S1 EP4 – The truth about burnout – here’s what really happens.

S1 EP4 - The truth about burnout - here's what really happens.

Hello fabulous listeners!

I’m Dr Katherine Iscoe, and welcome to another episode of The Self-Respect Revolution, where we delve deep into the topics of self-care, burnout, and getting back to loving who you are. In this episode, I open up about the struggles of wearing a facade, feeling fear, and the pent-up anger that comes with forced rest as well as the constraints it puts on life and self-care.

**Why should you listen in?**

1. **Real, Relatable Struggles:** I share my own personal journey and the emotional toll of battling a chronic illness. Understand the true impact of such experiences on mental and emotional health. I hold nothing back about the anger and frustration that accompany these challenges, providing a relatable and empathetic perspective that can help others feel less alone in their struggles.

2. **Practical Insight into Self-Care and Burnout:** Learn about the relationship between self-care, burnout, and success. I discuss the intricate self-esteem pie, illustrating how it’s essential to balance various aspects of life and not base your worth solely on appearance or achievement. Gain insight into the importance of taking breaks without feeling guilt or shame, and learn how to truly be in the moment.

3. **Empowering Strategies for Recovery and Self-Respect:** I share practical tips and empowering advice for navigating feelings of anger, fear, and burnout. Uncover the significance of recognising and addressing these emotions to expedite recovery and maintain self-respect and self-love.

This episode is a heart-to-heart conversation aimed at recognising the underlying emotions that prevent self-care and contribute to burnout, offering solutions and support for those experiencing similar challenges. 

Join me in this powerful conversation and let’s embrace the self-respect revolution together. I’m really looking forward to hearing your thoughts on this episode and always here to support your journey to self-respect and self-love. Drop me a line and let me know if this resonates with you!

Remember, when it comes to self-care, it’s not just about face masks and bubble baths—it’s about truly caring for and respecting yourself at every level.

As always, stay fabulous!

Dr Kat xoxo

[00:00:00] Welcome back to another episode of this Self-Respect Revolution podcast where we explore how self-respect shapes who we are, the decisions we make, and the lives we live as leaders, best friends, parents, mentors, and entrepreneurs. My name is Dr. Katherine Iscoe and once again I’m your proud host and excited to dive into today’s podcast which is going to be short and sharp.

[00:00:22] We’re going to talk about the burnout trinity. So what is the burnout trinity? There’s a lot of talk about burnout. And then I guess the medication for it, which is self-care, right? They’re on opposite ends of the spectrum, if you will, in some ways. So people who prioritise their self-care typically will be able to manage burnout a lot better.

[00:00:45] So self-care, I think there’s a lot of talk on the TikTok and the gram about self-care being something that you can post about. So I’m posting my journal and my cup of tea in the sunshine while my dog is like

[00:01:00] rolling in worms. Amazing. I’m posting at the spa. I’m posting on a, like a walk. These are all wonderful aspects of self-care, but they’re missing the main point of it, which is self-care is simply checking in on yourself.

[00:01:15] And if we don’t do that, what’s gonna happen is we’re gonna have to do more, more, more of self-care over and over and over again, because you’re really not fixing the quote unquote problem. So self-care is checking in on yourself and asking the important question. What’s going on right now? Why do I feel off?

[00:01:34] Why do I feel like drained, frustrated, angry, annoyed, curt? Why is that? And recognizing that the more you avoid Those questions, the more self-care you’re going to need over and over and over again. So burnout, what is it? Well, from a physiological perspective, I think many of us have seen that stress curve.

[00:01:56] So stress is not necessarily bad, just like cortisol

[00:02:00] is not necessarily bad. A lot of people say, Oh God, cortisol, like it makes us fat, it makes us this. Cortisol is actually an anti inflammatory. So cortisol is very important, but it has to be in certain physiological levels. It’s only when it goes too high or too high for too long.

