Avery Thatcher, registered nurse and burnout specialist, takes us on a journey of finding yourself again after burnout. She openly shares her own story and how she grieved the loss of Heather in favour or becoming Avery. We learn about the body's stress responses, the warning signs of burnout, how to seek help, and how to find middle ground.
Avery Thatcher, registered nurse and burnout specialist, takes us on a journey of finding yourself again after burnout. She openly shares her own story and how she grieved the loss of Heather in favour or becoming Avery. We learn about the body's stress responses, the warning signs of burnout, how to seek help, and how to find middle ground.
Episode Key Moments:
[03:55] What is burnout? What are the different stages of burnout?
[07:18] How our environments and lives contribute to burnout.
[08:36] The four types of burnout.
[09:38] Avery's story and how she bid farewell to Heather.
[16:54] The moment that helped Avery accept her diagnosis.
[20:00] What are the symptoms of burnout?
[23:54] Burnout and a short fuse - Noticing a shorter temper.
[25:44] Can you heal from burnout and what does help look like?
[30:00] Who are the right people to help you and how to find them?
[32:00] The difference between an anxiety disorder and burnout.
[33:20] What about people that are not normally stressed - can they experience burnout?
[35:26] What Avery does on the daily to live her best life.
[36:26] Where to find Avery.
Avery Thatcher: Website | The Flow State App | Instagram
Jeanne Retief: FIGGI Beauty Shop | My FIGGI Life Podcast | My FIGGI Life Blog | Instagram | Facebook
[00:00:00.410] - Jeanne
Good morning, FIGGI goddess, and welcome to the My FIGGI Life podcast. Today, we are joined by Avery Thatcher, and I'm so excited to speak with her because she's going to talk to us about burnout, something that I think we all experience or at least have seen a loved one or a husband or wife experience. And I think it's such an important thing to talk about. You know, I'm all about anxiety, anxiety disorders. I talk about my panic disorder a lot. So I think this would be a great fit for our podcast. If you're interested to hear what we talk about, stay tuned.
[00:00:36.090] - Intro
Welcome, goddess, to your sacred space. This is My FIGGI Life podcast, where we openly discuss life's wins and losses on our journeys to self discovery. This is your best life. This is your FIGGI life. And now here is your host, Jeanne.
[00:00:56.850] - Jeanne
Okay, so welcome back. We are joined by Avery Thatcher. Avery was always a shy, emotional person that thought she had found her dream job as an ICU nurse. She enjoyed going to work, managing complex machinery, making autonomous decisions for her patients, and being a vital part of keeping someone alive. After a cross country move, avery helped a group of family practices by assisting their most complex patients with the greatest medical and mental health needs navigate the healthcare system. She realized every patient she helped struggled with self compassion, stress, negative self talk, and learned habits like perfectionism and people pleasing. All of this inevitably led to burnout and illness. She went on a journey to gain an in depth knowledge of how stress responses work, trauma, complex trauma, PTSD, and cPTSD. She discovered more about neuroscience behind human behavior, how we create new habits and break unwanted ones. She started helping her patients reprogram the beliefs that were sabotaging them and which led to burnout, quiet their negative self talk, and rebuild trust in themselves. After receiving a wealth of positive feedback from the doctors, treating the patients, and seeing a marked difference in them as well, she knew this was her calling, and so her online coaching business was born.
[00:02:22.080] - Jeanne
Welcome to the podcast, Avery.
[00:02:23.990] - Avery
Thank you so much for having me. Having you list all of those things out make me sound like a really big nerd, which I totally am. But just hearing it all in one go, it's like, yes, there it is.
[00:02:35.330] - Jeanne
We often discount ourselves, and we often doubt our abilities and our experience until you can hear it objectively sometimes. Then you realize, like, yeah, I've actually done that, and I can actually own this.
