I've almost burned out three times in my life so you don't have to. Here's my story and what I've learned.
Hey there! I’m Michelle.
I know how overwhelming and frustrating it can be to try and reduce stress, overcome exhaustion and minimize anxiety. Believe me I’ve been there. Three times!
The first time I flirted with burnout was just before I left my career in Public Relations.
I spent 16 years in various PR and communication jobs and had attained a management position. You'd think this would bring happiness, satisfaction and a sense of accomplishment. Instead I was stressed, miserable and feeling pressured to continue rising through the ranks and taking on more responsibility.
It started to take a toll on my health. I had constant digestive issues, recurrent strep throat and regular headaches. I was exhausted, anxious and an undercurrent of dread ran through me.
I ate poorly - lots of coffee and sugar to get me through the day. My weight started to increase as did my blood glucose levels. I'd often end up in tears at the end of the day and had no energy. My evenings were spent watching mindless tv.
My brand new relationship was also feeling the impacts. I should have been happy, joyful looking forward to our future together, but the stress, worry and pressure stole it all away.
The second instance of near burnout was after I left the corporate world and found health coaching.
This new career offered a flexible schedule, time for my own health and wellness, meaningful work helping clients and a sense of purpose.
But as I launched my practice I was so intent on making it successful, I worked at it 24/7, and became solely focussed on the number of clients I had, how much money I was making and how many programs I could offer.
What got lost in all of this, was my focus on my health and finding balance. I realized I was on the brink of burnout again. Similar health symptoms returned, my anxiety levels rose and my self care dropped off my to-do list. But this time I had no boss or corporate mission to blame. I was doing it to myself!
The third time I was on the verge of burnout was about six years into my health coaching practice.
I'd developed a good foundation to my practice had some regular offers running and success with my group coaching program the Sugar Shift.
But running all of this on my own as an introvert and a solo business owner was a lot.
I just couldn't keep up the pace and pressure to do it all. I become overwhelmed and disillusioned with the typical online approaches to mass marketing.
I was about to turn 50 and my changing hormones, fluctuating energy levels, new health symptoms were creating even more restlessness and anxiety.
I was stuck. For over a year I felt in a place where the old stories of who I was, how I work, how I live, what nourishes me, what I believe in - weren’t working any more. They no longer resonated or seemed relevant. I hid and withdrew and waited for the new story to become clear.
I received my training through the Institute of Integrative Nutrition and the Wellness Coach Training Institute. I'm certified through the International Association of Health Coaches and have my Associate Certified Coach credential from the International Coach Federation.
In addition to my private coaching practice, I'm employed by the Institute for Integrative Nutrition as a Coaching Circle Facilitator and have guided over 800 health coaching students through part of their Health Coach Training Program.
I also hold two Bachelors degrees - one in Politic Science, the other in Public Relations.
I'm a trained JourneyDance facilitator.
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