[00:02:18] So chronic stress. So acute stress is short term stress. So let’s say you’re driving and all of a sudden someone swerves out and sort of you get surprised, cortisol is going to spike. That’s acute stress. So it’s a spike, it comes down. Burnout happens when you have chronic stress. Chronic meaning that it happens over time and you have elevated levels of stress hormones.

[00:02:43] So obviously self-care is really important, but is it easy for everyone? Now, I’d like to tell you a story about how I deal with self-care. So, I don’t know if you know the app, 360. It’s a beautiful, like, a genius

[00:03:00] app. It has a GPS, uh, in the kid’s phone, and you can sort of watch where the kids go. And also call them out when they say, Oh, yeah, I’m, you know, so and so.

[00:03:08] I’m at so and so’s house. And you’re like, No, you aren’t. See it on the app. I think it’s a great app. I use it, um, you know, to make sure that they… Kids are safe, but I use it a lot to monitor my partner not in a stalkery way I use it for this reason. So let’s say it’s like a Saturday. I’ve had a long week.

[00:03:28] I’m like so drained So dead. I can’t think straight I need to just have a like a half an hour of me time turn on the TV and I watch a little bit of Kardashians My partner’s out, the kids are out, and so forth, so I’m like, Great, I have the house to myself. And I can just be myself. Like, it’s just like, ugh, like just sloth and enjoying the slothdom, if that’s a word.

[00:03:50] But then, what’s my partner gonna think of me if he just comes home and finds me on the couch doing nothing? Again, this is a story that I’m telling myself. Not what he says, what I tell myself. So then I start monitoring the app. I’m like, okay, he’s at K Mart. He’s at Kohl’s, whatever like that. I think I’ve got like another 20 minutes or so and then I’d like check on the app again.

[00:04:12] I’m like, oh, he’s on his way home. I think I have about seven minutes. Okay, I’m just gonna watch this like last little bit of the episode. Oh my god, three minutes. Okay, basically when I know he’s home, I turn off the TV, organize the couch so it doesn’t look like I’ve actually been sitting on it. I go to the dining room table, you know, to pretend I’m working or I go in the kitchen to like do dishes or cook or something like that or I do laundry.

[00:04:36] I’m basically acting like I’m immune. And I don’t need self-care whatsoever because you know that saying, if you need something done, you know, give it to a busy person. I don’t know about you, but when I think about those people, I’m like, Ooh, I want to be just like them. We put busy people who are constantly busy up on a pedestal.

[00:05:00] And I know, you know, don’t glorify being a busy, but I’m sorry. I’m really impressed with those people that are constantly doing stuff that have full schedules and that can like juggle everything. Those high achievers. I’m like, I think they’re pretty amazing, but that’s only seem like the highlight reel, isn’t it?

[00:05:16] Because everyone says that I’m, you know, one of those busy people. I’m like, no, I’m not that busy. But you know, it’s funny how we look at people, but getting back to my point, which is this facade that I have. For my partner who has seen me in thick and thin, who knows me, who says to me, You’re the hardest working woman I know, so I don’t have to prove anything to him.

[00:05:38] Yet still, when I’m resting, I think I can’t rest. I always have to be doing something. And this is why I’d like to attack the burnout trinity today on this podcast. We’re gonna talk about the three things that I think truly make out burnout and what we can do about them. So let’s dive

[00:06:00] in. So the burnout trinity is three things.

[00:06:03] I’m going to have to swear. So I apologize in advance. So just, you know, put those earphones in, but there’s three things. Number one, f**k. Number two, fear. Number three, the facade. That’s actually what happens during burnout. So we briefly talked about facade. Let’s dive into that one first. And really when I dive into, you know, why I feel like I need to pretend to be this high achieving person, even in front of someone that I know loves and adores me, I could be a sloth for a month.

[00:06:34] And he would just say, you do what you need to do until you feel right again. I know this. Rationally, in my head, I’m like, yeah, no, if he sees me resting, he’s not going to respect me as much. He’s going to say, well, you’re not successful because look at you, like, this is what goes on through my head.

