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Avoiding Burnout

In today’s go-go-go society, burnout is a prevalent theme. We’re told “if you give it your all, you will succeed” and “success is a  measure of hard work”. So it’s no wonder why so many are pushing themselves to their braking point, giving up and burning out. I can absolutely relate to this. Right now, my life is pretty hectic. I’m sharing this with you all not for bragging rights or to say my life is “busier” than yours- we all have different capabilities and needs for free time. This isn’t a comparison game, this is just to share where I’m at.

how to survive living in a remodel

I have a full time freelance position as a copywriter at a location that is an hour commute each way from my house. I also write freelance articles outside of that for extra income- usually an average of one or two a week. Between creating, photographing, editing and writing I spend about 3-4 hours on each blog post, and usually post about 3 times a week. Plus I like to do art projects on my own for fun that aren’t showcased- usually an hour or so a day. Scott and I go for an hour long walk or so daily- it’s our time to catch up with each other after a long work day. I have recently started working out with a trainer and my workouts last about 1 1/2 hours a day, 5 days a week. Did I mention we are also renovating our entire house by ourselves? Oh yeah, we have friends and family and dogs too.

Typically I will leave our house at 7 am for work and get home after working out around 7:30 or 8pm. Then I spend an hour with my hubby, write my blog post and go to bed by 11-but the earlier the better. Cause if I am being honest, I am a little exhausted these days.

But not burned out. Why?

Cause I have a secret- I get 27 hours in a day instead of 24. Just kidding. 🙂 But here are some things that I think have really helped me keep pace and stay focused.



1) Keep your eye on the prize.

For example, why am I doing all this extra freelance writing, on top of writing full time and writing a blog? Because we are going to Europe in July- for three weeks! And we want to have an incredible, unbelievable kick-ass time.  It will be pricey if we do everything we want to do- so to pay for it in cash, and not go into debt on credit cards, (been there- done that, hello Mexico 2010), we are both working hard to generate extra income. Scott is doing tutoring after school for an hour or so, and I spend a couple hours a week writing freelance. We get our checks and put all the extra money in an account that we won’t touch until July. Yeah it’s a little hard sometimes to give those extra hours but when we are lounging under the Eiffel Tower, drinking a cafe au lait with a croissant au chocolate, I won’t be remembering the hard part- I’ll get to really enjoy!

2) Think short term.

When I am doing a workout with my trainer, and my thighs are burning and my booty is shaking so hard and sweat is in my eyes and I feel like I might die right there- I think short term. Really short term. I’ll tell you all a secret…during my workouts, when I get tired, I just fantasize…about my protein shake. Yup. Lame as it is- I just think how good that cold almond milk with that vanilla protein powder mixed in will taste. I build it up so much in my head that I practically convince myself it tastes just like a vanilla milkshake. (It doesn’t). With our house, we think of things in stages- we don’t think “it’s gonna take us 6 months to have a working  kitchen”, we tell ourselves, “in 2 weeks we will be ready to install the floors!”. If I allowed myself to think of every single thing our house project encompassed, I would’ve ran away screaming. I’m still here. 🙂

how to survive living in a remodel

3) Reevaluate for each season.

This is a tough one, but a good one. There is a reason God made seasons. Yes, scientifically, but it’s also a way to look at life. There are seasons of life where it’s appropriate to do one thing, and at the next season, that thing may end. I know that I can’t workout 1 1/2 a day forever. There’s going to be an end to this season at some point- who knows why- kids, finances, broken legs (hope not!), whatever. But since I can workout this season- I want to hit it hard while I can.

4) Choose what- and who- you invest in wisely.

During busy seasons you will only have so much free time to spend with people. So choose to spend it with the people that really fill you up and encourage you- people that pursue you and people you enjoy being around. Be a good friend and make sure you reciprocate as well. 🙂 When I was younger I always wanted to be around big groups and large crowds, but now that I’m older and have less love-capacity, I crave smaller groups and one-on-one time with people. Sadly, when I stopped pursuing people- calling, asking them to hang out, etc, they never reached out to me. It’s sad but also in a way good to see who is a “true friend”. Sometimes growing up is hard. Boo.

springtime dinner party (5 of 8)

Craft party 9

5) Work hard- but play hard too!

