5 Things I Wish I’d Done Sooner to Beat Burnout

Burnout is something many of us face, often without realizing it, until we’re deeply entrenched. When I “woke up” in a burnout state, my first instinct was to be hard on myself. It wasn’t immediately clear how to escape the hamster wheel.

Looking back, here are five things I wish I’d done sooner to help regulate myself and gain mastery over the stress and tension life throws our way.

Recognize The Strain of Overworking

Doubling My Caseload

I was overwhelmed. I was overworked. I felt rundown and empty, unexcited about the work I was doing as a psychotherapist, mental health support person, and educator. I was stuck in an old pattern. My caseload doubled in a matter of months during COVID, and I was suddenly seeing 30-35 people a week. I just kept saying yes to all the clients calling for services. And I worked and worked and worked.

Forgetting Myself

You know this deeply, as a therapist, we prioritize helping other people. That’s what therapists do. And we often forget ourselves on the list of priorities. I found myself on autopilot, not in a good way. I realized that I was working harder than when I worked in community mental health.

A Wake-Up Call from My Daughter

Then, my heart tightened when my daughter finally said to me that she wasn’t doing well. She was a junior in high school at the time, and I was more than bummed out that I didn’t notice she was struggling because I was working so hard. She snapped me out of autopilot, and I stopped working so hard so I could realign myself and help my daughter.

The Turning Point

Recognizing the Depth of Overwhelm

During that time, the overwhelm was deep, even with my biofeedback practices, my degree in psychotherapy, and my experience teaching self-management to K-6 school students for four years.

Choosing to Let Go

I remembered that there will always be stressors, and I can choose to let go, transmute experiences, and maintain high levels of joy and ease.

My Personal Formula for Healing

Breathwork, Somatic Practice, and Mindfulness

I’m sharing my story with you because I’ve found that using breathwork, somatic practice, mindfulness, and more has been instrumental throughout my own life, and with my clients and students.

Discovering Inner Keys

Over the years, I’ve discovered my own personal formula, my inner keys, and each of us has our own unique formula…to self-regulate, re-align, and be all that we can BE, as blessed humans and compassionate therapists.

Embracing Self-Love

That means I do what I want. I see clients when I want. I teach when I can. I play as often as possible (and I’m still learning to make more time for this). It’s not selfish. It’s self-love.

My Superpower

What I continually learn about myself is that I care so much it drives me toward my own spiritual development. It’s actually my superpower. These inner key tools SAVED me from exhaustion and overwhelm and provided a foundation for energy management and optimization, transforming my struggle into flow.

Five Practices to Beat Burnout

Mindful Output vs Input

  • Balancing Energy: Being more mindful about the energy I was expending compared to what I was taking in could have made a huge difference. This awareness helps in maintaining a balance that prevents burnout.

Starting a Daily Practice

  • Building a Streak: Establishing a daily routine focused on self-development and transformation can create positive momentum. This practice acts as a buffer against burnout by fostering continuous self-improvement.

Slowing Down

  • Taking a Breath: Slowing down is crucial. In the rush of daily life, we often forget to pause and reflect. Taking time to breathe and move at a more deliberate pace can significantly reduce stress levels.

Asking for Help

  • Seeking Support: It’s essential to recognize when we need help and to ask for it. Admitting that we can’t do everything alone is a powerful step towards managing burnout.

Moving My Body Intentionally

  • Physical Awareness: Incorporating intentional physical activity into daily life can be a game-changer. Movement helps to release built-up tension and rejuvenate the mind and body.

Burnout is a real challenge, but it’s possible to overcome it with mindful practices and self-care. By being aware of our needs and making intentional changes, we can find balance and joy in our lives.

If you’re looking to combat burnout and gain clarity, check out our Vitality Kit. It’s designed to help you find your path to freedom and fulfillment.

Get your Vitality Kit today and start your journey towards a healthier, more balanced life.


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Alistair m. hawkes

MA LPC | Therapist Burnout Specialist

Alistair M. Hawkes is a licensed psychotherapist and an educator for humanity’s evolution. She specializes in guiding therapists through burnout to find peace and balance.

After the toll of her practice meant she missed the warning signs her daughter was struggling, she’s been dedicated to helping fellow therapists and other caregivers lower anxiety, take off stress, and feel alive again – all while helping them stay in their profession.

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