Lisa Brooks, MSW, LCSW is a National TF-CBT Child Therapist/Forensic Interviewer and Founder of Wilmington Thrive Tribes. Thrive Tribes was developed to help women prioritize and invest in their own growth and transformation stories through radical self-care and rebellious self-love. Having multiple experiences personally and professionally with burnout. The following is from Lisa's recent talk at The Hustle & Heart Conference.
What do you do when you’re the person that always has it together, but you feel like you are falling apart? Two years ago, Lisa Brooks was tasked with answering this question for herself and it took radical self-care and asking for help to weather the storm. Lisa spent the majority of her career specializing in treating children with PTSD. After months of personal unrest, Lisa realized that all of the numb feelings and anger were actually symptoms of burnout.
Women are far more likely to experience burnout than men in the workplace. Maybe it is because we love to ask, “What does everyone else need from me?” and fail to ask “what do I need for myself .” After a particularly rough week, Lisa realized it was time to ask for help, “I wasn’t loving myself a whole lot. The things I said to myself were not kind or generous. Especially at home with the people that I love and care about the most. I had to stop and ask myself ‘What do I love and value? What are some loving kind things that I can say about myself?’” Dressed in her at home armor, oversized sweatpants and t-shirt, she heard a voice that said, “I am going to be okay” and then realized that the voice coming out was hers: “Oh my gosh that was me, I said that! It was the nicest thing I had said to myself in two years. I was so good at taking care of everyone else but I couldn't show up for myself.”
So once you realize that you might need help, that you might need to show yourself some grace and self-care, where do we go from here? Lisa explains that “the only way out is through and you can’t cover up these feelings and hope they will go away. No quick fixes!” Repairing yourself can feel like taking shards of glass out of your skin one by one, but the good news is that it gets easier with time. Take some time to reflect inwardly and put away all ideas of perfection and selfishness. Invest in yourself and in personal growth because you are worthy! We hear this as women all the time that we are selfish for showing up on our own behalf first, when in reality, Lisa says that we should “Quit playing small. My goodness, we need to stop apologizing so much and say that ‘I am here. I am worthy. I am valuable.’ Even if I am scared I can still walk in the direction of what I deserve and want.” Embrace self-care and as Lisa says, “Self-care is making the radical decision to embrace ourselves where we are, for who we are. There is nothing fancy about it.” So often we imagine self-care as taking a yoga class or over the top pampering when in reality, “Self-care is radically free. It’s not something you have to pay for, it is in you.”
If you are feeling burnt out Lisa suggests that you need to get your self-care routine together. You have to be able to have a level of honesty and vulnerability in order to find what will work for you.
Questions to ask yourself when starting a self-care routine:
What are my wishes?
What are my desires?
What do I want for me?