It’s 7:05 am and my alarm sounds. Every morning I fight the urge to throw it, I knew it was coming. I knew because I became conscious 20 minutes earlier but kept my eyes closed. I knew that opening them meant starting a new day at a job I had begun to dislike and another day in a life I had no energy for. I am BURNT OUT and this is my journey; let’s talk about it.

Being burnt out in a job is something I am familiar with. I had written about it and even lived through it in smaller jobs that I had no real intention of staying at but this is a job I’ve been with for years. All I knew was love and passion in this organization that has seen me transition from a girl to a woman. It’s now seeing me transition from a star efficient employee to a burnt out husk that’s ready to quit at any irrational moment. We’ve all probably been there and back at this point in our lives.

Hearing someone is burnt out in their job is not at all out the norm, in fact, you can google articles about how most employees working outside their passion will experience it. What you don’t hear is that you can be burnt out in life. This includes every aspect like jobs, relationships, dreams etc…why does it happen?

 

Dig through the ashes and find the understanding you need. Reexamine the necessity of the things in your life that require your energy and give an honest answer on if you think those things are worthy.

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Where There’s  Smoke

Balance. Everything I read and what I innately know is that having a healthy work/life balance is important to maintaining in life but what happens when the life part of the work/life balance is unbalanced itself? Ideally, retreating from a stressful environment at work to a peaceful home life would counteract some of the inevitable damage from insatiable work needs. Ideally. What I found when I glared deep into my burnout was that it wasn’t just one area that had drained my energy but every area of my life. I felt like that meme of Oprah throwing out free shit; only I was throwing out my energy and time and the shit wasn’t free.

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I paid the cost out of an already depleted reserve. I had missed something important in the process of healing and grinding. I had missed that balance is the key to staying sane. Despite all my self-care techniques used to uplift and restore my spirit; I was missing important people on the opposite side of the scale needed to properly balance it all out. I couldn’t restore myself alone. I can’t restore myself alone.

I take responsibility for my part in creating a world where I’m dominate and hell-bent on exceeding the expectations that come with that. But now, in a world where I’m expected to be Superman I need to ask for more time to be a regular ol’ Clark Kent? Hell I’d even settle for Lois Lane.

 

Fire Detectors

There comes a time when the debt has to be paid; I’ve been expending energy and fake interest/happy  for every area of my life on credit and now the bill is due. I’m bankrupt. See it’s not enough to acknowledge your issues with stress or emotional detachment but you have to find ways to release and uplift. I knew my problem but never found a solution; now I’m having no choice but to start from the bottom of my issues in order to fix them.

If I say I’m lonely then I need to figure out why and find creative ways to connect or have the uncomfortable talks with those I love. Just recently I told my mom that I didn’t come home anymore because it felt like a ghost town as soon I as entered the city limit of our small hometown. I’ve lost so many men inside those city limits that memories flood my car and drown me before I even make it to the top steps of my mother’s house.

That honesty brought understanding from her and new solutions that help to share the energy in our relationship. She came to see me the next day with flowers and just like that I felt a small surge charge through the husk I had become. Other conversations I’ve had didn’t necessarily “fix” the issue but shed light on a decision having to be made on whether to accept a drain on my being without help to replenish it or whether to walk away. Such decisions are sometimes necessary in order to fully restore you to the bright being you are meant to be.

 I couldn’t restore myself alone. I can’t restore myself alone.

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Phoenix

If you’re looking for a direct way to address your burnt out energy I don’t have the answer. Of course there are plenty of ways to give yourself peace and begin healing but restoring true energy, positive energy, to your life takes time. It will require a re-working of all the things the made you burn out in the first place. Dig through the ashes and find the understanding you need. Reexamine the necessity of the things in your life that require your energy and give an honest answer on if you think those things are worthy. Take care in knowing that we all get a little burned out sometimes but rehydrating our lives with the things that truly give back to us is how we sustain, endure and triumph.

