5 Signs You Are Experiencing Burn Out

burn-out-blog-pic Do you ever feel like you are always working and find yourself thinking, “Umm why am I so damn tired all of the time?”  If so, trust me, you are not alone.   Even though women are completely dominating the workforce, they are also experiencing high rates of exhaustion.  Between balancing work, life, and a personal lives (significant others, families, brunches, etc.), it’s hard to stay energized.   Reports have indicated that many millennial and Generation X women started working during their teenage years- busted their asses in college trying to build their resume, only to get into the workforce and now find themselves burnt out by age 27. Many women appear to have it all together but the reality is they are exhausted and beginning to question whether their quest to climb the corporate ladder was really worth it. Currently, one out of three millennial women are in managerial positions and studies indicate they are not stopping anytime soon.  However, studies also show millennial women are also averaging less pay in an unpredictable economy and are also leading the unemployment lines.   With such powerful statistics, one begins to wonder how can women find the happy medium and still achieve epic career goals. With the rise in career advancement for women, there have also been reports of higher levels of stress, anxiety, and depression.   With the high demands for productivity in a results driven society, it is no wonder millennial women are experiencing burn out at high rates. For this very reason, it is imperative to be able to recognize signs of burnout in efforts to better manage self-care. Here are 5 signs you may be experiencing burn out:  
  1. You are always tired.  If you wake up tired and go to bed tired, you may be experiencing burn out.  If you regularly find yourself digging for caffeine or a good piece of chocolate throughout the day hoping to get a good pick me up and still find yourself exhausted, you just may be experiencing burn out.
  2. Have you been experiencing recent health issues that do not seem to be the norm for you?  Women have the tendency to sacrifice their self care routines in order to get the job done or meet deadlines.  For instance, consider those moments you may have skipped out on eating a good healthy meal and opted to grab a Venti caramel Latte hoping it would curve your appetite or consider the moment you stayed up late to finish a project and slept through your early morning work out because you needed that extra hour of rest before heading to the office.  If this sounds like you, you may be experiencing burn out.
  3. Lack of enthusiasm or motivation.  Did a friend of yours recently share some excited news and you just could not muster up the energy to celebrate with her even though you really are excited?  Or did you just hit a major goal and don’t even have the energy to grab a celebratory drink with your gal pals?  If so, you may be experiencing burn out.
  4.  Pessimism has taken over your thought life.  Are you constantly thinking the worse case scenario these days?  For instance, your coworker was whispering to her friend about how much she loved your shoes but you assumed she was talking about how terrible your presentation went.
  5. You are not performing at your best.  Truth is when one is experiencing burn out, it is difficult to focus and put your best foot forward.  If you have found that your work has not been up to par lately, you may be experiencing burn out.
  The Good news is you do not have to stay in this state of mind.  Here are some Tips to get you back on track:  
  • Try to recognize the signs early and surround yourself with a support system that can recognize the signs as well.
  • Commit to regular self-care practices to help reduce the possibility of experiencing burn out.
  • Give yourself permission to take a break.   Don’t be afraid to take a mental health day from work and spend some time alone to truly rest.
  • Establish a regular routine that promotes healthy habits (i.e. meal prepping, time to spend with loved ones, etc.)
  • Allow yourself to relinquish control of everything.  It’s totally okay for you to ask someone to help you manage a project.
  • Last but certainly not least, Love yourself first!  Nobody will take care of you better than you.

3 Key Differences Between Coaching and Counseling

coaching-vs-counselinf There has been an ongoing conversation about the differences between coaching and counseling.  Over the years, I have found that many of my clients prefer life coaching services versus therapy due to the negative stereotypes associated with therapeutic services.  I have lost count of how many times I have heard “counseling is for crazy people” and that is simply not the case!  For this very reason, I think it is important we as a society continue the conversations about mental health services but also understand the key differences between counseling and coaching. Counseling serves as a safe place for clients to explore past traumas and identify how past traumatic experiences have shaped their personality today.  Therapy is a place where clients have the freedom to let out their deepest, darkest secrets without having to deal with the ridicule or judgement society may place on them.  To put it simply, it is the place you talk about the things you feel others just will not understand and know they will get the professional help to initiate the healing process and move forward with their lives.  The primary goal in counseling is to transition from past to present.   In contrast, Life Coaching encourages clients to work from present to future by establishing specific personal and/or professional goals.  The Professional Coach then serves as an accountability partner, supporter, resource and listener, which allows clients the creative space to explore options to achieve their personal and/or professional goals. In recent years, counseling professionals have opted to add coaching as an additional service  for their clients.  By adding coaching services to their repertoire, Counselors are able to offer hybrid models – where they are able to take the time to understand their clients past history and work through those challenges.  But then utilize coaching techniques to support their clients’ specific goals and collaborate to create plans of action.