Fridays are my rest days from working out. I jokingly tell my friends “I’m gonna rest SO HARD. Ya’ll will just have to wheel me around the office in my chair.” But seriously- on Fridays, I don’t work out. I might go for a leisurely walk with Scott and our dogs, but that’s really it. I don’t feel guilty about laying around. I relish it. I enjoy it. I use that extra time to spend with my husband, watch movies, do art, whatever I want. Right now watercolor and calligraphy are my favorite. It’s so fun!

A perfect day (10 of 10)

I also love to have a few hours to relax, lay outside and read books. The weather will only be so pretty for so long, so I’m soaking it up as long as I can. 🙂 LONG LIVE SPRING!

how to survive living in a remodel

So, that’s how I’m coping with the busyness of this season. Do you guys have any more tips to share? I want to hear! 🙂

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  1. I totally respect your plans to go to Europe and pay for it with cash. It is amazing how freeing it is to be prepared for something and not feel bad about spending the money because it’s been specifically set aside for it. Where all are you going? We’re heading to Holland and Germany this fall for three weeks and I CAN”T WAIT! I’m sure you’re in the same boat. =)

    1. Thanks Chione! I am hoping to be able to spend a lot hehe. I think we are planning on England, France and Italy! I would love to see Holland some time- I’ve been to Germany before, so pretty! Love all the castles!

  2. Europe! That is so amazing. I am completely jealous and hoping that you will share pictures. I love these tips. I tend to have problems getting burned out because I have a problem saying “no”. I’m trying to teach myself to think of time as though it were money. Since there are only 24 hours in a day, I have to budget them. If I put too many things on my plate, then I go over budget. However, instead of getting a bad credit rating I get burnout.

    I love your idea about seasons. I’m going thru a very hectic season right now, but I’m going to steal your idea and remind myself that it will pass.

    1. I have a problem saying no as well Barcy, but I have learned that it is a diservice to EVERYONE if I say yes all the time! Much better to do a few things well then everything terrible. 😛 And yes…your season will pass! Hang in there girl!

  3. Great tips! I really relate to embracing the different seasons of your life. Since having kids, that has been a huge lesson learned. We all have limited time and energy and it’s better to work with the flow rather than against it to make the most of what we have when we have it.

    1. Totally agree! I am still trying to figure out what my flow is these days, but I think i’m getting closer!

  4. Wow! Go you! I complain about working 9-5 five minutes down the street.

    I think it’s awesome that you’re training that much. I’m trying to lose weight but I lose 5 pounds, stall, gain it back then lose it again.

    Yay for Europe!!! So exciting! I hope to do that soon. We actually just bought tickets to Australia in November, so I can’t complain 😉

    1. Samantha- in the last 3 weeks working with a trainer and watching my diet I have only lost THREE pounds…boo!! BUT I feel good and maybe see a muscle or two somewhere?!? And yay for Australia- i’ve always wanted to go there!!

  5. super jealous about europe! but what an amazing trip it will be!

    great tips all the way around… in this go-go-go life it’s hard to sit back and enjoy anything!

    1. I think we all do Brynne! It’s counter-cultural thinking, so difficult, but so, so good.

  6. Great tips Tania! I’m so impressed by your organizing skills – I need to take a leaf out of your book.

    I’m also heading for a holiday in Europe soon which I’m super excited about (although I’m not nearly as well-prepared financially as you ;). Which countries will you be visiting?

    1. Yay! We are planning on England, France and Italy…but also greedily want to see Spain again and go to Greece and Turkey…gosh. Just need about 6 months or so to see it! 🙂

  7. Such an excellent topic to post about. Thank you. It’s comforting to know that others struggle with full schedules too and to get a few tips on how to deal with it – always appreciated 🙂

  8. loved this post, girl! get it! you are doing a great job managing your time and fitting in all the things you love into each day! 🙂

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