Show Up in Your Practice with Heart, Mind & Body
4 Key Areas to Totally Avoid Compassion Fatigue & Burnout for Soulprenuers
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Running and owning your own practice is exhausting no matter stage and cycle you’re in. This is why it’s so important to talk about how to care and nurture yourself, so you don’t get burned out, start to struggle with compassion fatigue and end up shutting it all down.
This happens all too often when you practice is an extension of yourself as it is for all the soulpreneuers I know. There are many different signs and symptoms of burnout and compassion fatigue- I’ve struggled with them and so has every single one of my colleagues.
Some of the most prevalent symptoms are:
- Struggling to connect with your clients
- Zoning out when working on your biggest challenges
- Wishing a client would cancel an appointment
- Not wanting to be at work
- Being short and angry with loved ones over inconsequential things
The world needs more helpers and healers in the world- you and I both know it.
You and I have both been out there on the front lines, and still are, helping people learn to fight for themselves. There needs to be more people on the ground, showing up fully and authentically as themselves so they can serve those they are called to serve.
This means you have to show-up every day in your practice, even when things are HARD.
Every practice and business experiences the ebb & flow of life and seasons. This part of the natural life cycle (it always seems crazy to me that practices and business have life cycles!)
You’ve witnessed (or are hoping for) times when inquires and intakes are on the upswing. When your client session ends only to discover 5 new client emails and 4 missed phone calls. Only to them experience the deafening silence of the slow seasons.
The reality is there is a benefit and cost to each season and the key to moving through each season is how well you’re able to manage your energy.
Benefit & Cost of High-Hustle Season
High season in my area was always August-September and January-February with a small jump again in October and March.
This is the “high-season” of business and demands on your time and energy are well, high. It can feel like everyone wants something from you- and I haven’t even started talking about the demands in your personal life yet!
Honestly, I no longer call it high-season; I call it, “High-hustle Season.” This season has you going full throttle and you’re hustling all the time, working hard to make sure that everyone is getting what they need when they need it.
It’s a lot, friend.
When it feels like every person in your life needs something from you it’s important to be going slow enough to say, “Yes, they do…and I need something from me too. I need to space, time and rest.”
You have to be able to reach for what you need and what is going to help you settle your mind and get you grounded. Often times, you’ll say, “I’ll rest during slow season…things will slow down and I’ll breathe.”
Transitions & Slow Season
Your practice is like mother nature and that there are seasons that are in full bloom requiring your attention, energy and focus. This is where you pour into people with your heart and mind as you nurture them.
As with all things, there is a need for balance because without it you’ll burn out right? Here is when the transitional season, the ebb & flow, or slow season, comes into play. This is where you start to stress about why they phone isn’t ringing. When you start checking your professional profile to see if it’s still working.
Starting Slow Season
Most people know where their slow season is…ours is in the hot, heated days of summer, May- August in Georgia. You don’t really want to do much of anything in July because even stepping outside at 6am you’ll start to sweat and melt.
If you’re anything like the soulpreneuers this I love to work with, that you’re thinking about:
- trips with your family
- visiting friends you haven’t seen in too long
- spending time with your kids at a mountain or beach house
This always sounds amazing…this sounds like such a treat after the high-hustle season. Beautiful rest. Relaxation. Letting go of all the things. Yet, there is a quite a large hiccup in your plan…
Your goals, projects and tasks that you couldn’t get to during high-hustle season? These get pushed to this “slow” season and in your practice, and your tasks often look:
- client onboarding systems
- contractor & employee onboarding systems
- online booking & payment systems
- worksheet development & organization
- workshop ideas
- networking and marketing (these never end)
You’re starting to see if now, I can tell. You’re starting to see the problem because the…
Reality of Slow Season is Hitting Home
You can’t actually relax, let go of #allthethings if you have all these goals, projects and tasks left to accomplish.
You’ve pushed them off until now.
See, the slow season you were so looking forward to doesn’t really exists anymore…it’s turned into an in-house, work-on-my-business-slow-hustle season.
Burnout Comes Full Circle
Remember earlier when you and I were talking about how you were going to slow down when “slow season” came around? Now, it’s not happening because you’re hustling to get more systems into your practice…which means the longer you do this, the longer you put your heart, mind, body and soul into your practice the faster and closer you run to getting burned out…where you can’t serve anyone.
