108. Different Types of Burnout – and How to Solve for Each

by | Aug 11, 2022

After interviewing and taking notes on what women have to say when it comes to WHY they get burned out, I realized there were 4 themes that continued to rise to the surface of these conversations.

So good to know because when we know what category of burnout we’re experiencing, we better know how to solve for that burnout.

In this episode, I not only give explanations for each but, of course, solutions as well.

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TRANSCRIPT

[00:00:00] Well, Hey there, you guys welcome back to another episode of the podcast. I am Janeen Alley, and I am super excited to be hanging out with you guys today talking all about the different types of burnout,. Once we understand where they comes from and why we’re doing the things that we’re doing, then we can start solving for that burnout,

we can start eliminating some of the problems that we have, some of these things that are happening to us that we can get rid of so that we can feel more free with our schedules, we can show up more as ourselves and we can just relax and enjoy our lives better. Because the truth is, when we feel less burned out, we feel like we have an abundance of time in our lives. We feel like we can get things done that we just normally don’t have the bandwidth for. Time is what makes everything possible in our lives. If we want more energy, for example, we need to make the time to exercise and eat better. Right? If we want to have better relationships in our lives [00:01:00] we need to be able to make time, to spend time with the people that we love. If we want to make more money or create a, a business, a side hustle, we need to have the time in order to do all of those things. So eliminating burnout or reducing it significantly will help you to take your time back so you can start owning your life,

you can feel better and you can get things done that matter to you. Like I said, when we’re burned out, we are feeling like time is really scarce. We feel like we’re dragging, we feel like we’re behind, feel like we’re reacting to our lives instead of being proactive.

A few years ago, I set out to figure out what are some of the things that are getting in our way?

Why do we continue to feel burned out in our lives? And I spent time interviewing women. I spent time paying attention to conversations that I was having with other people. I even spent time in Facebook groups and reading book reviews on Amazon to gather [00:02:00] data and gather information.

In these interviews or in these conversations that I was having with people on Facebook, I would literally copy and paste what they would say into a document that I saved. And I just started accumulating all of this data and I realized that there were really four specific

themes that continued to rise to the surface. And of course we get burned out for reasons outside of these themes, but I feel like there are four popular reasons why we get burned out in our lives as moms and I am kind of a combo platter of all of these things. I feel like I have spent time feeling burned out for each of these reasons that I’m gonna share with you today.

And you might find that you also are similar with me and that you spend time in kind of all of these categories at one point or another in your life. However, you might see that one of these things kind of rises to the surface. Now, if you’re not sure which type of mom burnout you are experiencing, you can head over to my website at [00:03:00] janeenalley.com and take the quiz that I have for you over there.

So you can click on any of the buttons on the homepage or any of the calls to action that I have on the homepage. And it will take you over to my quiz. You can also find the quiz from the link in my bio off of my Instagram profile.

The title of the quiz is which type of mom burnout is keeping you from living your best life. So like I said, go over there and take the quiz. You will get a customized result report from me to your inbox after you’re finished completing the quiz. So if you’re not sure. I highly encourage you to head over there and take the quiz so that you can figure out which one kind of rose to the top based off of the ways that you answered the questions inside of the quiz.

So the very first type of mom burnout is what I call the multi-pasionate mom burnout.

These moms wanna do it all. They tend to have a lot of interest and they have a strong desire to learn and [00:04:00] contribute to the communities that they live in. They have bucket lists that include things like starting a business or trying new things or adventures and traveling or taking classes, fitness, do it yourself projects and home renovations. The list goes on and on. When I was in college, I really struggled to settle on a major. I started off my college experience as an elementary ed major. And then I moved to secondary ed with an emphasis in biology, and then I was a zoology pre-med major.

And that’s what I ended up graduating in. But I spent time thinking I wanted to be a violin performance major and an art history major and an archeology major. I mean, the list goes on and on and on I still have so many interests and things that I am involved in.

Multi passionate moms have lots of ideas and they want to do them all. The problem that we face when we’re in this head space is we feel like everything in our life is a priority.

So oftentimes our solution to accomplishing it [00:05:00] all is to hustle harder. But the truth is when everything feels like a priority, nothing really is. When you have too many priorities, you try to cram it all in.

