A return from burnout starts with a very simple step

A return from burnout starts with a very simple step

In Insight and Self Awareness by Ania StanLeave a Comment

How do you know when to stop working so hard that your breath almost ceases and leaves you a walking dead?

Three years ago I had a dream and fresh excitement.
Today I have burns coming from hurt tissue of my soul.


Let’s rewind a few years back to September, 2014…

I feel as if I am on holiday

I’ve felt like this for the past five years of living on Queensland’s ‘endless summer’ coast. Oh yeah, the Gold Coast is a beauty!

Nice weather, ocean, surf, green hinterland, clubs, bars, pubs, fancy restaurants, theme parks, all about beauty and fun – exactly what you want on your holiday.


What happens to your usual day-to-day life when you’re on a vacation while living it? I must say this got me well confused.

Job – not stable; one day you have it; next day you need to look for another. People keep coming and going. You made good friends. Next thing you know they are already gone – moved elsewhere or just went back home. Everything is transient here.

You set up your business. You are lucky enough to have established long-term customers/clients and make profit. Next month – bang! Half of them have lost their jobs or moved interstate to make their living.

For the past five years of living on the Gold Coast I had no idea whether I should be setting my goals and working towards some sort of ‘bigger picture’ future or to simply take what the Gold Coast has to offer.

Enjoy the surf and socialise; earn money whenever and wherever possible (and according to the saying, ‘a job is a job’ – and money is money anyway) and just relax. Oh wait! Relax… that sounds like a brilliant plan, doesn’t it?

It seems to be a very comfortable life for some people, and that’s great for them, but it just doesn’t work for me. I’m in inner conflict every day. Not so very comfortable…

What is missing and what is not working? Am I in the wrong place? Is everything okay with my head? Should I change jobs? Why am I feeling so tired? So much of my energy is being wasted on inner conflicts.

Working for others seems to keep taking me nowhere. I realise that it’s high time to take action and do something about it. And so I decide to start a business on my own.

What do I like and enjoy doing? What is it that I know how to do and what do I have qualifications for?
Sport! Boom! Great!

The idea was to start training people on the Gold Coast. That’s a tough market for the ‘supplier’. The Gold Coast is packed with personal and all other sorts of trainers – those guys are everywhere!

Everybody wants to look fit here. Some people also have the brilliant idea to become healthy whatever that means to them (most of the time it means to appear healthy, as it’s all about the looks here anyway).
Some actually want to stay healthy and are ready to change their lifestyle. Obviously health related services are available in abundance here as well.

That’s the market picture – and I don’t care. I want to have something that is mine and on my terms.

I want something to look forward to and that’s how I started working towards setting up my business.

I had lots of help from friends and family and finally I had what I needed to start – except for clients…

That’s okay. I still have something to look forward to and work on.

I know why I want to wake up every morning

I enjoy the Gold Coast and I have a goal – I want to share my coaching business with as many people as possible because I have a service that can help others with their health.

I see this as a process, and I want to be doing this as long as it serves me and others.

What matters at the end is the effort we put in – a quality body of work.

Results are as they come. We can’t predict them.

I can’t always get what I want. Often it is what I need though. What I need to learn from and improve.

I am grateful. It keeps me happy and motivated, even on those odd days, when I feel tired and ready to sink into what I call laziness (others call it rest, but that’s another story).

I stay focused and just do it – at least a little bit – day by day.

And funnily enough every time I push through my tiredness, my eyes and my head open up and I feel alive again.

It doesn’t hurt. Doing empowers me and I feel amazing!

November, 2017less is more

The holiday is over now. Three years ago I had a dream and fresh excitement. Today I have burns coming from the hurt tissue of my soul.

How do you know when perseverance wears off and only blind stubbornness takes its place?

How do you know when to stop working so hard that your breath almost ceases and leaves you a ‘walking dead’?

Has all the effort gone out the window or perhaps it will pay off one day? Perhaps…

As of today I don’t have the answer to the latter. But I do know very well by now that hard work over the last years has left me joyless and breathless – the burnt dried skin of a human soul. I wake up exhausted on a sunny Monday morning and look at the endless blue of the lively Pacific Ocean and I know.

I’ve had enough and I just can’t take any more – any more hard work, planning, trying, constant change and pushing myself way beyond my boundaries and out of my comfort zone.

I crawl out of my bed and look in the mirror. There she is… heavily breathing, her face shrunk around her tightly held bloodless lips, unhappy yet still trying to hold the life running away from her soul.

I am her… How could I have done this to my closest friend trusting me with her life??

On that morning I decide to change it all.

I decide that today is the day of my greatest joy and I will feel good all day long!

And so I do. I take everything in slow steps, one step at the time. It works!I start to know what feels good and I embrace it and enjoy it. Whatever doesn’t feel so good I just drop as though it’s hot!

Today I finally enjoy my life again and I smile!

I wake up on Tuesday morning and I know it again.

One day of joy turned out not to be enough and it becomes a week of joy.

That week has taught me a very important life lesson: feeling happy and alive is the priority!

In order to achieve that I need and want to do much more of what feels effortless to me – things that I love and enjoy doing and do much less of the things that feel any different.

New rules

NO worrying about the future
NO worrying about money
NO worrying at all
NO planning
NO decision making
NO pain
NO negative self-talk
NO judgement

Instead focus on:
The present moment, one step at the time, and make it count!
What can you enjoy at this very moment? Is there anything that makes your face smile? Yes – focus on that. No – stop doing this immediately.
Don’t force anything. If it doesn’t come easily, forget it.

Let’s bring you back to life

Believe it or not, you can afford some joy time in your busy schedule. On that Monday morning I felt so terrible that nothing mattered to me any more; I just wanted to feel alive again. I wanted to make it up to myself for all that time when I was too busy to live my life. I didn’t care about anything else.

If you have brought yourself into the same stage of sadness and frustration, then you may need the entire week of joy too.

A week of joy to reset everything in your life

Access your innermost values and gain clarity on what you want to have in your life, as well as what you don’t want.

I’m not talking about that superficial fake joy that having a drink or watching a movie gives you. I’m talking about all those wonderful things in life that give you wings and shivers of excitement and gratitude!

Can you remember the last time you felt like this? If yes, what were you doing then?

If not, then it’s high time to rediscover what makes your soul sing, face smile and feel like effortless flow!

Feeling like the ‘walking dead’ is not the way you live your life! You know you want better than that! And the best part is that you can have it. You really can have it!

Just start with a small single step – a day of joy – the very first day of your life!


About the author

Ania Stan


Ania Stan is a dedicated bodyworker, qualified strength coach, swimming instructor, yoga teacher, counsellor and a writer. Based in both Europe and Australia, she travels every year to stay connected with people from all over the world and work towards the betterment of all of us and our world by working towards the betterment of a single person. www.annagreenup.com

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