 

MILLENNIAL LESSON: “You can’t Pour from an Empty cup.” -unknown

LET’S TALK BUILDERS! Tell me about your experiences with burnout and how you triumphed through it. 

 

Do you find yourself bent over your desk, struggling to keep your eyes open the Monday morning after a few days off from work? If you’re like me then I’m guessing your jobs have jobs. Days off feel like they’re strategically placed just so you have enough time to wash that pile of dirty, mildew-y clothes in the corner of your closet and prepare for the next days of work.

So getting an extended break from the job is like finding water in a desert.

But if you’re not careful you could end up feeling more tired and anxious the Monday morning after your hiatus, as if you spent the whole break paying homage to your college days by throwing back Jell-O shots until 4:00 a.m. Yet, the truth is far more geriatric than that because often we just scan our foggy brains trying to figure out why we’re so exhausted on the Monday morning after several days off.

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(True Story!)

Here are some ways you can maximize your God given time off and return to work replenished and rejuvenated as intended.

Sleep In

There are tons of articles that advise against sleeping in because it could mess up your sleep pattern for when you actually do return to work.

F*** it! IT’S GOOD FOR YOUR SOUL DAMNIT!

At least stay in bed an extra hour or two to lounge around with Hulu or a good book. Your natural alarm clock may wake you like a regularly scheduled program as soon as 7:00 a.m. rolls around; but don’t let that keep you from resting in bed for a while.

(For those without kids who have that option of course!)

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Because personally, once I’m up and out of bed it seems like time flies into a flurry of me doing shit that could’ve waited. Next thing I know I’ve spent a whole day NOT resting and can’t even remember what I did.

If you don’t train your mind and body to relax, be still and pace itself then you’re going to Energizer Bunny your way through all of your time off only to find yourself yawning in your boss’ face come Monday morning.

Ditch the Plan

Whether it’s going out of town to visit the boyfriend, spending time with family or trying to optimize alone time, I’ve found that over-planning the time off only leads to me feeling rushed. Days off are hard to come by and sometimes few and far-in-between but the truth is if you become anxious in keeping on schedule, off the clock, you will find yourself “working” to stick to a schedule on days that are supposed to give you rest.

It’s okay to want to optimize time off with doing some of the things you never get to partake in because of work. Going to a movie, comedy club, camping…you just can’t do it ALL.  Narrow your activities to the top two things you really want to do. Ditching a traditional or mental schedule can relieve stress and free up space for other fun activities like sleep! Free ball your weekend, vacay or holiday time off, you won’t be sorry.

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You Time

Whenever blessed with a few consecutive days off I often feel obligated to split my time into equal parts Responsibilities(doctor’s appointments, blogging, laundry), Family(babysitting, or a day with “Auntie” for my nieces/nephews) and Lazy Song Days(Netflix-ing and chilling until I eat every snack I own). What usually happens are the first two categories with little to no time left over for the actual “ME TIME” I was fantasying about all week.

YES…ditch the plan but if you MUST plan…include some “you time.” There’s nothing worse than sitting at your desk, with a hot cup of coffee you’re too sleepy to enjoy on Monday morning, wondering what the hell happen to all your days off.

So as you read this from your phone or computer screen at work after taking another five-hour energy shot just to make it through the day, remember that days off should leave you feeling replenished and ready for a week of Mondays. It shouldn’t feel like a week of Mondays fell on top of you once that morning alarm clock sounds.

Go From this…

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to this!

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Your turn Builders, how do you spend your precious days off so that you go back to work well rested? Comment below and Let’s Talk!

Sometimes the problem isn’t that you don’t set priorities, because you do. The problem could be that you don’t have enough of them to address the things you want in life or the ones you have are simply outdated and fit your current situation like a pair of too tight jeans.