[00:06:51] Because at the core of it, I think he’s going to fall out of love with me. And he’s going to be like, nah, she’s clearly not the person that I thought she is. So I’m

[00:07:00] just going to find a, you know, someone who’s more high achieving. That goes on in my head. So I need to recognize those thoughts. And you might think.

[00:07:07] Uh, aren’t you supposed to be like this, like, mindset expert that’s constantly thinking positive? I’m like, honey, let me give you a tip here. The stuff that goes on in my head ain’t kosher. Like, the anger and the, like, rage that happens in my head is questionable at times. But the thing is, what do I do with it?

[00:07:30] You know, I have these thoughts, I have these irrational thoughts, which I think are rational, but then I have to realize they’re actually not rational. I have to look at the facts, you know, we’ve been together almost 11 years. You know, I go through those facts, and I have to talk myself off the shelf, right?

[00:07:45] So the first one to recognize, at least for me, when it comes to burnout and trying to look at self-care in a more… healthy way is when do we wear this facade? You know what’s happening in our world and who’s in our world to make us feel like we have to wear this

[00:08:00] facade. So the first question I’d like to ask you is when do you put this facade on?

[00:08:04] When do you put this mask on? And most importantly, for whom, who do you put this facade on for? Is it everyone or just some people? The second one. And I know we’re going opposite, aren’t we? But fear, fear is a big one. And I’m going to tell you the exact reason why it’s very simple is because I fear like I’m never going to be successful.

[00:08:28] And I fear that everyone’s going to say, You see, here’s a woman, she thought she was so special, look at her on Instagram doing all these posts, and thinking that she’s so important, and so forth, like, again, the color of the sky in my world is like purple. My fear that I will disappoint people, and never be successful, Paralyzes me.

[00:08:54] So the fear of, okay, what if when I get back to work tomorrow, I’m not going to be able to

[00:09:00] think of anything because I’ve taken this time off or maybe at you at work, maybe you’re thinking I’ve taken this time off and I fear that I’m never going to get that promotion or I fear what are people going to think about me?

[00:09:13] That is what I think happens during burn out. We go into total burnout. mode because as high achievers, if we’re not achieving, who are we? Right. That is. Our mask. That is who we are. I used to teach this, this thing called the self esteem pie. Uh, and especially when I was dealing with, uh, really severe body image issues.

[00:09:38] Because basically what the self esteem pie is, you think of each slice as something that makes you, you. That you can rely on to say, Hey, that’s what makes me me. That’s what, you know, makes me, helps me like myself, helps me, pardon me, think that I’m a good person. So when I was dealing with those body image issues

[00:10:00] and constantly on a diet, my pie was basically my appearance.

[00:10:05] And so what would happen would be, I would constantly be in fear that if I’m lazy or don’t stick to my diet, I wouldn’t feel like myself at all. I would feel like a disappointment. So if you picture that pie, all my worth stemmed on my appearance. And so when it comes to achievement and burnout and self-care If we’re constantly equating self-care and taking a rest with we are not being successful, we’re never going to do it.

[00:10:37] Or when we do it, we’re going to feel immense amounts of guilt and shame. So even if we are watching the Kardashians, I was going to say Kardashians only because I was watching an episode. Khloe, if you’re listening, it’s because you said that. That was a slip. Anyways, when we’re watching that, we’re actually not in the moment.

[00:10:56] We’re just thinking we should be doing more, right? That, that rumination

[00:11:00] happens over and over again. So the point number two is recognizing, do you have something under the surface that’s making you feel scared that if you take five, ten minutes of break, or even five hours, or even five days of a break, is there an, an underlying emotion of fear that’s preventing you from doing that?

[00:11:23] Number three is the f**k. The f**k is anger, is anger. Total and absolute anger. On my last episode I spoke about my attempt, if you will, at trying to do journaling when I was in my emotional breakdown, which happened about a year ago. And I talked about when I got myself a beautiful journal from Kmart, a beautiful pen, and I was trying to, you know, just…

[00:11:48] Get into the flow, find what’s underneath the surface and let it out. And really what happened was almost like a psychopathic killer writing their like letters.

