As a coach, mother, and tree-time gold medalist, Misty May-Treanor shares her advice on how to stay balanced, while meeting your goals.
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Waking up and hitting the snooze button. Continually feeling tired throughout the day. There’s no spark, excitement, or passion, because quite honestly, every day feels like a homework assignment you don’t have the energy to do. You constantly feel behind—not just in your performance at work—but also in your relationships and connection to self. And then there’s stress.
Stress prevents you from being as productive as you once were, which often results in incomplete projects and an ever-growing to-do list. As hard as you try, it can sometimes feel like you just can't climb out from under the pile. This is what burnout can look like for many, and this growing epidemic is a thief that robs the world of passionate change agents, influencers, leaders, teachers, artists, and innovators.
The term “burnout” was coined in the 1970s by psychologist Herbert Freudenberger to describe severe stress and high ideals. Burnout has a wide range of symptoms—apathy and a sense of hopelessness being the #1 killer of joy. There’s this sense that nothing is going right or nothing matters. As the symptoms worsen, these feelings may become immobilizing, making it seems like "what's the point?"
If this sounds like you, you might feel perplexed, as you’ve done everything the experts say you should do. You tried sleeping longer hours, improving diet, taking time for yoga, and writing in a journal. You even seek refuge outside the city when you can to pick up the pieces of your own sanity. Yet, even after all the wishing and hoping (and a few too many cups of coffee) nothing seems to budge you to move forward in life.
I know first hand how exhausting it can be trying to move beyond the cycles of burnout. But why? I spent years as an entrepreneur feeling on top of the world when I was staying busy and getting things done. In hindsight, pushing hard all the time caused me to move from a state of lack. Somewhere in me was a strong belief that I am not enough. What I love has always been tangled up in my profession, so it became a blind spot. Until I was bumping up against burnout, it was hard to see my relationship with myself and work was the issue.
Hustling is aggressive, forceful, and most importantly, it’s a hurried approach to reach a goal or offer a service. Anytime you feel hurried you tend to be slightly out of alignment, no longer experiencing joy in the moment.
As I started to witness this in myself and shift away from the hustle, I was able to see that my days looked like a squirrel munching and hoarding acorns. However, every time I believed that I was breaking up with the hustle mentality, I found myself back at it again. Logic unconvinced that doing less or having faith was a step towards accomplishment.
I noticed many of the high achievers I've worked with have this strong belief that for one to be successful in life, you have to fill up your time with pushing through, constantly. Our brain works like a computer—programming gets inputted in from experiences, other individuals or society, and we start to identify as the software. We can live in logic, powering through and being practical, or on the other side of the spectrum wishful, waiting around hoping things will come to you. I’m here to tell you there is a place in between.
This middle path helps to make a change to occur in conformity with will. Our will is our most powerful tool which gives us the freedom to make choices. The human condition spins counter-clockwise, against the will of nature which causes us to feel negative and supports our inner dialogue that life is a struggle. Burnout is a result of the thoughts we are thinking, the forces behind our why. Do you stay busy to feel needed and special?
We can adopt as many affirmations and Jedi mind tricks as we’d like, but at the core of this epidemic lies our issue with self-worth. As I continue to discover this greater worthiness, the emotional charge to fight or deny fades. There is a way to serve others while meeting my own needs and living an abundant life. I just needed to get out of my own way first. Energetic healing and training handed down through ancient mystery school tradition has been the strongest catalyst to achieve this state in my life. Tools to shift perception supported me in seeing motivations and blocks I was previously unaware of.
Like any pattern or program wired in us, it takes time to break down a system and implement a new version. This world can be our playground to learn, grow, and try new things if we allow ourselves time to stop constantly striving.
Waking up and for once, preemptively turning off the snooze button. Continually feeling a lightness at work, in a flow state– tinges of spark, excitement, and passion bubbling through, just because. You feel in the right place at the right time, and the right amount of pressure empowers you to trust the middle path.
Dare I say fall is the best season of all? The crisp cool air is such a huge turn from the summer sunshine. Autumn calls for cozy sweaters, big mugs tea, trail runs, and all the back to school vibes. I feel this seasonal push to realign my values, get my habits dialed in and clearly create my calendar. Where summer is so fancy-free, fall feels more like a time to get real. A softer January.
Channeling the fall vibes and exploring new habits and ways to sweat, I signed up for the Allstate Hot Chocolate 5K in Denver this month! I crossed the finish line with my sister (and MINDBODY employee), Melinda. I have to say, we had a blast training together and completing a goal together is the *best* way to kickstart the fall season.
Now that the race is complete, it is time for some much needed R&R. Here are my four favorite ways to recover after running (and rocking!) a 5K, no matter the time of year:
My feet are often in need of some love after training and running on race day. They are getting a lot of movement time leading up to a race and afterward, the best way to recover is to sit down and soak in the warm water, foot massage, and glossy polish. I went for an autumn maroon polish to welcome the season and say thank you to my feet for moving me through that 5K. Runner’s note: if you pre-race pedi, keep those calluses until after the race!
WHAT: Restorative Yoga
Nothing says relaxation like a post-race flow in a beautiful indoor environment. Located in the cozy Berkeley neighborhood in Denver, this space is an urban retreat known for its mindful and restorative practices and offerings. We love Lauralynn Sulivan and her Yoga Nidra classes. Yoga Nidra literally translates to “yoga sleep” and rest is a crucial part of recovery. Grab all the props—oh hey there bolsters—add two blankets and enjoy the yogic slumber.
WHERE: Peace of Mind
Now, this is a must! Schedule your massage within a week after the day you crossed the finish line. Peace of Mind is off Pearl Street in Wash Park and looks like a welcoming house turned lavender-scented zen zone. While many places offer an array of services, try a Sports Massage post-race. It will promote flexibility and helps to reduce fatigue. Ahhh. A massage is a perfect complement to the endurance your body just exemplified in your 5K.
WHAT: Express Facial
WHERE: Glow Facial Bar
The chilly air and layers of sweat can create a mess for my skin after race day—and as we move into fall, the dry Colorado air and dehydration are already taking its toll! I scheduled an express facial at Glow Facial Bar to clean up my skin post-race. This fast and efficient 30-minute treatment included exfoliation, anti-aging and deep hydration to enlighten and brighten my skin. Bonus—they keep the rose quartz rollers in the fridge. Hello, lymph detox and goodbye under-eye puffiness!
Cheers to your next race and always remember to recover and take care of your body—and your mind!
Whether you’re looking for a good stretch session or self-care treatment after your next race, MINDBODY is your source for all things fitness, wellness, and beauty, wherever you are!