[00:02:47.990] - Avery
[00:02:49.590] - Jeanne
So what we're going to talk about today is really interesting because it's something that I've personally gone through, and it's something that I've also witnessed my husband go through, and I think that was actually scarier for me to see him go through that. And it's something that we don't talk about a lot because I feel like it fits into some form of anxiety, even if it is just temporary, even if it is just a phase. And we do not talk about stress and anxiety in the professional working environment. There's just no space or place for it. It's either you're on the bus or you're off the bus. There's no kind of in between or resting stops. So I'm so glad we're taking the time to talk about this topic today and how it affects so many people. But let's just first set the stage for the listeners so that we're just really clear about what we're talking about here. So can you maybe just explain to our listeners what is burnout? How do you define or explain it?
[00:03:55.770] - Avery
Burnout actually is more of a spectrum. It's not like a switch and all of a sudden you're in burnout. And it's really important for us to know what kind of burnout we're in. So to start, our stress response moves us through three stages. So we start off with a stage of alarm. That's the holy smokes moment. You see like this scary animal running at you, and you get that rush of adrenaline.
[00:04:19.150] - Jeanne
The fight or flight.
[00:04:20.270] - Avery
Yeah, exactly. The fight. Flight freezer fond. So that's our initial stress response, and that's what our stress response was designed for. But modern life doesn't have stresses that come and go. We have chronic stress. And so that moves us into the stage of resistance. And so this is where we are definitely in a stressed out state, but our body is managing okay. We're able to maintain a bit of balance and be able to heal some of those negative health effects of stress as they're happening. Then when that chronic stress continues to a certain degree and we're not able to keep up, then we move into the stage of exhaustion. And this is pre burnout. This is usually where a lot of our warning signs live, our big red flags. And we're going to definitely talk about how to know your red flags and how to see them because it's tricky sometimes. I'm going to talk about why, but then after we've been in that space and we're missing those red flags and we keep pushing through that's. When we hit burnout, we can have one of four different kinds of burnout. The first is physical burnout, and this is where we really struggle to get up in the morning.
[00:05:24.730] - Avery
We don't sleep very well, or if we do sleep through the night, we don't feel restored at all when we get up. We just really have low physical energy. The next kind of burnout is mental burnout. And this is what we experience when we all of a sudden become incredibly forgetful, when we feel like things are super obvious, but we just can't seem to figure it out. Or other people are pointing out things to us like, oh, why don't you do it this way? And you're just like, oh, I was making it nine times more complicated than it needed to be. So that's sort of the mental burnout picture. Then there's emotional burnout. This is where we've had a lot of emotional experiences or a lot of people have come to us for emotional support. And it's left us feeling really emotionally drained. So maybe we're more irritable than we used to be. We don't have as much patience as normal. And we just feel like our emotions are on this roller coaster ride that we are not in control of at all. So that's emotional burnout. And then the last one is fulfillment burnout.
[00:06:24.500] - Avery
And I call this one impact burnout because I feel like we all are here to have an impact on our corner of the world. And when we feel like we're just spinning our wheels, going through the motions, we don't have that sense of drive and fulfillment. So we kind of feel blah throughout most of our daily life. And so that's what fulfillment burnout looks like. You can be a specter of those burnout.
[00:06:46.860] - Jeanne
Like you say, it's not something that just happens. It's really you driving your body let's liken it to a car up to an empty tank and continuing to push it to the limit without refilling the tank. Right. Or a bank account that you keep drawing empty and empty and you keep going into overdraft and instead of replenishing it, you just keep going until you're in a massive amount of days. Can we make that kind of comparison with what you're saying, what burnout is?