 

Priorities can lose their effectiveness if done in haste and ignored once the ink is dry on that New Year’s list. Three months into 2018 and my priority list is all but null and void because sh*t happens and my priorities weren’t aligned with my realities, optimized in opportunities or adjusted for when life happens. By taking a look at our priorities we can make sure they’re working FOR us as hard as we’re working ON them. Instead of working hard over lackluster priorities, work smarter and be a boss when it comes to setting them effectively with these three things.

-Tailor Priorities to fit Realities

-Make the most of Unexpected Opportunities

-Readjust/Reorder Priorities Often

 

Tailoring Priorities to fit Realities

Just because you scribbled out a list of things you’re working to accomplish on an old piece of notebook paper, doesn’t mean that your priorities are reflecting your realities. They could just simply be reflecting your wants while ignoring your needs. If you place a priority like #1 Retire at age 40 at the top of your list while #25 Is pay off debts, then your priorities are out of wack. Stacking your priorities in the right order can help you accomplish goals faster as they account for your actual situation instead of your ideal one.

 

Making the most of Unexpected Opportunities

I love a good surprise opportunity.

What I don’t love is looking back on them and realizing I didn’t optimize the time and experience of the opportunity because I didn’t include my existing priorities within them. Or I didn’t adjust the priorities to fit the newfound reality of my situation. The opportunity has come and gone while my priority list is still the same sad list written on stale paper. COME ON…we can do better!

When you get an unexpected opportunity like a promotion, trip, raise or network connection; reassess how the opportunity affects your immediate reality so that you can prioritize accordingly. You may just find that one of your priorities has been completed so you can use your freed-up resources for the others on your list. Also, your new opportunity most likely comes with additional resources like time/money/networks that can help you check the boxes on the list of some of your other top priorities.

 

Readjusting Often

It’s important to make sure that your priorities are reflecting what you want and need; you can ensure this by readjusting your priorities often. Just because you put something as your #1 doesn’t mean you can’t drop it down to #3 once something else becomes more imperative to get done. The world is ever-changing and so are we humans, making your priorities a reflection of what’s most important to you is then expected to change often. Grab those priorities by the…uh, Never mind…just tailor, optimize and adjust to take control of those priorities like the BOSS you are.

 

How do you tackle your list of priorities? Comment below and Let’s Talk about it! #LetsBUILD

In the past 10 days I have been hit where it truly hurts…my pockets and my family. This one-two combo punch not only knocked me out in the first round but it sent me crying to every one who would listen. As a millennial there are few things worse than thinking you’ve outgrown your naive, ill-informed mistakes of yesteryear only to have it sneak punch you in the teeth when you’re smiling.

I was completely out of my element and subsequently completely out of character. This wasn’t just another millennial mistake. And this didn’t just feel like a set back but like life was telling me to GET BACK in my place because who did I think I was trying to be successful with good credit and goals.

Life VERSUS Me. I’m still standing damnit!

I was so emotionally and mentally drained to the point where writing felt like a chore as I wondered, how the hell can I ever write on the level of some of the more popular blogs when my life is a hot ass mess. I lost my mind by attempting to take on this mountain of hot ass mess on my own, while bottling up my emotions with no release or contact with the outside world.

My mind was reeling from the blow that life perfected just for that moment. The world lost all the magical luster that it had just a week before and sounds were nothing but dull annoyances. It took me a week and some change to begin feeling like myself again. But Alas! Here are some tried and true ways that I have found works for when the “It’ll all work outs” and “Just pray about its” offer little to no comfort.

 

GET OUT!

When we get hit with an unexpected blow to our ego, pockets, family or whatever it is we hold dear, the first thing we want to do is run for cover under the covers (literally). I don’t know about you but I want to shut myself in a room with blackout curtains, slip on my gray sweatpants and not shower for a week because what’s the point, right? WRONG.

…while it’s easy to shut ourselves off from the world after getting bitch slapped by life, it’s counterproductive to all the progress you’ve made when you attempt to bury your sorrows under the covers.

