As a CEO and a woman, managing stress and minimising burnout is a constant juggling act. At least it is for me. I try not to be the superwoman but when you’re capable it just tends to happen. Next thing you know, I’m a frog in a pot of cold water who didn’t know when it got to boiling point.
I realised a couple of months ago that I was experiencing burn out. Call it that, or stress; either way I had far too much on my plate. I came to a realisation that my cancer journey and my mother passing last year had put a massive amount of stress on my body. I’d hit the boiling point and I was slowing cooking away.
As women we often talk about the need to put ourselves first sometimes, but I don’t think we really do it very well.
I have certainly forgotten to. I’ve been in that all too familiar state of holding my breath.
Earlier this year I had the realisation that I needed to put myself first and have some time out. I did some research and found a health retreat in my region called ‘Innisfree Whole Health Repair & Recovery’ in Woodend, Victoria. It’s a place for people who are experiencing corporate burnout, depression, anxiety, managing crisis, mid-life transitions, grief/loss, relationship and family issues and so on.
The therapies are many and are all in the alternative range. Such as acupressure, acupuncture, relaxation, counselling, herbal, medicine, kinesiology, massage, meditation and my favourite, traditional Chinese medicine. While I was reading this my heart started to pound. I know instantly I had to go, so I picked up the phone, spoke with the Director, Mike Belstead and got myself booked in the week after.
I arrived on Monday 1st February and booked myself in for three weeks and I was so proud of myself for doing it. The staff were very welcoming. I was shown to my beautiful room with a view of the luscious gardens, an ensuite, air-conditioning, heating, luxury linen and more. I was then greeted by Julie, one of the counselors who joined me for a welcoming chat.
The days were long and rigid which I didn’t mind. It was habit forming and helped create a new routine to get my mind, body and spirit back on track. I grew stronger very quickly and within a matter of only days I was walking 5k’s and feeling better than I had in years.
There were more than ten therapists available for the small amount of clients attending who cared for us intently on a daily basis. There were two chefs who lovingly prepared our meals each day and kindly catered for individual needs. The afternoons were spent in meditation and yoga. This was a very special part of the day. It was all about my centre; my breath; me.
(Photos from www.InnisfreeHealth.com)
During my time I reflected a lot over the past six years particularly my journey with cancer and my mother passing away last year from cancer. The experience had taken it’s toll on me and instead of addressing it when I needed to, I pulled up my britches and soldiered on. I think we’re all a bit guilt of that from time to time. But it really doesn’t help to suck it all up and move on. Burnout is never too far away when you don’t deal with the stress.
When was the last time you took some time out to breathe?
Until next time…