[00:07:20.050] - Avery
Absolutely. And part of the problem with burnout is because of the habits that we're following that lead to this experience, it's not that we are the ones that are just draining that bank account or draining that gas tank. There are other factors in our life that are draining it as well. So one of my favorite metaphors to explain this is to imagine that you're sitting in a boat and it's full of holes and it's leaking and you've got this bucket and you're scooping out the water as it's filling in your boat and you can keep on top of it for a little while. That's where you're in that stage of resistance. But then eventually the stressors, the water keeps pouring into that boat. And so the more and more stress we get, the bigger the water is in that boat. And so we can do things like meditate practice, mindfulness do yoga journal, and that's going to make our bucket bigger. It's going to allow us to bail our bucket out faster. But it doesn't stop that influx of stress that's coming into our boat. So we really have to look at it from both sides, both recovering from the stress that's flowing into our life, but also looking for ways to plug all the holes to maybe lessen or even stop some of those stressors from coming in.
[00:08:36.870] - Jeanne
You were mentioning there are four types of burnout and I can definitely see, even in my own story and in my husband's story, which ones apply to us. But is it possible to have all four of them at once?
[00:08:51.530] - Avery
Absolutely, yeah. And so some people will just experience one kind of burnout at a time, but often there's one driver and then the other ones kind of followed along the way. So when we figure out which one is your primary burnout driver, then it helps us figure out which holes to plug first.
[00:09:10.080] - Jeanne
So in the FIGGI community, we're all about sharing our stories. This is a community where women can come to and know that it's okay not to feel okay, and where we try and share our own stories so that we don't feel so alone. So before we take this conversation further and go into the nuts and bolts of what we can do, how we can recognize it, I'd like for you to share a little bit of your own story of how you got here and what burnout looked like to you.
[00:09:38.490] - Avery
I had started my nursing career oh my goodness, 2009, and was working in some other spaces, and then eventually transitioned into the intensive care unit. And we worked in different intensive care units across the country up here in Canada, and I was in this one ICU at the time, and it was an incredibly toxic environment. There was a lot of politics that were not being helpful. There was a lot of dissent amongst the staff. The doctors were blatantly disrespectful of the nurses. People with less experience were really just belittling those with more experience. It was really quite an awful work environment. And so I at the time felt like I had no option because there wasn't another ICU at the time that I really wanted to work in. So I decided to switch to this night shift because then you avoid most of the drama because everybody's just tired, there's fewer people on. People are just really in their own little space. So I was doing that for a couple of months, and then it was Christmas morning, December 2018. I was coming off one of my twelve hour night shifts and the charge nurse looked me in the eye and she was like, oh, you do not look well, you look so tired.
[00:10:59.480] - Avery
Like, go home, I'll mark you down a stick for your next shift. Just go home and rest, feel better. And so I slept for 20 hours the first day, and then 20 hours the next day, and 20 hours a day after that. And then it started, this 18 month journey of a number of different health issues coming up. I went to walk in clinic because I didn't have a family doctor at the time, just to get tested for mono, because that's what I thought I had because I was so tired. And she was just like, hey, what's that lump on your neck? And I was like, what now? There was this huge mass growing on my thyroid that I had no idea was there. And it was so stressful because we didn't know, like, cancer, not cancer. And then, of course, being a nurse, you know, a lot. So then I was talking myself through it and being like, well, if it's thyroid cancer, it's one of the better cancers to have, it'll be fine. So anyway, I get that removed. But then a number of the symptoms don't go away. And so continuing to get tests, lots of different scary diagnosis going out there, lots of anxiety.
[00:12:00.770] - Avery
I just felt like I wasn't the person that I knew. And so then finally, I got a diagnosis of a chronic illness and a disability that's permanent. And it made me realize that I was never going to be able to go back to what I had determined at the time as my calling as a registered nurse. And so I fought for months trying to figure out how to reconcile the difference between who I used to be before my epic experience of burnout to where I am right now and how do I find that middle ground. And eventually I realized maybe there is no middle ground. Maybe I did need to start over. And so I decided maybe I should change my first name because I no longer identified as Heather. And so then I went through a bunch of baby name blogs, and I found Avery. And as soon as I found that name and I told my partner about it, I felt at home in my body, something that I had missed for nearly two years. And I felt like I had the chance to start over, the chance to actually figure out what life looks like as Avery, really grieving the loss of Heather and coming back into who I actually am now, what I'm capable of now.