I was put in a situation where I was forced to be outside and interacting with others. At first the butterflies I felt in my stomach and chest were persistent but the more I faked laughed with my friends the more I realized that I wasn’t faking after a while and that, hey!… maybe life hadn’t ended on Thursday despite my incident.

Fresh air seemed to clear all the debris from my imploded mind and after a few days I was able to see myself out of a situation I had been sure was the nail in the coffin of my hopes and dreams. Point blank, take a walk, grab onto some sunshine, go to your favorite coffee shop. Go to places that remind you that life is still moving forward despite your setback.

 

Cry Yourself a River

I prided myself on only crying at sappy movies, during that time of the month or when something died and especially never in front of any man. But boy did I throw that notion into the wind when shit hit the fan. I cried on Thursday, twice on Friday, and late Saturday night into early Sunday.

We tell ourselves (or listen to other people tell us) that being upset and expressing those feelings is childish, ungrateful and annoying.

Yet, having a good ole cry session, I’m talking about the one with snot dripping down your face and you huffing so hard that you don’t even give a damn, yea that kind of cry, is needed. Say it with me, Cathartic. Crying releases a lot of the pint up pressure that you feel from your stressful situation and is honestly a healthy first step in you processing how to recover from your incident. So I cry…You cry…and WE cry Together.

 

Be Aggressive…B…E…AGGRESSIVE!

Sweat it out, punch it out, drive it out, find something to take out your frustrations on (just not a loved one). During my 10 days of hell I was able to drive huge, diesel up-armored military vehicles on the highway  and on winding paths in the back woods for miles. Commanding something so powerful allowed me to feel powerful and capable of dealing with the difficult things going on in my life. It did this without me actually having to think about the situation as the monotony of driving soothed my mind; while successfully distracting me. So find a boxing gym, go for a run, break some dishes…do something to express your anger and frustration in a way that won’t further harm you or anyone else.

 

Keep Talking

I bottle stuff up better than the coca-cola bottling company and I eventually explode like I was shakened up just before being opened at the wrong moment.

It’s taken a lot from me to talk about any issues I have because I don’t trust people to actively listen and care. It is, however, worth while to discuss your difficult issues with at least one person you trust; no matter how many times it takes. I cried and talked through my problem with someone I trusted every time I was hit with another blow from the Muhammad Ali sized issue.

 

My poor, sweet boyfriend only heard “Sniff, Cry, Cry IDON’TKNOWHOWIWILLEVERBOUNCEBACKFROMTHIS…Sniff, Cry, cry…HOWCOULDIBESOSTUPID…OMGMYLIFEISOVER...the drama was on level 10,000 and he handled it all like a champ. Sometimes all we need to do is give people the opportunity to be there for us in order to curve the feeling of having the weight of the world squarely, solely on our shoulders.

 

Functional yet Certifiably Insane

Congratulations! After you,

-Get out of your head and into the world

-Have a good cry

-Find an aggressive activity

-Talk it out

You won’t find yourself cured and your situation disappeared but you will feel better. Life can be overwhelming with its twists, turns, dips and sometimes, like a roller-coaster, you have your steepest fall just after your highest peak. So grab your tissues and head out to the park with a friend. Afterwards you won’t hear “Awww, it’ll all work out.” and try to convince yourself it’s true. At the end of doing these things you’ll KNOW.

 

What are some ways you cope with difficulties? Comment below and Let’s Talk!

#LetsBuild

 

Birthdays are celebrations that bring out the best in you regardless of if the previous 364 days of the year in your life have been lackluster.

But is it me or am I aging a bit too fast?

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The 28th of January is approaching, and I have all the details of my special day planned out. Get cute. Get Drunk. Eat buffalo wings.

What I’m not prepared for, however, is the infamous birthday question from bystanders and waiters “It’s your birthday??!! Happy Birthday! How old are you?” My answer will be 25. I’ll let you be the judge of this seeing as how I was born in 1991.

