Who else has been feeling the ‘January Blahs’ that seem to transcend location and circumstances? Nothing like another Covid variant spike to really dial it up.

Last week I took myself to a local pool (yes, I’m very lucky to be in sunny Southern California where I can do that in January) for a mid-day break to fill myself up. Who knew that listening to the podcast number 409 on, “Ten Percent Happier” with Dan Harris would give me such insights.

Dan’s guests were Emily Nagoski, PhD and Amelia Nagoski, DMA, twin sisters who are the authors of, “Burnout: The Secret to Unlocking the Stress Cycle” and hosts of their own podcast, “Feminist Survival Project 2020.”

Not only are these two brilliant women full of information on burnout and how it shows up differently in women, they are very funny and entertaining. They even coined a term, “human giver syndrome” which they say is very common with women. Made me think about all of the moms who are caregivers of those with eating disorders who are giving to the point of feeling erased.

I took notes on the evidence-based interventions they discuss to, as they say, “complete the stress cycle.” Who knew how handy this would be while my Recovery Roadmaps partner, Ibbits Newhall and I were getting stressed after another hour of working on chopping our three hour webinar series into nine segments. We stopped and had a “thirty-second dance break” where I mirrored her moves to Prince’s, “Let’s Go Crazy!” My only regret is that I did not grab a screen shot or record our silliness. It was pure gold…We may need to add this into one of the videos when we record this week with Wendy Wright. 😉 Just in case we don’t get a screen shot while prepping this week…here is a silly pic of me and Ibbits at a conference a few years back. 😉

On our weekly group support call for family caregivers we discussed how some of these burnout hacks could be used in real life when stress is dialed up to the highest possible level. I promised my class I’d write up a list. So of course I listened again.

Here are some of the evidence-based interventions Emily & Amelia discussed for completing the stress cycle after recognizing and naming our emotion:

  1. Physical activity, even simply tensing all muscles for 10 seconds.
  2. Sleep – the amount your body needs.
  3. Using our imagination – and yes, this includes watching a show!
  4. Creative self expression that one puts the stressful issue into.
  5. Mindfulness, breathing, meditation.
  6. Crying.
  7. Mirroring movement to music (30 second dance party for example).
  8. Laughing hard, even if it’s watching laughing baby videos.

One of the concepts that the Nogoskis talk about that resonates with me is caring for each other. In other words, women need to improve our ability to allow others to help us. Yes, self care is vital, AND being cared for by others is missing and is vital as well. This is why my HUG Kits ask caregivers to make a list of things that friends, family and neighbors can do for them. It’s hard to think of things others can do to help out when we’re stressed and it seems to be the case that caregivers really need permission to allow others to care for us. 🙂

I hope that some of you will try out a few of these hacks/evidence-based interventions and let me know how it goes. I know I’ll be using as many as possible with the re-recording of the Recovery Roadmaps, “Going from Panic to Plan” webinar series AND preparing for the Feb 10-12 EDC Coach Training! Oh my. Overwhelm. I’ll take it ‘bird by bird’ as Anne LaMott says. 🙂 See what I did there? Named the emotion, wrote the feeling, used a form of creative self-expression (writing) to complete the stress cycle. Ahhh, we can do this. Together. Asking for help and caring for others are life sustaining and help us with burnout.

If you’re interested in learning more about the EDC Coach Training and want to learn more about applying to join the Feb 10-12 training, please email me or give me a call. You can read about it here on my website as well. 

Take good care (and please allow others to care for you too),