Vulnerability alert

Everything over the past few weeks has been leading up to this moment – although I didn’t realise it at the time.

I’ve been talking about impact without burnout.

3 years ago, I found a lump. 

A small hard lump in my left breast. One day it was there, the next day I couldn’t find it again. I wondered if it was a blocked milk duct. I’d had them before when breastfeeding, but it had been over 6 months since I had last fed.

After a few weeks I could find it more consistently. I made an appointment at the doctors. Within a week I was sat in a corridor in a purple gown with a black felt tip pen mark.

X marks the spot.

The sonographer ran the probe over the mark. 

You have a lymph node that has migrated from your armpit into your breast. That’s what the lump is.

A wash of relief.

And then…”how an earth does a lymph node move?”

Have you been very poorly? We usually see this in people who have had an extended illness and your lymph nodes have been working overtime.

Nope I’ve not been poorly.

I knew the real answer though. I hadn’t had an uninterrupted night’s sleep in over 3 years, I was woken at 5:30am everyday by my baby and I worked like everything was on fire. I put everybody else’s needs before my own and still made every deadline, remembered every birthday card and ran the whole house.

I was deplete.

How is this relevant to you right now?

Replenishing your energy isn’t as simple as prioritising sleep (although that’s a great place to start). 

Take a moment to answer these questions for yourself (adapted from Sacred Rest)

Do you often feel tired when you wake up in the morning?

Do you find yourself having difficulty concentrating?

Are your emotions easily affected by the actions of others?

Do you suffer from headaches, muscle aches, or generalised fatigue with no known medical diagnosis?

Are your relationships with others strained because of your inability to stay connected?

Do you find yourself spending more time doing things you have to do rather than things you want to do?

Has your view of life lost its expectation of excitement and adventure?

Do you struggle to stay awake and focused when reading or watching TV?

Do you depend on quick energy fixes like caffeine or sugar to help you get through the day?

Do you find yourself craving comfort items at night like ice cream or wine to help you wind down?

Are you prone to abrupt moments of anger or feeling tearful?

Do you often feel you need more control in your life?

If you wake feeling unrefreshed the place to investigate is the thoughts and beliefs keeping you operating in this way. We’ll talk more about that next time.