As a wife and working mom trying to advance my career, I struggled to find balance. As an HSP (Highly Sensitive Person) and someone with a high drive for achievement, I felt stressed and anxious most of the time.
All of us have a health timeline. A history of our illnesses, injuries and health milestones from the time we were born to now. For anyone working through chronic illness or pain, there is almost always an event we can point to, a line we can draw on the timeline where we can say from this point forward "I never felt the same".
Mine was Memorial Day weekend, 2015. We were moving into our new house. This was a really exciting time, but also a really stressful one. So many logistics between closing on the house, the physical move, and making arrangements for my daughter who was four at the time that I wanted to execute flawlessly, because somehow this made me feel "on top of it". The week of the move, I caught a stomach bug. As the mom of a toddler, this was not unusual. (By the way this is not something they tell you about in the "parenting handbook". So many stomach bugs). To top it off, I was travelling for business the day after the holiday.
I made it through the bug, the move and my business trip, but from that point forward my nausea just never really fully went away. I lost my appetite. I was losing weight and my energy levels were through the floor. I knew I was not on a good path and something had to change.
Working with my primary care doctor resulted in testing, referrals to specialists, more testing, diagnoses, prescriptions to treat my symptoms and eventually, surgery to remove my gallbladder.
After the surgery, my daily nausea slowly went away, but I was more anxious and fatigued than ever, and as added bonus, I developed new digestive symptoms. I was "powering through" my days, having no gas left in the tank by the time I got home. I was missing out on activities with my family on weekends so that I could rest and recover just enough to do it all again the next week. I was caught in an exhausting cycle of feeling "sick and tired of feeling sick and tired". I was the textbook definition of burnt out.
At the recommendation of a friend, I started seeing a functional medicine doctor. Over a several year journey, I discovered I had food sensitivities and an autoimmune disorder. I started eliminating inflammatory foods from my diet, healing my gut and learning new habits to better manage my stress. I prioritized sleep. I replaced high intensity workout's with yoga, strength training and walking. I went to therapy and practiced breathwork. I continued learning more and eventually completed a health coaching certification program through the Functional Medicine Coaching Academy.
The more I shared my story, the more I found other like-minded women (and men) with similar experiences. I began to think about burnout as a cultural problem rather than an individual one. In a culture that sets us up for burnout, we as individuals have to make some counter-cultural choices to heal and/or stay healthy. If you're stuck in a rut, "feeling sick and tired of feeling sick and tired" or burnt out, let me help you start your transformation .