When your scaling, growing and maintaining your practice you have to be able to manage your energy flow because there is always going to be more.
You Need to Move Your Body!
Physically moving your body is really important particularly if you’re a mental health therapist where you do a lot of sitting. Sitting for long periods of time can really mess with your muscles, it can change the way you hold your body do toc changes in your hips along with numerous other things.
Let’s talk about all the ways you can get physical…yes, sex is definitely a way however, I totally respect if it’s not your first choice!
- Walking or running outside
- Yoga or dance class
- Kickboxing or martial arts class
- Swimming or water aerobics
Talk to People that Aren’t Your Clients!
It seems to ridiculous to say this, yet, if you an introvert like me, when you get home after a full day of sessions, you don’t want to talk or listen to anyone. You’re wiped out emotionally and your energy is drained and being social is the last thing you want to do! Yet, it’s critical component of being of being able to show up in your business and life! There are lots of ways to be social, without being social…
- The classes I mentioned above area great way to connect with other people (that have nothing to do with work!), it’s a great way to get out of the house and to try new things while meeting new people (I now have a great friend because I took a ballet class when I was 36!)
- Talking to others where you get to be you and not “on” all the time is necessary for you to function at your highest level.
- Being social exposes you to new things and people giving you a broader experience of life. If this doesn’t sound interesting to you maybe this article will help!
You’re Not Immune From Life
People come to you when you’re stressed, hurt, in pain and struggling. They look to you to be the expert…I get it. There are so many ways you ARE and expert I can’t even begin to count and you probably can’t either.
Yet, you’re still human and humaning is HARD.
Who do you go to when you’re struggling? When you’re trying to take your business to the next level? When all the personal chatter is going on in your head that forces you to confront the imposter syndrome, fear, worry, anxiety?
Who do you talk to when you are struggling with work and life balance? Who supports and encourages you when you start should’ing all over yourself?
You cannot pour love and courage into other people if you have nothing left to give.
You need someone to help you pour love and energy into yourself- we all do and there is no shame in that. Maybe it’s a dear friend who can hold space for you, a therapist or energy healer for yourself or a mindset & business coach who helps you care for yourself…
For you, maybe it’s all of them- no matter what managing your emotions is a really effective way to manage your energy and when you manage your energy you live a happier, more joyful life.
Let’s Talk about the S-Word
When I say, S-word, I don’t mean shit…I mean spirituality.
I see so many in the healing and helping fields set this topic and notion aside in their lives because it can feel very divisive with our clients- and particularly within our own families (you and I both know the religion and spirituality sit right along politics and gun control.)
Yet, if you ignore this you are also missing a key way you can heal yourself, manage our energy and emotions.
I’m the person who believes that spirituality and religion can comingle and also exist separately (it’s a topic for another day…). You may have experienced some deep wounds from your religious upbringing and going back may cause too much pain. Or maybe you were never exposed to it and you have lots of negative connotations to it (this was so the case for me!)
No matter what your background or experience may in this area- it’s important to explore and an opportunity for healing to occur and that is always a beautiful thing!
One book I want to take the opportunity to point you to if you’re curious (and a little nervous) is this gem right here. The picture I hold in my mind, from Chapter 5, is absolutely stunning.
Up-ing Your Self-Care Game
You know a lot of this stuff, I know you do…yet the one thing I learned in building my solo and group practice was that if you want to push the needle forward in your practice you are going to have to up your game in the self-care area.
The passion you have for your work will carry you far, yet, it will only carry you so far. If you don’t start using your muscles to practice self-care while you’re building or scaling your business you will get drained of energy and left compassion fatigue and burnout.
There is always going to be something on your to-do list. ALWAYS.
Since there is always something on your to-do-list this means you are going to have to find a new way of working if you are going to continue to serve and support the people you’re here to support.
If you loved what you heard in this weeks post stay tuned for next week AND…
I would love for you to go ahead and grab your Self Care Success Plan Workbook! This is what will help you move your practice, and yourself to the next level!
Keep going friend, you’ve got this!