[00:13:20.140] - Avery
And I don't recommend that everybody change their first name because it's definitely not a good fit for everyone. But for me, it really was the catalyst to absolutely accepting my burnout and my new way of life, rather than trying to really fight the high achiever that I used to identify with. I still am a high achiever. I just have to work differently to be able to work with my body. So I literally work from bed sometimes with this big arm holding my iPad above my head so I can type on the bed, and it actually works really well. But before I had a chance to understand and have that compassionate acceptance for what I needed, that kind of problem solving would not have been possible.
[00:14:02.350] - Jeanne
I understand so deeply what you are saying about having to figure out who you were before and who you were after and how you reconcile that. I mean, I was diagnosed with panic disorder in 2015, and I still struggle with that question. Some days it just kind of creeps up on you. And I really believe that going through this journey and trying to come out on the other side is a very symbolic thing, and it's the symbolism in that that means something to you. And for you, it was your name and how you identified that persona with the person you were pre burnout and who you wanted to be after. So it's such an interesting take on it. And thank you so much for sharing that. I know it's really difficult to share our personal stories sometimes, but I'm so, so grateful to you for sharing that with us. You said there was a number of health issues that came up for you. Did it then eventually lead to a diagnosis of burnout, or did it lead to another medical diagnosis? And it was unfortunately also paired with burnout.
[00:15:14.830] - Avery
So I think the burnout experience is what happened for me at the end of 2018, but the diagnosis itself was not burnout because my burnout caused significant health issues. So that then led to this other diagnosis that I had to reconcile with, because unfortunately, there's not a whole lot of treatment options available. It's more about management, which I think frustrated me quite a bit, because we've got pills for everything. Why don't we have something that can fix this? But of course we couldn't, and that's okay. So it was just really coming to that moment of acceptance, and it really was very challenging for me, especially in the beginning of the Pandemic, because everything is shutting down. The ICU's are double bunking, things are getting really, really busy, and I was having a lot of PTSD flashbacks, a lot of dreams where I had my colleagues in different ICU saying, heather, where are you? We're drowning here. We need you. And just to feel that pull and be like, where is my worth if I can't do what I think I should be able to do in this time? And so then I realized that I could still help, but just in a different way.
[00:16:27.180] - Avery
So then I opened up my programs to anybody at any time. You could join it during that first year of the pandemic, and there would be no cost, and I would just help you navigate this stressful time. And that gave me a little bit of purpose again. But it was definitely a big challenge to still chat with my friends and realize just the impact of working on the front lines. So it was really tricky for me, but in a very different way.
[00:16:54.720] - Jeanne
So what do you think was that moment for you that led you to acceptance? Because I also get that question a lot. Like, how did you eventually accept your diagnosis and move towards healing? And I'm really interested to know what was the catalyst that changed your mind in that second? Okay, I accept this.
[00:17:13.580] - Avery
Yeah, that story is so vivid in my mind, and I share it often because it was such an emotional experience for me. So, as I said, I opened up my programs and there's one where we bring people through unhelpful belief systems and really work on recovering that people please are and that perfectionist. And so one of the exercises is that you write a grief letter. So I was doing it with them because I always do the program with the groups that I bring through because I feel like there's always different layers that you can unearth and heal. So I was doing that and I was walking on the treadmill at night. We've got a little desk sort of sitting over it, and I usually walk a little bit before bed and journal. And I was like, okay, I'm going to do this. So I started writing my grief flutter to my illness, and I got really angry. And anger is not generally a safe emotion for me. It wasn't at the time, definitely is now. But I was just so angry and I was typing so loud and so fast, and all of a sudden I got all of that anger out, the nearly two years of anger just flushed out of me.