The thing that was coming up in conversations over and over again, were women telling themselves. I’ll just figure it out. When we do this, our energy feels pulled in so many different directions and we become kind of watered down in our efforts to execute and accomplish the things that we have on our list.

We don’t end up feeling like we’re doing anything very well. We often get overwhelmed when we’re in this space because we are not making progress. And we, as human beings are designed to make progress. So this is really, really frustrating to us. So we want to accomplish our big goals and dreams and we wanna do it right now.

so we’ve got this really, really long list of to-dos, that comes with a long list of self-imposed shoulds and unrealistic deadlines that come with that. [00:06:00] And feeling overwhelmed, burned out and anxious quickly becomes our lifestyle. So here’s the truth, and this is the hard truth for multi-pasionate moms. We only get 24 hours in a day. I think multi-pasionate moms out of all of these groups have these unrealistic expectations of what it is that they can accomplish.

There’s one other group that kind of fits this bill as well, but we kind have these expectations of ourselves to create kind of these super human feats. We wanna do it all and we wanna do it all right now. Multi-pasionate moms want so badly to be the exception to the rule when it comes to 24 hours in a day.

And that’s why we end up cramming it all in. We’re just like, I really wish I could have 36 hours. I really wish I could get by with less sleep, these things are ways that we try to troubleshoot to get it all done. So my solution to multi-pasionate moms, if you feel like you are a multi-pasionate mom, my solution to you is also something that [00:07:00] multi-pasionate moms do not like to hear and that is you have to learn how to reign it in.

You have to learn how to exercise restraint in your life. You can do anything you want, but you can’t do everything right now. At least not all at once. So we have to learn how to say no to ourselves. And what I have learned is that restraint is a gift. Although we don’t usually see it this way, we feel like we’re being restricted or deprived of things.

Sometimes we even have FOMO. fear of missing out on something really, really fun, but we have to be able to tell ourselves and other people no. Being able to do this will help us to create time freedom. It will also help us to feel more empowered in our lives. Get things done that really matter to us in the moment not being spread out into 20 different priorities and having our hands in all these different pots and will also help us to create better relationships, not only with other people, but with [00:08:00] ourselves as well.

Okay. So that is the first group of people. The second group is what I call generosity burnout. And I have to tell you that there’s a little bit of tough love coming your way if you find yourself in generosity burnout often. This was me. It still is sometimes. But the thing is, is I can recognize when I’m doing this so much better than before, because before I was completely oblivious that I was even doing this at.

So when you’re in generosity burnout, you really, truly want to help other people. And we feel bad for turning other people down. We quickly become overwhelmed and overbooked because we say yes to everyone and everything.

When we’re in this space, we often minimize our own opinions and desires. We might even lie about what we want or need to be, what other people want us to be. So this is people pleasing. We do this because we want other people to like us. We people please, [00:09:00] because we want to belong. And this is totally normal. Belonging is one of our innate desires as humans. But when we people please, we pretend to be something that we’re not. It’s all a facade. We say yes when we want to say no, and we do this because we think it’s what other people want. And most of the time -this is kind of the kicker- we’re just guessing at that. We don’t really know. When we do this, we end up taking on extra work that we end up resenting and grumbling about, or we spend so much of our time worrying about what other people think of us, or we hustle harder searching for ways to be enough. Notice in both categories with the multi-pasionate mom and with generosity burnout moms, we’re both hustling harder, but it’s for different reasons. With multi-pasionate moms, it’s because of interest and desires and it’s driven from that space. When we hustle harder in generosity burnout, we are doing [00:10:00] it because we don’t feel enough. We feel guilty if we think we’re not measuring up to other people’s expectations of us, or we’re not doing it” right”, whatever right is and that is usually subjective. Right?

So what happens is when we people please, and we’re in this space of generosity, burnout, it ultimately robs us of our self trust. We end up doubting ourselves and we don’t really know what it is that we want. We don’t end up having a very good relationship with ourselves because we’re constantly putting ourselves and what it is that we want and need and desire on the back burner.

