership site, you’ll find over a year’s worth of mind-blowing content with powerful techniques, videos, meditations, and coaching to help you hone your skills and change your life –– all in the freaking best way possible. ❤️🤯❤️ 

And each month we add new topics, Inner Circle Healing Sessions, Journal to Your Center Session, Energy Transmissions, and Deep Dive Healing Sessions. 💥

You deserve to face the shit that’s bothering you and to be FULLY seen for the love that you are, so you can finally see it for yourself. 

That’s what we do here with #TeamLove and it’s absolutely magical. 💖
Don’t wait another day. I’ve got you. Learn more and apply here.

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Rita is an Intuitive Counselor who works with bright sensitive people who are sick of struggling in their relationships and want to make the pain go away. Though her in-person and online intimate healing retreats and one-on-one sessions, she has helped thousands of people quiet the noise, move forward, and make peace with their past and their present, so that they can heal, be happier, and live a life they love.

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