[00:18:14.510] - Avery
And then there was a moment in my brain where I was like, hey, this illness is a part of you. This part of you does not deserve anger or hate. It deserves love. And then I started writing about how it's okay that you're here. Absolutely, I would want it a different way, but I'm going to nurture this. I'm going to take care of you. I'm going to show you compassion. I'm going to hold space for you, and I'm going to bring you along the journey. And once I started doing that, started typing that out, then I was ugly crying and I couldn't see and I couldn't stand, and I was like, you should get off the treadmill. So I went and sat down on the floor. It was just this, like, sobbing, letting it all go and realizing that resistance is not helping me, but compassion will. And that was the pivotal moment for me, and it changed everything.
[00:19:15.670] - Jeanne
That is beautiful. Thank you for sharing that with us. And I love that you do the grief letters because I also wrote in the Figgie blog how the five stages of grief helped me to accept my panic disorder. And for me, it wasn't one powerful moment like yours, but really going through the denial and the bargaining and the depression and always thinking that you can wheel and deal your way out of it.
[00:19:48.220] - Avery
Oh, my God, I did it.
[00:19:55.710] - Jeanne
I want to really dive into the difference and knowing the difference between is it an anxiety issue that you need to be properly diagnosed for, or is it burnout, which you also need to be properly diagnosed for? What are the symptoms? What do we need to be looking out for? If somebody's listening now and they think, oh, my gosh, I think that's me. I'm so overwhelmed, I'm so stressed, I'm so tired. How would they know to go see someone?
[00:20:21.110] - Avery
It depends on the person. Everybody's warning flags are going to be different. And I remember hearing this really beautiful explanation of red flags that sometimes we can't see our own red flags because they're pointed at us. And so there's only this tiny little skinny bit of a flag that we can see. So this is where looking to people around you that you trust, that are sitting to the side of you that can see that red flag head on, they can see all of it. It really helps us become more aware of our situation, really. So one of the earliest things that we typically do when we're on the stage to burnout is we deprioritize all of the things that help us resist that stress. So we start to go for convenience foods. We stop working out maybe entirely or for as much. We don't go for as many walks. We don't have as much quiet time when we're sleep enough. Yeah, we don't sleep enough. Exactly. Because our cortisol once it's ramped up enough, it actually wakes us up at 334 in the morning and it's really hard to sleep after that. And all of those signs where we just feel like we have to constantly be on, those are one of the most contributing factors to burnout.
[00:21:35.470] - Avery
When we take on too much, when somebody asks us, oh, hey, I really need help with this, can you help? And you're just like, yeah, because you're the go to friend for everything. So you say absolutely and then as soon as you say that, you're just like, hey, so what do I have to get rid of in order to make time for that? Probably sleep. So we have all of these patterns that are kind of driving into the decisions that we make. So those are the early kind of signs that we can be looking for. But once we move past that and we're past that stage of exhaustion and we're kind of into the burnout beginning, we're going to feel again like we're going to have memory issues. We're going to put something down and have no idea where you've left it. And it'll take forever to find it. You wish you had those air tag things on everything that you own so you can just push a button. And then you also feel like your to do list. It keeps getting pushed to the next day because you just can't seem to either get it all done or you can't seem to motivate yourself to even get started.
[00:22:33.760] - Avery
Because you feel so overwhelmed and burdened by the amount of work that you know you need to do that it's just kind of scary. And you hold yourself back when we don't have motivation to do the things that we usually enjoy doing, when we really just come home and zone out instead of actually doing restorative self care. And so the difference between passive and restorative self care is how does it actually make you feel? Does it allow you to look at the things that have stressed you out and process them and deal with them? Or are you zoned out binge watching Netflix where you don't have to think about anything, but all of your problems are exactly the same when you're done. So those kinds of pieces are what we're looking for when we are going into that Burnout phase. You're also going to have digestive issues where it seems like no matter what you eat, you still always feel like you have an upset stomach. Maybe you also find you've got some heart palpitations that aren't really related to anything anxiety focused. So it's normal when we have those panic attacks, when we have anxiety episodes to have our heart start to race and our breathing too quick.