We are just focusing on what everybody else is telling us or what we think they want. When we people please, we’re not being honest with ourselves or other people. It’s lying. And it’s exhausting. And trust me, I know because I’ve done this over and over again throughout my life. [00:11:00] So the solution to generosity burnout is learning how to develop self trust.

So this starts with getting crystal clear on what it is you want from your life, not what you feel like you should be doing, or what other people want as far as their wants and needs being weightier than your own wants and needs. We need to stop feeling guilty about making our wants and needs a part of the mix, particularly within our own family units.

So with that clarity, you’re going to be able to make decisions from that place, not only of what it is that you want, but also from that place of having your own back about what goes on your calendar. And you’ll be able to set necessary boundaries with yourself and others to say, no. So, I have to tell you, there is a learning curve with this and it takes time and it takes practice and it takes consistent learning from your mistakes of when you slip back into that people pleasing behavior.

But I promise you, this is something that can resolve [00:12:00] over time with the work that you do.

Okay. The next category of burnout that was coming up over and over again is what I call heightened stress burnout. So when we are crazy busy, which is so easy for us to do as moms, and we’re constantly on the go, we don’t allow ourselves space to really rejuvenate and decompress completely. So our life starts to feel like we’re on this high speed treadmill all day and we’re not able to get off.

In fact, I had one woman say, I feel like I’m on a high speed treadmill all day. And the only way for me to get off is to go splat into the wall behind the treadmill. cause I just keel over from exhaustion. When we are in this space, we hit the ground running.

Even if it’s not physically, we wake up and our brain starts in on the to-do list and we fall into bed exhausted at night. We often feel edgy and anxious and stressed. And I’ve talked about this a little bit before, cuz I feel like out of all of the burnout categories, this is the one that I have a tendency to [00:13:00] fall in the most often.

But I know when I’m in this space, the tiniest little things set me off and I get frustrated and I yell. So that for me as a trigger, like, whoa!, you need to take a step back you need to resolve this stress that you’re feeling and not take it out on the people around me that I love so much. Sometimes it even feels for me a little bit difficult to breathe or take a deep breath. When I’m in this space it is very difficult for me to relax. So sitting on the couch and putting my feet up, isn’t gonna cut it. I actually need to take it levels deeper than this in order to kind of get back to that balance that I have in my life that I am very proud of that I have created.

What’s going on physiologically when we are in this type of stress burnout, and I think I’ve mentioned this before on the podcast, is we don’t know how to turn our fight or flight response off. This is our sympathetic nervous system and we don’t know how to turn our rest restore on -which is our parasympathetic nervous system. So our [00:14:00] fight or flight is activated when we are chased by a bear or when we sense some kind of danger.

And those kinds of truly emergent scenarios rarely happen in actual life. But because of our go go go lifestyle our brain is sensing danger when there isn’t any, like when we are being summoned to a quote unquote mandatory parent meeting for our kids’ sports and our brain is just like, “are you kidding me?

I do not have any time for this!” I don’t know if you’ve your brain has ever offered that to you. or when we can’t find our keys and it’s go time.

This is not necessarily danger, but we can tell we’re in this space when, like I said, we’re unable to relax and enjoy what is going on. So for example, if our partner initiates sex and we get annoyed and we end up having sex out of a sense of obligation and feel resentful because we’re thinking the whole time, this.

Something that someone else wants from me we know we’re [00:15:00] in this space of this heightened stress response. And we need to take care of this stress and the burnout that we’re feeling. Because what happens is over time, little things start to pile up. Like just this last weekend, for example, I knew I needed to take it down a notch because I was getting overwhelmed that the vacuuming hadn’t gotten done. Now, normally if the vacuuming hasn’t gotten done in my house

I’m like, Hey, this is no big whoop. It really, isn’t a big, whoop we’ll either figure it out. I’ll have one of my kids do it, but it was just like, one more thing is like, it’s like the straw that breaks the camel’s back. Okay. So when we’re in this space, anxiety and overwhelm become our lifestyle and we end up reacting to our lives. We feel like we’re putting out fires all day long instead of spending time on things that matter to us and really relaxing and enjoying the life that we are trying so hard to create. I remember wondering how I could ever just sit down and enjoy the moment without feeling the need to accomplish anything or check off one more [00:16:00] thing on my list.

