Since 2017 I have been a volunteer speaker at an organisation that raises awareness about depression and anxiety and encourages people to spot the signs before mental illness sneaks up on you and potentially swallows you. I have spoken to groups in corporate houses, non-profit organisations, law firms, universities, senior groups and big banks around Brisbane.
Would you believe me if I told you that I also spoke at a hospital where 100% of the audience had in-depth knowledge about the effects of stress, anxiety and depression and yet did not take steps to care for themselves and regularly burned themselves out? Rest and self-care is frowned upon. Sometimes I feel like I am sharing information that we already know, yet need to be reminded about. Sometimes people are too smart for their own good and ignore the best advice out there, until of course, something personal happens. Like a wake up call. Life knocking at your door to open your eyes. Burnout is real….
I know I spent my 20s in a blur, working in fast-paced environments that I was not truly happy in and had heard about the importance of self-care and work-life balance and thought burnout happened to other people. Certainly not me. Until of course, depression punched me in the face and sent me spinning for years. Lol. I can laugh about it now, but it definitely got me good those years ago.
Here’s the thing – once you experience a bout of depression or anxiety, chances are you will experience another episode as you are at greater risk. My insurance company a few years ago would not insure me for mental illness. Pretty poor form I thought (of the insurance company) and it did make me think — shit, they think I am a liability and I have to work doubly hard to maintain my mental wellbeing. More than that though, I knew I wanted to find my feet again. For me. Living with the weight of depression was no way to live.
If you have never experienced depression – good! I am so happy. May you never experience it. It is awful and sometimes the sadness felt like I was drowning and it seeped into everything I touched. I was burnt out. By work. By life. By my personal challenges I tried to bury with the busy-ness of building my career. If I was busy then I would not have to feel my feelings.
The conditions right now we are living in are the perfect melting pot to drive poor mental health. I see uber productivity all around me. Full power too. I do think – it’s ok to rest too. So I continue to share the importance of self-care and rest. For your sustainability. For your wellbeing. For what’s going on between your ears, your mind. For the space beneathe your rib cage, your heart. For your sanity. For your joy to taste the sweetness and fullness of life.
I found this beautiful quote which captures this blog in 3 sentences! Thank you for reading and may you find rest and self-care every day. xx
Rest and self-care are so important. When you take time to replenish your spirit, it allows you to serve others from your overflow. You cannot serve from any empty vessel.