[00:23:40.630] - Avery
And when that happens, just kind of out of the blue, that's more likely to be Burnout. But that being said, anxiety and Burnout are really good friends and they do hang out a lot together.
[00:23:51.180] - Jeanne
Oh yeah, they do. One of the symptoms that I wanted to ask you about is a short temper or really not aggressive but having like a short fuse. Right. Things that wouldn't usually upset you that much kind of upset you a lot. Like you zone in on all the small things that in the grand scheme of things don't really matter that much.
[00:24:15.460] - Avery
Yes, absolutely. And especially if you are a highly sensitive person to start with and you've been told your whole life, you're too sensitive, you're too much, you need to calm that down. Nobody wants to see you cry all the time. Putting my hand up for that, it often feels like we've got the lid on our emotions. And then the littlest thing, especially when we're in Burnout, will create this emotional freight train that just zips off and we're hanging on the outside of it. Like just zipping away from us. And what we need to learn how to do is disconnect ourselves from those emotions and have us stay on the platform while that train zips off without us. We can be like, hey, need to deal with that later. And that's part of when we're in Burnout, we're not able to see what's coming. So we're often living in the moment but not in a present awareness kind. More in putting out fires as we see them. Version. One of the first things which I recommend people do is start to block out protected time for you just to slow down and look at the big picture, because that really helps you create.
[00:25:18.460] - Jeanne
Some of that space and it really comes back to listening to your body because your body does tell you. It's just that we are so adept at ignoring the signs and just, like, muting that little alarm clock that goes off. So let's say, okay, you are in Burnout. What can we use the word? Is the diagnosis, is it permanent? Is it something that you can come back from? And what does the help look like?
[00:25:47.360] - Avery
So the first piece which I want to address is yes, absolutely, you can heal from burnout. But often people think of burnout as a cycle. So you start at the top and you're functioning really, really well. And then all of sudden A, it gets to be a little bit too much and you come down the side and then you're at the bottom of that circle. You're in burnout and then you sleep for a couple of weeks and come back up. And now you're back out to where you started. But the truth is, burnout isn't a circle, it's a wave. And so you come up into full peak performance and then you crash down into burnout and then you come back up, but you're not back at peak performance. You're just better. So it feels okay. But then you burn out again and you go lower and you keep working down this waveform. And eventually the recover part of burnout doesn't actually feel like a true recovery. You just feel like now you're just keeping your head above water. When we actually look to really treat and heal, burnout one of the most important pieces. Again, coming back to that metaphor of our stress and burnout experience, being a boat with holes in it.
[00:26:48.770] - Avery
We need to start off by recovering enough that we can start to have that motivation and that energy across those four energy spheres and be able to then start putting habits in place that are going to plug some of those holes. Because that allows us then to continue to rise and come back up to that peak performance space. Because often because our habits and our lifestyle is the same as led to Burnout in the first place. That's why that waveform just keeps getting lower and lower.
[00:27:20.590] - Jeanne
So how do we fix it though? Because I think you can agree with me that talking about making lifestyle changes and listening to your body and being aware of these symptoms and trying to look out for them, you're not able to do it. When you're in that burnout, you don't even recognize it or see it or know that it exists. So how do we do it? Do you seek help? And what does that help look like?
[00:27:47.020] - Avery
Really? In all of my time helping hundreds of people through burnout, there are three phases that we have to go through. We first have to recover. Like you were saying, when you're in that space, the idea of optimizing your mindset and working on creating all these big beautiful habits, it's not possible, like you're really surviving. So we first have to recover from that space, look to the strategies that you usually do that are actually recovering and restorative self care, not just. Passive self care, but actually healing that nervous system a little bit. And so those things can be like going to yoga or joining a meditation app or a practice like that. You have to look at the things that are going to make you feel better, but you also have to pace yourself. And so that's where having somebody help guide you through that process can be really helpful because especially if you're a high achiever, which most people that hit Burnout, are you're going to be like, yes, I'm going to be the best at this self care game. I'm going to schedule the heck out of it and it's going to be great.
