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WHERE has 2020 gone?

Like seriously, I need answers! It seems like one minute we were all living our best lives and then BAM! Our progress was derailed by one word: pandemic.

Despite all the chaos swirling around me, I’m proud to say that I’ve still been productive in both my professional and personal lives. I’ve been consistently working out, attending bi-weekly meetings with my therapist, working with my own clients, showing up consistently on social media, and launching Channel Her Purpose, a brand apparel line that has finally jumped off of my vision board and into reality. 

Yes, your favorite coach has been booked, busy, and flourishing!

But a few weeks ago, seemingly out of nowhere, I had a full-blown anxiety attack. Now, I had never had an anxiety attack before so naturally, the symptoms terrified me. I didn’t know what was happening to me. I immediately turned to Google to search for my symptoms. As a social worker, I know better! But it’s tempting to diagnose yourself, isn’t it? 

Well, you can guess what happened next. By the time I’d finished scrolling, I’d diagnosed myself with sleep apnea and about three other disorders. I was so shaken up that I decided to call off of work, relax, and call my doctor. I texted my best friend to confide in her about what had just happened to me and without missing a beat she replied, “You need to rest”. 

And I have to admit, she was right!

I was overdue for a mental break. I’ve accomplished so many of my goals this year and I deserve to take time for myself. So for the remainder of this year, that’s exactly what I plan to do. 

Friend, just because you’re productive doesn’t mean you’re immune to burnout. You’re still human and to be your best, you have to take care of yourself before anything or anyone else. If you don’t, you’ll place yourself in the danger zone for burnout. 

Too often we don’t recognize stress until it’s already out of control. So here are 6 signs you need a mental break, along with tips on how to recharge.

1.You feel disconnected.

You find yourself going through the motions, and the things that usually bring you joy suddenly don’t. You lack motivation and find yourself procrastinating on completing important tasks.

The fix: You need to rediscover what matters most and block out all the external noise around you. Creating an action plan to keep you on target is critical to your success. I talk at length about this in my e guide, Procrastination Unplugged. It’s full of mindset shifting exercises and other resources that you can implement immediately to reconnect with yourself and your goals. 

2. You feel like your responsibilities at work and home are never-ending. 

Life feels hectic from the time you wake up until the time your head hits the pillow again. Even when you’re blasting through your to-do list, not being able to see an end in sight becomes a source of discouragement. 

The fix: Friend, you need to have some fun! I know that sounds silly when you have a million things to get done, but fun shouldn’t only be seen as a reward. Engaging in activities that bring you joy without being attached to a goal is good for your brain, heart, and soul. Spend time with friends, go for a bike ride, or take a dance class. Nurture yourself by doing something you love. 

3. You’re snapping on everybody.

Yes, I’m talking to you! We all have moments when bad moods get the best of us, but flying off the handle about things that normally wouldn’t upset you is a red flag. If you’re not careful, this habit can cause you to damage important relationships in your life. 

The fix: Try starting your day with mindful meditation. You would be surprised at how even 5 minutes of deep breathing can improve your mood. Be sure to meditate in a comfortable, quiet space and use affirmations to guide you. My I AM affirmation cards make it easy to maintain a focused and intentional mindset.  

4. You’re neglecting yourself.

You might find yourself getting lost in everyone else’s needs, while yours get pushed to the back burner. This can manifest physically in how you care for (or don’t care for) your body. As women we often joke about “drinking water and minding our own business”, but sometimes, that’s literally what you need in order to support your physical and mental health. 

The fix: Take the day off. Whether you need to call in sick to work or cancel your to-do list for the day, you need time to eat, rest, and reset. Don’t tell anyone that you’re taking the day off or you may find yourself tempted to give in to other plans. Your day is all about you!

5. Negative self-talk and self-sabotage has gotten in your way.

Does this sound familiar to you? You set a goal then get stuck moving on it. And the longer you wait, the more guilt you feel. You start to second guess yourself and before you know it, weeks (maybe even months) pass without you making any progress. 

The fix: Managing self-sabotage starts by recognizing it when it shows up. So the next time you feel negativity rising up around you as you push toward a goal, remind yourself that you are qualified and deserving to keep going. Use your Purpose on Paper journal to strategically move around negative mindsets and get back on track to your purpose. 

6. You lack focus. 

When you have too many things competing for your attention, your thoughts can become jumbled and unorganized, making it impossible to be productive or peaceful. This can lead to feelings of stress and anxiety.

The fix: Fear of missing out is real, but our brains aren’t designed to be stimulated all day long. Try unplugging from social media for a few hours a day. You can use that time to read, work on a project, or get some things done around the home. It’s a great way to bring your mind back into the present and eliminate distractions. 

If you’ve experienced any of these six signs, I hope you’ll find these tips helpful. If you’re feeling too overwhelmed to manage on your own, I encourage you to seek out a licensed therapist for guidance and support. 

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