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Here’s why transitioning from my early twenties to mid-upper twenties is a bit painful…

 

I just started to enjoy this party!

Realizing that you’re getting older in the not so monumental way is a real buzz kill and I really was just starting to enjoy this party! Throughout my relatively young life I have stressed and worked my a** off just to have a chance to dance with the cute guy by the dj booth, so to speak. My self-esteem was poor, and my personal outlook on life was poor. Hell, I was poor.

And after all the hard work that I put in so that I could be successful in my life, I look back now and realize I wasn’t really present. You could stick a blowup doll in place of me from age 10 up until age 26 and no one would know the difference. I was so focused on planning and preparing for a better future that I wasn’t really living in the moments that made up my twenties.  I checked out of my life after feeling unworthy and unsatisfied only to recently check back in and realize “Holy Sh*t where have all my twenties gone?!”

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In short, I really just started to enjoy life as fully embracing myself, and feeling as though it’s okay that I don’t have everything figured out. I just became self-assured and another birthday is just a reminder of all the time I wasted of my twenties chasing after guys, stressing over finances, and being anti-social. So, for right now I’m like the drunk, messy girl at the party who’s begging the dj to play another song even though it’s 4:15 a.m. I don’t want to go home and face reality.  I’ve been holding onto 25 with this same zeal since two birthdays ago.

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That Plan Sucks

Another birthday approaching is like the New years eve count down to my thirties. That is the age range in which much is expected of you in terms of financial stability, professional career and a balanced home life. 33 is the age that I want to settle down and have kids (at least that’s what I told myself at age 18).  Young me came up with that mental plan because 33 seemed so far away. Now the shit is practically knocking on my door like a Jehovah witness at 8 a.m. on a Friday.

I’m not saying that things will work out that way, which would suck if they didn’t but it still would kinda suck if they did. If my plan to be married with kids by age 33 is accurate then that gives me only 6 more years of freedom. I’m not sure it would even be legal for me to take care of another human being seeing as how I am barely taking care of myself properly. I overfed myself yesterday and forgot to feed myself today. A husband has no chance, let alone, a kid.

 

Pull My Finger

 

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I’m still childish. At some point all the quirky, child-like things that make me, ME will stop being adorable and I will promptly be told to “Grow TF up Krystal” when I pout over not being able to watch Spongebob instead of Law & Order. I think I have about a year and 1/2 left of the “puppy dog eyes” effect that I use to get my way and then it’s all over. I will go from being the “cool girl” in the club to the “older chick” in the club. Never mind that I don’t even go to clubs or was ever considered cool.

 

Mother’s Annoying yet, accurate Advice

“Getting older is a blessing” BLAH, BLAH, BLAH.  (See told you I was childish) but she’s right as moms usually are. Despite all the anxious feelings and thoughts floating around me this week, I do realize how amazing it is to be able to not only turn another year older but to celebrate it with people I love in a big, extra way. Don’t sign me up for AARP just yet! This plum is still ripe.

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Getting to the point where you can honestly say that you are actively enjoying life can bring up the fact that you’ve been passive in life years before; but don’t allow that to deter you from celebrating in the now. Don’t waste anymore time crying over birthdays; instead, go do ratchet sh*t with your friends until you hear the judgmental tone from the young 20-year-old in the corner tell her friend “Oh my God, I hope I’m not a hot mess like that when I’m older.”

Just Kidding.

Push her down and continue partying.

 

What are your anxieties about aging? Comment and Let’s Talk

#LetsBuild

 

 

What are the milestones and achievements that solidify you as an adult? For me that wasn’t the age of 18. Or 21 OR 25 for that matter. It wasn’t when I brought my first car or joined the military. Completing a degree didn’t do it for me either.

I had specific mental thresholds that outlined adulthood  that I needed to pass in order to consider myself a part of the gang.