This not only affects how we manage our time, but it can have a negative impact, like I said before, on our relationships, on our mental and emotional health and our overall quality of life. The solution for this is we have to learn how to turn off that fight or flight response.

We have to learn how to really relax and rejuvenate. I’m not talking about, like I said, putting your feet up for two seconds while your brain is still spinning with all the things that you have to do. That is not what I’m talking about. I’m talking about learning how to relax. And I know for myself learning how to truly relax is a skill. I actually just taught a restorative yoga class last week. One of my students came up and she’s just like, that was great, but I don’t really feel like I can really relax all the way I’m like, yeah, you’re not alone.

If you’re brand new to learning how to relax, it takes time and it takes practice. So some of the things that have really helped me are restorative yoga and massage, [00:17:00] and being with my kids, laughing. All of those things are ways that help me to turn off my fight or flight response.

Another thing that is super helpful also with this type of burnout is getting really clear on your priorities. This is one of the reasons why I come back to priorities so often is because it helps to ground us. So often we get these messages that we have to be doing these other things, or we should be doing these other things and I’m supposed to be doing these other things.

And all of that is just noise. So getting clear on our priorities and the things that are important to us helps us to cut back on that noise. The truth is we don’t have to do anything. We don’t have to do anything. And I want you thinking about that for a moment, because I bet your brain just was like, no, I have to take care of my kids.

You don’t. You want to but you don’t have to. And I’m not saying there aren’t any consequences for not taking care of your kids, but make it a conscious choice. I want to take [00:18:00] care of these kids, or I want to do these other things and let go of the things that you feel like you have to do, or you’re obligated to do, or you’re supposed to do.

That’s not even true anyway. So. Like I said, get clear on your priorities it helps cut back on that extra noise. And then once you’re clear on those things, everything else is a no. The last thing I’ll say here is how important it is for you to protect your downtime.

It is so easy when we’re in heightened stress response to schedule over your downtime to schedule over your relaxation time. And this is why I’m so crazy adamant that I don’t go out on Friday nights. I know for myself that this is time I have to protect for my mental and emotional health and so I stick to that and I hold myself to it.

Okay. So the last category of burnout is what I call inconsistency burnout. And you may have heard me talk about the new year’s resolution effect. This all ties together in this last [00:19:00] category of burnout.

I want you to tell me if this sounds familiar to you. You might know what it is that you want.

You might even make a plan and tell yourself, okay, today is the day, but by midafternoon or maybe even midweek things start to unravel things start to kind of fall apart. And the same things make the list for the next day, or they make the list for the next week or the next year. For years, this was a problem that I had where I could just, literally, Xerox copy my new year’s resolutions from one year to the next. After doing this for five years, I’m like, why am I even doing this? Nothing changes writing these goals down is not gonna change a darn thing. And that was so frustrating for me. So I wanna go through a few common mistakes that people who experience inconsistency burnout do.

So the first mistake is what I call the “Dash it” mistake. So they take on too much, too soon. They know what they [00:20:00] want, but they wanna go from zero to 60 in a day or in a week. So let’s just say you’re currently going to McDonald’s twice a day, but you have this goal that you eat healthy and you eat plant-based and you eat salads by the end of the week.

Or you are not currently doing any exercising at all. And then you wanna head out the door for a 45 minute run. Okay, because that’s what you used to do. right. So you probably see where this is going. Of course, you’re going to burn out by doing this because it’s too much too soon.

So the second mistake that I see people do is they scrap it. So instead of dashing it, they scrap it. So what happens is they switch gears too fast when they’re trying new things. When things get really hard with a new routine or new habit they’re trying to implement they tell themselves “I don’t wanna do this, I changed my mind” and they don’t give themselves enough time to find their groove before they’re off to the next [00:21:00] thing. So let’s just say they are on the ketogenic diet and then they wanna go vegan. Or they are all into biking for a minute and then they wanna try body building.

We don’t realize when we do this, that the new plan has a whole new learning curve. So there’s new recipes. There’s shopping lists, there’s pantry items for each diet, for example, or there’s new workout, there’s different muscle memory and form, there’s a different rhythm and routine to a physical exercise program that you wanna do. We don’t give ourselves enough time to really slow down and figure things out and get used to things or troubleshoot before we’re changing our minds and we’re off to the next thing. I am all about changing my mind about something.