3 Key Differences

  1. Education: Counselors/Therapists have a minimum of a Masters degree in the Counseling field.  During the graduate program, Counselors/Therapists are required to complete an internship where they have the opportunity to practice their counseling skills and psychological theories to support their clients while under supervision.  Upon graduating from a Masters program, Counselors/Therapists are then able to work full time as a Counselor/Therapist.  However, they are still required to spend several years under direct supervision before getting fully licensed.  On the contrary, Coaches (life coaches, executive coaches, relationship coaches, etc.) are not required to have any training or certification.  Therefore, you may see some Coaches who have Certifications and some may not.  In essence, anyone can refer to themselves as a “Life Coach”.  Therefore, it is imperative that as you seek a Life Coach you inquire about their training and/or professional experience to ensure it is someone you feel can truly support your goal
  2. The Approach: Counselors/Therapists operate under strict ethical guidelines and are typically trained not to give clients advice but to assist clients with finding their own answers.  This approach is often referred to “talk therapy”, where clients spend most of their sessions talking about their past and the feelings associated with those feelings.  However, some Counselors/Therapists use other proven therapeutic methods, such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, that is more goal oriented.  Every Counselor/Therapist uses a different approach so it is important to find what works best for you.  Meanwhile, a Coach will feel more like an active participant when addressing challenges.  For instance, a Coach will offer recommendations, advice, and may even share personal experiences with you to help give you a different perspective.  Coaches will also collaborate with you to create a very direct plan of action and will hold you accountable to that plan in efforts to assist you with achieving your goals.
  3. One major difference between Counselors and Coaches is the ability for Counselors to diagnose clients with mental health disorders. Due their educational background, Counselors are trained to recognize the signs and characteristics of mental health disorders and create therapeutic plans to support their clients.  Counselors do not have the ability to prescribe medications but they can refer to a Psychiatrist for medications as needed.  Coaches are unable to diagnose mental health disorders, such as depression, anxiety, schizophrenia, etc.  In the event a Coach has a client that displays mental health symptoms, they are required to refer the client to the appropriate mental health provider.  Therefore, it is imperative for people to understand Coaching is not a substitution for therapy.  If you need help, please get help from the appropriate professional.
The key thing to remember is that both Coaches and Counselors help clients work towards positive growth, however the approach is different due to the training.  It is also important to note – that not all Coaches have the adequate training and certification to provide coaching, so please make it a point to ask your Coach about their training process. Neither a Coach or Counselor are better than the other, the key is to find what works best for you!  

7 Morning Routine Tips to Jump Start a Positive Day

morning-routine-tips “Every morning starts a new page in your story.  Make it a great one today.”  - Doe Zantamata The importance of starting the day - the right way- is essential to our productivity.  Highly successful people attribute much of their success to their morning routines. Time is the one thing we can not get back and plays a huge role in productivity levels. Therefore, it crucial for us to incorporate morning routines that will support our personal and professional goals.     . Consider these 7 Tips to Jump Start A Productive Day:
  1. Plan Ahead – Take the time to pick 5 outfits for the week and have them ironed and prepared just in case something goes wrong.
  2. Meal Prep – Create a menu for the week and plan your meals. Have your meals prepared and ready to go.  This will help maximize your time and will ensure you eat healthier meals that can contribute to a positive mood.
  3. “The early bird gets the worm” – Those that wake up earlier allot themselves extra time to really “wake up” and get their day going. Try waking up one hour earlier for a week and track the changes.
  4. Meditate – Spend some time with yourself and mentally prepare for what you have to do for the day.  Sometimes it can be difficult to focus in the morning when you know you have an extensive to do list. Try using Apps such as Headspace, to help get your mind focused by using guiding meditation practices. Another great option is to take a piece of paper and write down all of your racing thoughts as soon as you wake up and then move on to the next task. By writing your thoughts down, you are acknowledging your thoughts and giving your mind permission to move on to the next thing. You also can refer back to the paper to help create your must do’s for the day.
  5. Listen to upbeat music – Studies have shown that listening to upbeat music can improve moods and boost overall happiness.  It’s ok to have an early morning dance party.  I promise We won’t judge you.
  6. Read – Take a peek at your Vision Board, read an Excerpt out of your favorite book, or read a Bible Verse. Read something that will ignite your passion and purpose for the day or catch up on what’s happening around the world and read your local neespaper.  If you are serving in a specific industry, consider reading a trade journal.
  7. Exercise – Jump start your day with some cardio to get your blood pumping. Blocking out 15 to 20 minutes for a morning jog or High Intensity Interval Training could give you the extra kick your coffee may not be able to give you.
Many people struggle with their morning routines because they try to do what they think they are supposed to be doing versus what will yield them the best results. If you are a social person, maybe starting the day interacting with your family, your social media platform or a group fitness class may be the best way for you to start your day and then transition into the more focused aspects such as writing down your focus points/goals for the day. Or if you enjoy nature, try practicing your morning yoga in an outdoor space or go for a morning stroll. Also, keep in mind that as you grow personally and professionally your morning routine may change so do not be afraid to shift gears and adjust your routine to your lifestyle. Embrace a routine that is true to who you are in order to get the most out of your day. Do you have a morning routine tip that you want to share?  Comment below