About Me

I am Rachel (a.k.a. Self Care Queen), a 30-something from London and I have experienced professional burnout.  Previously a charity Chief Executive and founder, and school teacher, I am embarking on a selfcare journey in 2018.

 

4 Replies to “About Me”

  1. Dear Rachel,
    Please receive all the luck and support from a fellow burnouter.
    Since I started the adventure you are starting (about a year and a half ago), I have noticed 3 things.
    The first one is that the journey is looooong and slow, to the point that I sometimes wonder whether after burnout, although I know it’s possible to be happy and whole again, we will forever have to keep going with the self-care routine high up in the agenda as if having to treck carefully forever because we once broke an ankle.
    The second one is that doing nothing because there is nothing else you can do, can mutate to feeling like crap because you are doing nothing (reconnecting with the burnout-seeking / adrenaline&rush addicted self) but if you stay put, you might discover that lazying around (from time to time, that is!) and doing things people don’t think superwomen do, like reading a book under a blanket, staying indoors all weekend cooking, having a lie in or just watching tv whilst melting with the sofa, can indeed actually feel pretty fantastic!
    And finally, a lot of the cheesy things the internet says might feel good (in all sort of ranges: bubble bath, doing your nails, painting mandalas, hugging a tree, writing a thank you card, donating your time to a good cause, etc) , do in reality feel good. But to my surprise and frustration, there are no success recipes, so you will find again and again you need to slow down, connect with your emotional needs, see what you need at that particular moment in order to take care of yourself. Then you probably will have to go and cross out something else in your to-do list to fit in whatever self-care it is you need. And it might be something you have done before, or just having to give a go to something new (like a face mask or teaching Whatsapp videocalls to the elders in your family…).
    I know no two people are the same, but I wanted to share this with you in case you find it useful.

    Big hug! And keep the self-care going.
    Also, even if it goes against most things that have kept you going in the past, time devoted to taking care of yourself and your calm isn’t wasted time. At the end of the day, you are your greatest asset.

  2. Thank you so much Kristina, for sharing your story, advice and experiences! It is incredibly helpful to know that other people have / are experiencing this and that the self care approach does indeed support recovery eventually.
    I hope you are feeling much stronger now, and although this is a long process, that you feel you have turned a corner. Thank you for taking the time to write this advice and please do continue to follow and share wisdom. Love Rachel X

  3. Wow! Your comments reflect my life and what’s happening to me at the moment, and as much as I’m sad that someone else is suffering, it’s actually comforting to know I’m not the only one. I’m 35, have been teaching 14 years, 4 of those bringing up my daughter as a single Mum. I met my partner nearly three years ago and things were looking up with more support at home until last year I suffered a miscarriage and ended up very ill in hospital. Putting work first as usual I had 2 weeks off and ploughed on through. My home life disintegrated, my relationship very nearly failed and my daughter has begun to show signs of attachment issues because I just haven’t been able to be there for the last year. This ridiculous fear of losing my job, of being the breadwinner, of having to put a roof over my daughters head has made me neglect myself and her for the last 6 years- even being in a new relationship and moving in together has not alleviated this fear and three weeks before Christmas I crashed. I was having chest pains, what I assume where panic attacks, couldn’t stop crying and just couldn’t see a way out of the black pit that I found myself in. I’ve not been back to work since and am feeling like I have come to terms with the feelings I had and have had the space to ‘let them go’. I’m now starting to feel extremely guilty about not being at work though and am feeling the pressure to go back. Im much better than I was but the thought of going back starts to make me panic. I am scared that this is going to affect my job as an academy is due to be taking over soon. I know I need to get some ‘me’ time back but I also need to continue to bring in a decent wage. Id love to drop a day at work and go part time but I’m quite doubtful that this will be approved by the governors. I feel totally trapped at the minute. Thank you for sharing your story and I wish you lots of luck and happiness in the future x

    1. Hi Sarah,
      Thanks so much for sharing your experience and for your honesty. I am so sorry to hear about everything you have been through which sounds incredibly tough. You sounds like an amazing Mum, partner and teacher. I really hope you can work out a way to engineer things so that you can take the time out you need. Ultimately it sounds like you really want to listen to what your body is telling you so I guess it is just about finding a practical way for that to happen. The good thing is that you clearly do know that you need to rest. I wish you the very best of luck in this process. Do keep in touch and let us know how things go. Lots of love X

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