I totally give myself permission to do that. However, I know that there is value in sticking with something for an extended period of time. In fact, Angela Duckworth in her book, Grit, says our kids need to try something for about a year . So I would say for us as adults, we need to give something a [00:22:00] solid go for about six months before starting something else, because there’s so much learning in the process.

If you wanna make an exception to that rule, feel free. You are an adult and you can make your own mind about that. But I wanted to kind of give you that as a guideline. I think too often, we, we start something for a month, maybe even two months, and then we switch too soon.

Another way that we do this as far as inconsistency burnout is we want our goals to do the heavy lifting for us. So what I mean by that, is we might even sign up for a half marathon, right? We might train for the race. We might even finish the race. But then we quickly fall back into inactivity for another six to 12 months after the race is done.

I use running as an example, because I see this all the time. People train for a marathon and it’s an amazing experience for them. And then they don’t do anything for four or five months. And then they do feel like they’re starting all over again when they start back up on something.

January rolls around again and here we are. And it is so frustrating for [00:23:00] us because we start to believe the excuses that we give ourselves. I want you to know there is pain in not following through. And part of that pain comes from drawing inaccurate conclusions about who we are and what we’re capable of. We start telling ourselves things like I feel like I’m a professional justifier. I literally had a woman tell me that , I’m thinking to myself, can you put that on a resume?

I am a professional justifier, or maybe I’m just not one of those people who can do this, or I’m just not a motivated person, I don’t have what it takes. And let me just tell you, I have probably told myself these exact things. I don’t know if I’ve come to the exact wording of I’m a professional justifier, but I’ve come close to something like that.

Right? We draw these inaccurate conclusions about who we are.

When we don’t want to do something, there is an immediate sense of relief. When you let yourself off the hook and you tell yourself, okay, we can do this tomorrow. Right. It feels [00:24:00] good for a moment. But what happens is we get stuck in this loop of not following through.

And this in and of itself is exhausting. We waste so much time and energy stuck in this place of starting and stopping. Not only that, but we don’t have our own back. It is so painful because this kind of behavior, this stopping and starting, erodes our relationship with ourselves. So when you tell yourself you’re gonna do something, you know, deep down, you’re not gonna follow through.

All right. You guys ready for the solution for this type of burnout? So if you feel like, okay, that’s me I totally do that. Here is the solution for you, my friend. All right. So the first thing is you have to decide what it is that you want. You have to decide what it is that you want. And if you don’t wanna do anything, tell yourself the truth and like your reasons why.

So there’s that one. [00:25:00] The next thing, once you decide what it is that you want, you need to write down your plan and then you need to schedule it. So write down what it is that you’re gonna do, and then put it into your calendar and hold your feet to the fire until you get it done. Okay.

That’s the third step is doing it. And then the fourth step is tweaking it. So let’s say you do it and it didn’t go very well. Now, what are you gonna do? How are you going to improve on that experience? I think sometimes we want it to be more complicated than that. It’s not, it’s not any more complicated than that.

People who get stuff done follow this exact process. I promise you, they do. I get stuff done. This is the way I do it. Other people get stuff done. I watch them. This is how they do it. We have conversations about it. This is simple, but it is not easy. And the reason why it’s not easy is because all of the mind drama, all of the stories that we tell ourselves.

So instead of taking on too much, just focus in on doing the next right step. [00:26:00] It’s just 1% improvement from what you’re doing right now. Do it consistently over time and ask yourself, what’s working? What’s not working? How can I do this better? And keep going with that. That’s how you do it. All right. My friends, that is what I have for you today.

If you are interested in taking this quiz to find out which type of mom burnout you are experiencing right now, head over to my website at janeenalley.com and click on any of the buttons on that front page. And it will take you over to the quiz. Or you can click on the link that I have in the bio of my Instagram page @janeenalleycoaching and it will also give you a link to take the quiz and you will get a customized report sent to your email inbox shortly. All right, my friends that is it. I hope you have a beautiful week and we will catch you guys next time. See you then take care. Bye.

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