Everyone defines what it is and means to be an adult differently. It’s interesting to look at how I only really considered myself an adult a few years ago and still sometimes don’t consider myself one at all.

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Society defines adulthood in many different ways by placing an age limit on the things citizens are able to do. You can’t watch adult movies until 17 or buy cigarettes until 18. At 18 you can enlist in the military and vote yet you are not able to drink until age 21. Some “grown n’ sexy” nightclubs require a minimum age of 25. Insurance doesn’t decrease until age 25 either.

 

So when the hell does one become an adult? Seems as though we’re all a little confused ourselves. Adding society’s many definitions with our own only makes the question When do you become an adult?  all the more interesting.

 

We equate age with maturity level but often many do not fit into such strict categories. I know younger individuals who are just as or more mature than I am. I know older individuals who I look at and wonder will they ever “grow up?” I look at myself and ask that question all the time.

Some people define adulthood as leaving the comfortable nest of their parents to become financially independent. Others define it as the American dream complete with the white picket fence, house, two car garage, two 1/2 kids, boring job, and a dog that resembles Lassie.

 

I define adulthood as a series of contrasting experiences that teaches you about yourself and the world around you. The more I learn about my purpose, finances, society, and pretty much everything; the more Adult-y I become.

I also equate adulthood with wisdom even though I know a lot of adults who missed that train. Ha.

These different definitions are neither wrong nor right but merely a perception of what it takes for me to consider myself an adult.

The idea of someone being an adult is a very fluid concept because it changes based on the mindset of the determining person. Even more in depth is the idea of being a “good adult” which I am guilty of using as a mental weapon against myself when I choose to spend money for fun rather than save.

 

In my mind I needed to secure a place to stay void of a roommate, buy a functional car, and work in a professional career to consider myself an adult. Now that I’ve made it past those thresholds I still can’t imagine not watching cartoons and eating junk food with my future kids. Does that make me less of an adult than my mother?

I asked several friends and associates “When did you become an adult,” and listened in anticipation as their answers took flight. Here’s what they had to say…

 

“When I realized that things I do or do not do ONLY effect me. When I went away to college, not going to class, not eating vegetables, or drinking water…not cleaning up stuff. Not wearing my head scarf or waiting last minute to pay my phone bill. Thinking I knew what was best and then realizing…Like, I was only made to do that stuff for my benefit and that it hurts no one but me if I don’t. That’s when I’m like ugh I’m an adult (emoji) no one cares if my edges are gone, phone cut off, and I’m dehydrated.” -AGE 24

 

“Probably when I moved off campus and instead of blowing my refund check I budgeted it so I could afford rent and other bills until I got a real job…Man earlier I was thinking I would love some new tires for Christmas. I was like…damn. I got excited thinking about new tires, I’m an adult” (Emoji)” -AGE 26

 

“I feel like an incomplete adult because I don’t have my masters yet and I’m not in my desired career yet.” -AGE 26

 

“When I moved out and started paying my own bills, had my own place and I had just come back from overseas. You couldn’t tell me nothing. I was working and in school, had my new truck. I was an adult.” -AGE 33

 

Adulting aka paying bills, and securing a job seem to be the biggest factors in how many of us identify adulthood. Childhood lifestyle advances and taking care of oneself medically also seem to enter into the definition of what it means to be an adult.

Personally, I am both childlike and adult like. I take care of myself financially and otherwise, but I still get excited at Christmas or when the fair comes to town.

 

The idea of someone being an adult is a very fluid concept because it changes based on the mindset of the determining person.

 

Holding onto such vague concepts like adulthood only pressures individuals into living up to a standard that isn’t clearly outlined. While it has its purpose as a guiding light from adolescence, don’t let it be too much of a defining one in your life. Layman’s terms? It’s great that you’re a working professional but don’t feel bad when you still enjoy going to Chuck E Cheese. I wouldn’t suggest going without kids though because that’s high key creep alert.

 

grow up
OR NAW