[00:28:49.040] - Avery
But we need to really work in balance with that. Which is why in the Flow State app, we have 15 minutes yoga classes so that they are quick and you can feel good because you're getting that little bit of movement, you're getting that embodiment, you're also getting that stress relief and you're successful. And so it's really about thinking outside the box, trying to go to the 90 minutes yoga class at your local studio. It's really hard when you really struggle to even get up off the couch.
[00:29:19.580] - Jeanne
To go pee or to meditate if you can't get your mind to shut.
[00:29:23.810] - Avery
[00:29:25.810] - Jeanne
Everybody's telling you, meditate, be more calm. And you're thinking to yourself, are you crazy?
[00:29:31.080] - Avery
What do you mean? As soon as you close your eyes, your brain is like, okay, I have your full attention, let's talk about all of the things. Yes. And so that's where if that happens to you, don't worry, your mind is meant to think. It's going to think. So do something while you meditate. An active meditation is often the best way to do things in Burnout. So listen to a meditation while you're walking, listen to a meditation while you color, while you do dishes, while you cook something. Wouldn't recommend you do it while you're driving because we don't really want to get you in that space in terms.
[00:30:05.880] - Jeanne
Of finding somebody to help you. Who do you look for? A coach? A therapist? Because I'm a really big proponent of advocating for getting properly diagnosed and helping yourself from there.
[00:30:18.890] - Avery
Depending on how easy it is for you to ask for help and where you feel safest to ask for help, that's where I recommend you start. If there's a lot of stigma in your family and in your belief system around therapy, maybe that's not your best first step. Maybe your best first step is to go to your family doctor or reach out to a coach. That being said, be really wary with coaches online because there's definitely some that.
[00:30:44.030] - Jeanne
I can make all your dreams come true and fix you within a day.
[00:30:47.410] - Avery
Yeah, right. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Also if somebody is saying that they can heal your trauma without having any kind of professional education around that. I'm not saying that they have to be like a certified therapist or a social worker or psychiatrist, but the people that are sharing the one strategy that worked for their trauma as the only way to heal trauma can actually cause a lot of harm. So just being very careful with who is available there, it's better to work with somebody that knows their role in your entire health care team because then you know that they're not going to overstep for you and potentially harm you more. So absolutely. I feel like coaches are an excellent fit for burnout recovery, but you also want to make sure that you work with somebody that understands the stress response and the stress system, because somebody that may not understand the impact of that and the injury to the nervous system, they might push you into beyond the recover phase too soon. And then you're going to just go down another level of the burnout wave.
[00:31:59.590] - Jeanne
For those that don't usually have anxiety issues pre burnout, is there a difference between an anxiety disorder and burnout? And what does that difference look like?
[00:32:10.600] - Avery
An anxiety disorder can happen without burnout, but burnout almost always cannot happen without anxiety. If you have anxiety or a generalized anxiety disorder or a panic disorder or OCD, then you will see your anxiety not necessarily affecting your energy sphere. So we talked about the four different kinds of burnout. Those are also four different kinds of energy that we can monitor in our body. So often our anxiety will not have the profound impact on those energy levels as burnout will not for as long anyway. I have OCD, and so I do live with anxiety. It was one of the new things that I got diagnosed with after my fun shift. Really, it's just understanding which piece of it is affecting. And so it's really, like you said, listening to your body. If your anxiety is impacting your day to day life, absolutely, please reach out for help. If you feel like you want help for your anxiety, even if it isn't impacting your day to day life, please reach out for help. You don't have to have a diagnosis in order to get the help that you need.
