Jessie’s Story: Building a Game Plan to Fight Burnout
I once worked with a remarkable patient named Jessie. She had a soft spot in my heart – perhaps because she shares a name with my brilliant firecracker of a grandmother.
My grandmother had always been a model to me of balance and wisdom. The younger Jessie, however, was a true picture of burnout when I met her – overwhelmed by demanding work and the needs of on-the-go teenage girls. She was exhausted – rightfully so after averaging around five hours of sleep per night. Despite her best efforts to diet, she was gaining weight and enduring constant pain in her hips that only grew worse with her stress levels.
Between the fifty emails she would fire off from her laptop in bed each evening to her endless downing of coffee just to get through the day, she was the model of an unbalanced lifestyle.
It was clear that she was in the throes of burnout resistance but standing on the brink of a full burnout. Luckily, we were able to work together to craft an action plan.
What did it include?
· Meeting with a nutritional adviser to overhaul her diet – more protein and virtually no sugar
· Corrected her low levels of testosterone with hormone pellet therapy
· Segued to a new routine of eating good carbs in the evening to boost her mood and promote sleep
· Began a vigorous walking program – beginning with 10-20 minutes a day for stress relief
· Going to bed at 9pm – and ending all work related activity by 8:30 pm to allow her nervous system to switch into sleep mode
And maybe most importantly of all, we committed her to a positive outlook. Negative and unproductive statements like “I am so stressed” were gone; replaced with positive statements. “I choose myself and I am ready for better health.”
In 12 weeks, the results were remarkable. Jessie had been motivated for change and the results showed it. She lost 20 pounds. She regained her sex drive. She noticed renewed energy in the morning after hours of uninterrupted sleep. She snapped at her loved ones less – and handled her stress better.
What would your action plan look like for you? And what changes would you like to see to know that it worked?