So I’ve spent the past month or so away from social media, no positing, minimal scrolling and just living in real life. After nearly 2 years of consistent posting, blogging and creating content I felt burnt out, uninspired and almost ready to throw in the towel.
I’m sure I’m not the only one. I see it in my fellow teachers and I notice the fatigue in students too. Classes like Yin, restorative and sound healing have all become more sought after. This could be for a number of reasons, but the students that attend my classes seem to be shifting towards the ideal of self care.
We’re in this strange phase now where the pandemic is over but it’s not over, and I think that we’re all feeling the after effects of it in our own unique ways, or perhaps a collective way? Perhaps we are feeling each other’s collective tiredness, frustration, and lack of motivation.
Yoga teacher burnout
So what made me decide to take the break?
I found that I wasn’t feeling my usual spark to teach, everything started to feel like effort, which was a new feeling for me when it comes to teaching.
I noticed that I was getting bored with myself, my voice, my sequences, my cues; everything was feeling flat and uninspired. And as usual, when I’m not feeling challenged anymore, what do I do? I change things.
Something needed to shift, and for months I couldn’t quite put my finger on why I was feeling tired and unmotivated. Waking up was a struggle, getting myself to class was a struggle and I was teaching the same sequences over and over because I wasn’t motivated to create anything new. Every time I tried, it felt disconnected and it came through when I was teaching. At least it felt that way for me.
"It almost felt like life was getting in the way of social media and simply living real life felt like such a luxury..."
I knew something had to change, but for months the fear of losing followers or momentum held me back from taking a break. It almost felt like life was getting in the way of social media and simply living real life felt like such a luxury, crazy right!
With the assistance of a few scheduled holidays I felt like June was the perfect time to take a well deserved break from all things social media, and I am happy to report that I'm now feeling a little more motivated and inspired.
Having this time to myself has helped me to shift my perspective towards what is important, not only for me but also, what I want to share with you.
The affects of burnout
So what did I learn after taking a month away from the digital world?
I learned that even though I pride myself on being the type of person who doesn’t compare her life to others, I still do. Being without that comparison for such a long time helped me to gain perspective on my life and what I want it to look and feel like without the need to compare it to someone else.
"I had time to read, listen to podcasts, spend quality time with the people I love and my headspace wasn’t filled with what I need to do..."
I learned that I can use social media as a tool for my business, and to connect with my friends and community in a genuine way, and I have control over what I choose to see and how it makes me feel.
This came to me after listening to an episode of The Blindboy Podcast “Speaking to a Cyber-psychologist about the psychology of online behaviour”. It’s an eye-opening episode and if you’re up for some laughs and thought provoking content, then give it a listen.
I had time to read, listen to podcasts, spend quality time with the people I love and my headspace wasn’t filled with what I need to do, or post for the day or how it will perform.
I learned that sometimes a simple change of scenery can really help you reconnect with yourself and what you deem to be important.
3 ways to recover from burnout
So I thought I would share the things that helped me to recover from burnout, and perhaps some of these will help you too.
1. Take a break
You are aloud to take a break. Read that again.
Whatever service you offer in this world, you are not useful if you are not useful. Burning yourself out, doesn’t serve anyone and you might end up resenting what you are doing. So the first thing to do is take a break.
This could be a 20 minute walk, a long bath, a weekend away, a holiday, anything that removes you from whatever is draining your energy right now.
Here’s what I did.
That first scheduled holiday didn’t work out as planned. It was meant to be my first holiday with my boyfriend in Spain and our flight ended up getting cancelled.
Luckily we’re both “take it in our stride” kind of people, so we travelled back home with a suitcase of bikinis and beachwear, and allowed reality to set in. 2 bottles of wine, a bit of food, and a few ranting voice notes later, we decided to go to Ireland.
"...it was kind of like a holiday hug..."
This was such a wholesome, relaxing trip and I'm grateful that we got to spend time out in nature and connecting with his family, who were so welcoming and nurturing. This ended up being the exact kind of trip that I needed at this moment, it was kind of like a holiday hug.
