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  • Writer's pictureMs Martha P

How I Beat Burnout and Learned to Thrive (You Can Too!)

How I Beat Burnout and Learned to Thrive (You Can Too!)

It’s time to talk about burnout.

Burnout is a harsh reality that affects helpers. 

Teachers have the highest burnout rate of any other helping profession: between 19-30% of new teachers burnout within their first five years of teaching. 

Here’s what burnout feels like:

  • You just can’t seem to get out of bed in the morning.

  • Your immune system is affected; you’re sick all the time.

  • You are overwhelmed with feelings of anxiety and/or depression. 

It’s not just classroom teachers! ECE leaders and center directors also experience burnout. I know, because it happened to me. 

Running a growing private preschool company is a lot of work. I fight every day to create centers where teachers are supported and kids are learning. 

For a while, I worked constantly. Sometimes it even felt like I was working in my sleep! There was a time when I thought I could go on doing that forever. 

Then I hit a wall. 

I woke up one day, dreading the thought of getting out of bed. I felt like I’d peaked in my career, and I couldn’t see a way to move forward. 

I felt stuck.

I am not the kind of person who can stay stuck, so I knew I had to make a change. 

I couldn’t change the things that were burning me out, but I could change myself. 

That day, I signed up with a life coach, and we worked together to set 3 goals. 

Here’s what they were:   

  • Finish the books I started reading.

  • Delegate tasks that were stressing me out.

  • Show up at the gym and start exercising again.

I’m the sort of person who likes to do all the things, right away. 

I finished the books. I got up early and started taking hot barre classes. I asked other people for help. 

As soon as I started showing up as a helper to myself, I felt happy again. 

Naturally, I was addicted to this new sense of empowerment. It had been so long since I’d felt so good! 

I kept searching, reading, listening, and growing. I found inspiration in others who were focused on self-improvement and healthy lifestyles. 

I literally took pages out of other people’s playbooks until I knew how to do it myself. 

That’s how you have to do it at first, especially if you’re a helper (like me) who has never tried to be a helper to yourself before. 

Life Changing Playbooks

When I was burnt out, I just wanted to feel happy again. 

By the end of the year, I wanted so much more. I realized I could do better than feeling happy; I could motivate others to be happy too. 

Look, there are a lot of things that need to change about early childhood education before burnout totally goes away.

I know, because I’m in the business of making those changes! 

But at the end of the day, the most important person is you. 

Burnout has this nasty effect of making us forget our power and ignore our impact. 

When we feel stuck, we forget we can change the world by changing ourselves.

If you are reading this thinking, “oh my god, I might be burnt out,” it’s time to start thriving, and I’ll tell you how.  

  1. Show up for yourself as your best self. 

How would you show up for your friend or your teacher or your kid if they were down? Start showing up for yourself like that.

  1. Validate your impact. 

Leaders impact everyone around them. If you want a healthy team, a healthy family, or a healthy future, it starts with getting healthy yourself.

  1. Find consistency.

Once you find out what you need to do for yourself, you have to do it over and over until it sticks. 

(Don’t worry, I’ll remind you.)

What’s at stake?

Besides your personal health and wellbeing (which means so much more than you think), let’s look at the numbers. 

In the beginning of this article, I mentioned that 19-30% of teachers burnout in the first five years. 

Can you guess what that number is for teachers in the childcare industry? 

I’ll tell you.

About 30% of childcare professionals leave the industry every year

As ECE leaders, we bust our butts every day to get that number down, but it doesn’t do any good if we burnout too! 

Remember your impact. It’s time to lead by example. 

Are you ready to beat burnout and start thriving? Follow @missmarthap on Instagram for daily tips and motivation to make the change right now.

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