[00:33:20.740] - Jeanne
The reason why I wanted to make this distinction very clear is because, as I said in the beginning of the episode, I've been through burnout, but I also saw my husband go through it. And my anxiety was related to many, many other things. I've had an anxiety issue my entire life, and it definitely led to burnout in some way. But for him, he's never had an anxiety problem. He still doesn't. I mean, he's the calmest man alive. Nothing faces him. So when he hit burnout, he just could not accept it because he was like, yeah, but I'm not a stressed person. I don't stress. I'm not anxious. It's impossible. It's impossible. But he was so tired and so demotivated and he had such a short fuse and normal things that would really inspire him just meant nothing to him. I just wanted to make it clear, like, even if you have somebody in your life that may not be anxious or that may not have an anxiety, it can still happen to you. It just looks different because of the four different ways that you said we can have burnout, right?
[00:34:28.100] - Avery
Absolutely. And before my burnout, I never identified as an anxious person. And when I told the people closest to me like, hey, I think I have some anxiety going on, they're just like, really? You? Because usually I could ride through anything. And so I was like, yeah, I think so. I think the burnout kind of led to it, mainly the identity shift and the gap that I created. I think it unlocked a new level of fun. The person that's going through life unfazed and says, Stressed? I'm not stressed. Everything's fine. I'm not stressed at all. Those are the people which I watch out for, because when we have that, yeah, I can do that. I can ride with this. It's totally fine. They're very much in that stage of resistance, borderlining on exhaustion. And because they have that almost disconnect from their stress state, they are very quick to push through and push just a little bit too far. And that's usually where physical burnout kind of drives it the most.
[00:35:27.780] - Jeanne
Figgie is all about living your best life and living your figgie life. And in keeping with that, what would you say to our listeners? Is one thing that you do on the Daily to live your best life?
[00:35:39.920] - Avery
What Affirmations? Because Affirmations, for me, I'm very quick to dismiss them. So if Affirmations truly works and everybody chanting, I am enough would actually feel that way. But often we hear that and we're like, okay. Then you just push it off to the side by adding in the words what if? Into the front of that creates a conversation. What if I'm enough? What if I am successful today? What if I can stay calm today despite all of the wild things that are going to be happening around me? What if I can accept that my best doesn't have to be perfect, and it just allows your nervous system to not ramp up and be like, nope, dismiss that. And it allows you to maybe dream a little bit.
[00:36:21.280] - Jeanne
That's an amazing way to look at Affirmations. I'm so happy you joined the podcast today, and I love everything that you've shared. How can people reach out to you? How can they ask about your programs and join your sessions and also what you offer?
[00:36:37.620] - Avery
They can find me on my website. It's called becoming avery.com. I have two podcasts as well. One is called Inner Stillness, Outer Chaos, and it talks about more of my stories. The other podcast that I have is called The Truth About Burnout and that's where we talk about more of these things and some of the strategies. And also other people come on to share their experiences of Burnout and what really helped them get out of that and really get back on track. I would recommend people start there. You can also follow me on Instagram at becoming Avery. As far as the programs go, I always recommend that people start in the Recover program, which is Inside the Flow State app. So it's an app that you can get on your phone and it allows you to join both live and recorded chigong classes, those 15 minutes yoga classes. We've got 62nd to five minute meditations in there and some longer ones as well. There's the self care guide that we have digital self care packages that come out every week where we give you like, a little exercise and a little playlist of things for you to do at home to kind of take care of yourself.
[00:37:41.120] - Jeanne
If you are driving and you didn't get that, please be sure to check out the episode description with all the links you need to get in touch with Avery and to follow her on social media. Thank you so much for joining us today. We are so happy to have you.
[00:37:54.520] - Avery
Well, thank you so much for holding this safe space to share this kind of thing. I think it's so important.
[00:37:59.280] - Jeanne
So, FIGGI Goddess, this is the end of this episode. But remember, as always, everyone deserves to celebrate the goddess within.