Beware of Mini Exhaustion - How to spot it and How to manage it

We’re now a few weeks into a new year. Some of you have set resolutions and some of you have set goals and we’re plodding along with a new lease on life for what the new year can bring. However, this is also a crucial time in which to pay attention to your self-care. Be careful not to burn out too quickly with all that oomph you have because you could quite easily take a few steps back and find it harder to come back to your motivation point.

Case in point, me. This week, I had a bought of mini exhaustion. I know it was mini because I recovered within a few days. What brought it on? All the great things I will do in 2019. I also started the year on a high with some great new clients and projects. Of course this has spurred me on and kept me motivated but it also meant that I neglected some simple self-care that I hadn’t planned for. I ended up with a severe Migraine that completely wiped out my Wednesday, overflowed into Thursday and by Friday, I was like “I need to do something fun.”

The signs of mini exhaustion

  • My mind kept drawing a blank when I was thinking about my to do list
  • My energy levels felt majorly depleted but I hadn’t done anything apparently taxing
  • My temper was short
  • I wasn’t being clear when giving instructions or talking to my family
  • I gave up mid sentence if someone didn’t understand what I was saying because I couldn’t find another way to say it
  • I was a little sniffly – cold-like symptoms
  • I had a migraine – I’ve been getting migraines for a few years now and usually only about 3 a year. They are bad. Nausea, vomiting and only complete darkness and sleep can cure it but it also takes its toll on my body and takes a few days to feel ‘normal’ again.
  • I felt like I couldn’t muster the energy to do anything. Even the washing up.

So clearly I knew something was wrong. I was off-kilter. When I was able to reflect, I realised I had done too much too soon and I think my adrenalin just couldn’t cope with the demands I was asking of my body. Not to say it won’t handle it, it’s just I dived into the year with everything and my body was like “hold up, you’ve not performed like this is 3 years, we need a minute to get ready lady!” So I listened, I took the rest and now I feel like I’ve reset. 

5 tips to manage self-care and your goals

  1. Don’t do everything at once. Plan the goals/activities into your diary but give yourself a few days or weeks in-between new ones.
  2. When things are going well, ride the wave but ensure you replenish yourself each day through any activity that doesn’t relate to your goal.
  3. Be grateful or any other mindfulness activity – Taking those few minutes to take stock of what’s going well will help you see when you need to give a little more to you.
  4. Do something fun each week. Whatever it is, make sure it’s just fun. Laugh.
  5. Book in that time off. Use it as a marker for the work you’re doing, knowing that in a few months, you’ll be taking a break.

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  • Puja McClymont

    Life and Business Coach

    Puja McClymont is a certified Life and Business Coach in London. Helping professionals achieve clarity and direction in their work and personal lives by improving mindset and confidence. Subtly combining NLP techniques, positive Psychology and Wellbeing coaching, Puja focuses on helping clients manage the pressures of modern living by creating a life by design, with purpose. Host of the Self Care 101 Podcast - a wellbeing podcast that has practical self care tips and support to help you achieve your full potential.