[00:12:00] It was just madness, absolute madness. And I find, this is probably the one that resonates with me the most, because often times I have to rest when my IBS.

[00:12:12] Flares up. So I’m not going to go into details, but I’ve had, you know, severe digestive issues for many years trying to figure it out, trying to figure out why it is. And It’s definitely gotten better, but there’s some days that I wake up, and I have no idea what I’ve done, but I feel it’s like the combination of food poisoning, the flu, and a hangover.

[00:12:34] It’s like all those together in one, and I’m forced to rest. My heart rate is about one, 140. You know, just standing there, like if I’m showering, standing, it’s like 140. It’s, it’s crazy. So there’s nothing I can do but to actually lay down and rest. And that, Is when the levels of anger and rage Bubble over, but I always have to

[00:13:00] tell myself, you know what this illness can f**k my body But I’m not gonna let it f**k my head and that’s how I slowly but surely get out of it And usually it’s a my partner always asks every morning.

[00:13:11] How are you feeling today? How’d you sleep because he’s been through the wars with me. We’re talking like once I was in the back room I was sleeping in the back room and I had an attack and I had to actually crawl And the back of the house is quite, you know, far. I had to crawl on my hands and knees to the front, because his daughter was sleeping with him in our bedroom.

[00:13:33] And he had to drag me. into the shower so it was literally like a movie. You know those movies where they’re like crawling. You’re like, go, you’re almost there, you can survive, girl, go! Like that was it and I was thinking I’m like, this is a movie, I’m like, grabbing the carpet and pulling. So when I talk about anger, I’m so angry at this f ing illness because I say to this, my partner all the time, like, why me?

[00:14:00] I want to do so much for the world. I want to get on stages. I want to, you know, write books. I want to do amazing things. Why me? I was so angry, so friggin angry at having this illness and couple that with the fact that for so many years I monitored everything that I ate to the nth degree and now I don’t have that mindset.

[00:14:24] In my mind, I can eat whatever I want. But in reality, I can’t. So, for example, I can’t have raw vegetables in dip. If I have spinach in my smoothie, I will be in the hospital. I’m like, all the healthy things that I actually want to eat, I can’t eat. That is anger 101 right there. So when it comes back to self-care and burnout, that is something that I need to recognize, is what am I so friggin angry about?

[00:14:54] And is it justified? Yeah, I think it is. I’m really angry about having this illness, but is it going to help me, you know, rest and recover quicker so I can get back to doing what I love? Of course not. Of course not. So my third shout out question to you is this, you know, is there any kind of, when you’re in that burnout stage, where you’re like ruminating about something, or you’re feeling exhausted, is there an element of anger in that, where you’re just like, f**k!

[00:15:24] Or, you know, you yell at your family, you’re like, I’ve had it, that’s it, I’m gonna do the dishes, and then I’m leaving you all, and I’m never coming back. I was talking to a lady and she said that exact, exact bit when she was just so overwhelmed. She said to her family, that’s it, I can’t take it anymore.

[00:15:40] And of course, you know, an hour later she was like, sorry, didn’t mean to say that. Right? So is there an element of that where you feel your blood boiling over? We need to make the connection with. Well, it might not actually be them. It might just be because I’m burnt out. So I’m really interested to hear if you have these experience of you know, f**k fear and the facade.

[00:16:02] Do you go through that process when you’re feeling burnt out or maybe you don’t even recognize that you burnt out until you’re hearing all these stories and then you’re like actually yeah when I look at the evidence I actually didn’t take time to just take half an hour to watch the Kardashians, even though my partner is sitting there doing the laundry and dishes, and I don’t feel guilty about it.

[00:16:24] So really looking forward to seeing, did this resonate? If it did, drop me a line. Let me know. All right, that’s it for today. I hope you like this short and sweet one. It’s nice and quick and sassy. And I look forward to seeing you on the next episode. I’m Dr. Katherine Iscoe, and as always, stay fabulous.

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