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When I Approached Burnout, a Horrible Thing Happened

February 26, 2024
Today, Jess shares a story about what happened to her physically when she was full steam ahead in her work and completely neglecting self-care.
When I Approached Burnout, a Horrible Thing Happened
February 26, 2024
Today, Jess shares a story about what happened to her physically when she was full steam ahead in her work and completely neglecting self-care.

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ON THIS EPISODE OF AMPLIFY

Today, Jess shares a story about what happened to her physically when she was full steam ahead in her work and completely neglecting self-care.

If you’re barreling toward burnout, you’ll want to listen to this, as Jess shares some tips to help you get off the hamster wheel to something that resembles more of a work-life balance.

 

SHOW NOTES

Amplify with Jess is produced by Earfluence and brought to you by Mic Drop Workshop.

TRANSCRIPT

Jess Ekstrom – 00:00:02:

Welcome to Amplify with Jess Ekstrom, a show designed to help women get out of their head and into their zone of influence. Happy Monday, everyone. Here’s some food for thought to start your week. So let me tell you a horror story. One day, I woke up and my mouth literally wouldn’t open. Yep. I literally could only open my mouth like, half an inch, my jaw was completely locked. And I, of course, was freaking out. For years, I had suffered from clicking in my jaw or just all around pain in my jaw. And I tried night guards. I tried all these different things. And of course, I would go to a doctor and they’d be like, well, you are stressed and you need to relax. I’m like, well, thanks, doc. Appreciate it. How do I do that? And what I learned was years of not listening to cues in my body finally manifested to where I couldn’t open my mouth, which is very metaphorical because my job and career is speaking. And even when you look at pictures years ago, my masseters, which are the muscles where your jaw were just completely inflamed, completely swollen, like my face looks completely different from when I had these TMJ problems. And so the irony around this physical ailment that I was ignoring because of stress that literally was the thing that threatened my career of being a speaker. And so this idea of output and input in our work is something that I didn’t think about for years. I didn’t think about, all I was thinking about was output. How do I keep doing more, creating more, showing up, being more to other people? And I didn’t once think about how I was filling my cup and treating myself during that time until I literally couldn’t open my mouth to do my job. It took lots of doctors, thousands of dollars, all of these different specialists to finally get me back on track. And ever since then, I have vowed to myself to take my input just as seriously as my output. And so what I mean by this is the output is the work. It’s the things that you show up and do. It’s the books that you write. It’s the talks that you give. It’s the things that you do in your job. But what’s your input? How are you taking pauses? How are you fueling your body? How are you drinking water? How are you unwinding when it’s time to unwind? How are you being kind to yourself throughout the day? And I will be the first to tell you that I’m like, okay, hakuna matata. Those are things that I would almost exit tab if an article or a blog or something started to talk about meditation or drinking more water because I’m like, yeah, I get it. I’m busy. But I think that one of the things that we have to think about, is if we want our output to be good, then we have to make our input good. And that’s something that can be really hard for over achieving people like myself and maybe you who are listening to this podcast right now is thinking about what are the things that we are inputting so that we can properly output the work that we want to do. So it wasn’t until I had many doctors that helped me figure out this issue with my jaw. And so I started to put some things into place that helped me figure out how I can work and do the things that I want to do with more balance. Because I think the narrative, the false narrative that I had in my head was that it was going to be an either or. I was like, I want to be an ambitious person. I want to be the kind of person that writes books, that gives talks, that does all these things. But I also want to be the person that doesn’t have, you know, jaw issues or get stress-induced shingles, which I’ll talk about in Wednesday’s episode. So a couple of the things that I did that have helped me is, first thing is when I wake up in the morning, create before I consume or have quiet time before I consume. Our habit is, okay, we set the alarm on our phone and the alarm goes off. We switch off the alarm and boom, open up the quickest app, Instagram, TikTok, whatever it is. So all of a sudden the real state in our mind goes to someone else before it goes to ourself. And so either writing in the morning, even if it’s just for a couple minutes, or just not having someone else’s words in my brain before my own. And then the other thing that I do throughout the day, this is actually something that I learned years ago and I never did it. But again, when I learned it, I was like, all right, this is not something that I think works for me. But now I’m like, this works. Before I start my day, I look at my calendar and I see who I’m meeting with. And I go through each person that is on the other end of that invite. And I just wish them well. I think about what they’re doing. I think about what their life might look like. I think about what their day might look like today, what they have going on. And it helps me like shift my mind from this like ego, go, go, go, like fire hose, fire hose mentality. To realizing like everyone that I meet with has their own path that they’re walking, has their own stuff that they’re doing. I am not the only person on this universe. And so that helps me take my ego out of the equation and helps me be a little bit kinder to myself and to other people throughout the day. The third thing that I’ll tell you, the last thing, and you’re probably going to be like, Jess, you’re crazy. I’m not doing this. But this actually happened from maternity leave, is I took email off my phone. I know. It’s a big move. And you’re probably like, no, I can’t do that. But you can, because you don’t have to work around the clock. And you don’t need to be responding to emails at 9pm in your bed. I just outed myself for my bedtime. But responding to emails around the clock is constantly making you feel on, constantly heightening your cortisol levels, your nervous system. And also, it just continues to fuel this unrealistic expectation that we are always available to whoever needs us. So I took email off my phone. And email is now only allowed on my desktop. And that has been a huge game changer in my mental and physical well-being. So remember, look at your input just as much as you look at your output. And fuel yourself before you can fuel other people. Thanks for listening to Amplify. If you are a fan of the show, show us some podcast love by giving us a rating and review. And give us a follow @MicDropWorkshop and @JessEkstrom. Coming up on Amplify.

Lorneika – 00:07:48:

Being in the hospital, right, as a college student with a $7,000 bill that I could not afford, that was the biggest red flag for me that, Lorneika, if you don’t slow down, if you don’t start implementing boundaries and unlearning, that you don’t have to save everybody at the expense of your wellbeing, you’re going to die a premature death.

Jess – 00:08:12:

This episode was edited and produced by Earfluence, and I’m Jess Ekstrom, your host. Remember that you deserve the biggest stage, so let’s find out how to get you there. I’ll see you again soon.

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