Returning to London after this holiday helped me to take things at a slower pace. I was still teaching classes, but the rate at which my days were moving was a lot slower thanks to my digital detox.
I noticed that I started feeling more present in classes and my thought processes around teaching and future projects were bubbling to the surface. My creativity started to show its face again.
2. Check in with the "doing nothing" guilt
We're fed this idea that we constantly have to be “doing” in order to move forward and so it’s natural to feel guilty when you're stagnant.
As I slowed down, so too did my teaching schedule and the summer schedule kicked in and classes got canceled.
Panic set in, now my income was being reduced, and I wasn’t “doing” anything to push myself forward, to make more money. I felt guilty about deciding to take a break from it all.
Fast forward a few weeks and many looping guilty thoughts, one morning I casually mentioned to my mum that perhaps it was time to look for full time employment, a thought that I regularly have as a self-employed teacher, but don’t say out loud.
That same morning I received a message from a recruiter for a role that would be perfect for me. Allow me to pause here and say that I am not a person who believes in coincidences. Needless to say I decided to go ahead with the interview.
In the interview I felt guilty toward myself for “abandoning” all the hard work that I’ve put into Elumi Yoga over the past few years. The self-doubt loop continued with the “will I get this job or not” and “do I want this job or not” questions.
3. Change your mindset
“I want to work for myself, even if this means that I will earn less money, at least I will be doing what I love.”
I was stuck in the mindset that I was in when I became self-employed in September 2019, just a few months before the pandemic. “I want to work for myself, even if this means that I will earn less money, at least I will be doing what I love.”
Now the latter statement is still true, but a lot has changed since September 2019. Our cost of living has increased exponentially, our way of life has been altered, and for some of us, we are different people now.
It made me realise that I was thinking about things in a “this” or “that” scenario, and it didn’t have to be this way. If yoga has taught me anything, it’s taught me resilience to change.
I am able to work full time, and still dedicate time to Elumi and teach some classes. Perhaps not in the same capacity as I do now, but it’s all about finding the right balance. Finding what works for you, and focusing your energy on the important things.
As a self-employed yoga teacher I often find myself working on multiple projects and not all of them necessarily fill my cup.
I kind of think of this as decluttering my work life, only keeping the projects that align with my vision for Elumi Yoga and the message I want to share.
This month I had a bit of a creative block around what to share with you. I sat for ages thinking about topics and what I thought you’d want to read about or learn, but sometimes a simple, real story is all that is needed.
In a strange way, my creative block lead to an opening, and a return to my authenticity. I've spent the past few months sharing educational content, and whilst this has been fun and challenging, sometimes it’s just nice to share a little story from the heart.
What happened while I was “out of the office”?
New and improved Elumi website
You’ll now find a new navigation journey on Elumi TV and a subscription service that gives you access to all the online content.
The Glow Monthly pass is £9.99 p/m and this includes:
Unlimited access to tailored yoga classes, that are between 30 to 75 minutes Vinyasa | Yin Yoga | Yin Yang | Meditation | Yin and Nidra
First access to events
Free access to Room of Rest at home (usually £5 drop in)
Special rates on private yoga sessions
You also have the option to purchase the Glow Yearly pass at £99 for the year.
Room of Rest at home
Room of Rest online sessions are back. These are weekly online session to help you cultivate rest and recharge your energy. Each session will have elements of Yoga Nidra, breath work and Yin Yoga and all you need to do is lye down and listen.
Starting Wednesday 3 August 19:00 for 30 minutes.
Learn more here.
What is next for Elumi Yoga?
I'm currently researching locations, but if you have suggestions for locations in Europe let me know here.
I’ll leave you with this thought today. We are taught that we constantly need to strive forward and set goals for ourselves, always reaching for the next thing.
Whilst there is nothing wrong with this, here is a gentle reminder that the only thing that you have control over is the present moment.
“Life gives you plenty of time to do whatever you want to do if you stay in the present moment.” — Deepak Chopra
Love and light